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Big Data information governance by accountants

Emily M. Coyne (School of Information, San Jose State University, Jose State, California, USA)
Joshua G. Coyne (School of Accountancy, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)
Kenton B. Walker (School of Accountancy, University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, USA)

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management

ISSN: 1834-7649

Article publication date: 5 March 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

Big Data has become increasingly important to multiple facets of the accounting profession, but accountants have little understanding of the steps necessary to convert Big Data into useful information. This limited understanding creates a gap between what accountants can do and what accountants should do to assist in Big Data information governance. The study aims to bridge this gap in two ways.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the study introduces a model of the Big Data life cycle to explain the process of converting Big Data into information. Knowledge of this life cycle is a first step toward enabling accountants to engage in Big Data information governance. Second, it highlights informational and control risks inherent to this life cycle, and identifies information governance activities and agents that can minimize these risks.

Findings

Because accountants have a strong ability to identify the informational and control needs of internal and external decision-makers, they should play a significant role in Big Data information governance.

Originality/value

This model of the Big Data life cycle and information governance provides a first attempt to formalize knowledge that accountants need in a new field of the accounting profession.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by a grant from the Fogelman College of Business & Economics at the University of Memphis.

Citation

Coyne, E.M., Coyne, J.G. and Walker, K.B. (2018), "Big Data information governance by accountants", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 153-170. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJAIM-01-2017-0006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited