The EisnerAmper & Watson Solution [EisnerAmper SmartAudit]

What Is Watson/How Does the Technology Work?

Our brains possess the intricate wiring that allows us to learn, discover, and adapt for decision making. We can think of new ideas and make generalizations when essential clues and pieces of information are missing. However, we are restricted by the time it takes to learn, process, and absorb new information, not to mention any unconscious biases we all possess.

Advances in technology allow computers to function like brains that can process decisions faster and more efficiently while simultaneously analyzing a variety of information. Cognitive computing is one of the sub-disciplines in this technological shift. It is a form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that creates a system combining the best of human and machine capabilities. Cognitive systems use techniques such as machine learning, data mining, natural language processing, and pattern matching to mimic how a human brain works. Such systems are pivotal when trying to interact with an increasingly complex world.

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Watson is able to analyze unstructured data inside of customer contracts, parse the information into relevant concepts and clauses, and structure findings for auditors. It can also find differences among customer contracts, which is especially effective for clients who possess many contracts with slightly differing terms.

How EisnerAmper Uses Watson

Some of the ways that EisnerAmper is utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing to enhance the audit workflow:

Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASC 606): This relatively new guidance outlines the necessary steps for recognizing revenue from customer contracts. Clients traditionally have many data sources relating to a transaction, such as master service agreements, invoices and purchase orders. It can become challenging for auditors to effectively monitor and collectively understand all of this information. Watson is able to analyze an entire library of data and information, how it all interacts, and what risks auditors should consider. This powerful tool can help you to be ASC 606 compliant.

Leases (ASC 842): This update regarding the recognition of lease assets and liabilities on the balance sheet has accountants analyzing lease documents with greater scrutiny. By leveraging the knowledge of our industry experts with the rules of Natural Language Processing (NLP), we have designed a robust AI tool that can aid our auditors and clients in being ASC 842 compliant.

Contract Review: Watson Machine Learning is a continuously developing knowledgebase that allows for advanced analysis of unstructured documents. We have developed a customized reporting tool that allows us to display all contract data read and analyzed by Watson, viewable in one consolidated report. This type of reporting has our staff absorbing information they never had before, opening the door for new levels of analyses.

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How Can Your Industry Benefit from the EisnerAmper Smart Audit Solution?

  • Manufacturers and distributors often enter into complex partnerships. These complexities are outlined in contracts that address issues such as trademark and licensing agreements, intellectual property, and regulatory compliance. Watson can assess the risks associated with these—and many other obstacles—as professionals attempt to navigate long, verbose documents.
  • Professional Service firms that provide employee benefit plans for their workers possess a great deal of untapped knowledge about their employees. Artificial intelligence can create insights and draw conclusions about firm employees by leveraging different data sources. Watson can simultaneously comb through the Form 5500, payroll provider data, fund administrator reports and the employee benefit plan document, and provide companies with valuable findings on employees and organizational risks.
  • Recent developments in Life Sciences show the power that Artificial Intelligence has on improving patient care and optimizing research. As proprietary data continues to grow, sometimes exponentially, Watson can aid organizations in two very important ways. First, it is able to enhance its knowledge and understanding of the data as it reads through more and more information. Secondly, and equally important, it retains the knowledge its users teach it. Managers and leaders that fear organizational turnover can worry less as Watson will retain pivotal, technical knowledge that it is taught.
  • Incorporating a new Technology or service means an organization has to consider new or different ways to generate revenue. How to properly account for this revenue may be buried deep in a customer contract. Watson can read through a one-page revenue arrangement just as quickly as it can a 100-page one. By leveraging this capability, organizational leaders can gain comfort in knowing artificial intelligence can aid them in reviewing complex revenue agreements.