Jump to main content


PwC Partners with CMU to Streamline Accounting Using AI

April 18, 2017

By Lacey Kazior

It’s tax time.  For those who are accountants, it’s the most stressful time of the year, and sometimes, for those who aren’t accountants, it’s still the most stressful time of the year (unless you’re waiting on a hefty return – and in that case, it’s a time of celebration and maybe a late Christmas present to yourself!) Gathering tax statements, accounting for charitable donations, accidentally throwing away your 1099 – these are the stresses we deal with every year at this time for our personal taxes.  And for those of us who run businesses it’s even more paperwork and headaches.  PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has to do the accounting and auditing for huge corporations, so I imagine tax time is pull your hair out of your head time for them! 

Recently, PwC committed $11 million to Carnegie Mellon University to create a brand new innovation center. Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy at the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, will run the Risk and Regulatory Services Innovation Center which opened at the beginning of February in 2017.  This center will partner the interests of PwC clients with researchers at CMU.  Despite having only been open a mere two months, several projects have already begun to unfold, one of which being an effort to improve PwC’s accounting services.

The goal is to create artificial intelligence (AI) systems and the Internet of Things to assist in accounting.  Mind you, every business in the entire world, just like every adult person, MUST DO ACCOUNTING.  The results of their research could revolutionize the accounting process.

“One of the next exciting steps in this would be trying to use AI, so Artificial Intelligence, in auditing. Trying to streamline certain processes,” Acquisti said.

The partnership between PwC and CMU is on a three year term and Pwc hopes to see CMU researcher’s efforts come to fruition by the end second quarter this year.

Being that PwC has been such a successful company for years, there’s no doubt they’ve made a commitment to continuous improvement (their recent payout of $11mm to CMU certainly speaks to that).  In order to continually improve, you need a full-proof process in place that allows you to change efficiently and effectively without negatively disturbing your existing business model.  On May 19th, Catalyst Connection is offering a training on KATA, which continues to be a key component for companies seeking a culture of continuous improvement. The training will ultimately teach you how to tie Lean principles into an overall strategy of business improvement by focusing on the Improvement KATA and Coaching KATA. For more information or to register for this training and to register, click here. 

For more information on PwC and CMU’s partnership, click here.

About Catalyst Connection

Based in Pittsburgh, Catalyst Connection is an economic development organization dedicated to helping small manufacturers to improve their competitive performance. Catalyst advisors, consultants, and instructors offer training, consulting and administer financial programs that can provide funding for equipment, machinery, or capital improvements. As a nonprofit 501 (c)3 firm, the organization has been supporting Southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturers for more than 25 years. For more information call 1-888-887-7472 or go to www.catalystconnection.org.