Picture This: DAIS & Power BI

By Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
Aug 20, 2021
CPA Canada’s Foresight Initiative sees the future contributions of CPAs as:
  • measuring value beyond financials to capture societal expectations
  • harnessing the power of vast quantities of data to make decisions and establishing new models of governance and decision-making
  • developing new skills and competencies
  • protecting integrity, trust and ethics
Given our profession’s vision, intuition follows that candidates should see data analytics on the Competency Map. Below I will discuss FAQs related to data analytics information systems (hereafter: DAIS) and CPA PEP.

What tools do I need for DAIS?

Page 8 of CPA Canada’s PEP Candidate Guide requires PowerBI and an operating system to support PowerBI to facilitate DAIS activities.

What modules do I need PowerBI for?

CPA PEP candidates will first see DAIS activities in Core 2’s Integrative Problems. Elective modules all include PowerBI tasks. Capstone 1 candidate may choose to use PowerBI to demonstrate DAIS competencies to meet the DAIS insights requirement in Part 3 of the report.

Is there extra practice for DAIS activities?

Absolutely! Within each CPA PEP module, candidates will find Additional Data Analytics Activities when they go to their Content section (hint: sometimes you will need to scroll waaaaay down).

Is PowerBI examinable?

Currently, PowerBI has not been a required piece of software for virtual examinations. Though PowerBI may not be examinable, DAIS competencies are examinable because they are in the Competency Map, which is the authoritative guidance for module creation, module evaluations, and the common final evaluation.

What do employers want?

Okay, this last question is not an FAQ, but I think it should be which is why I included it. If I’m not able to take some liberties here, where can I?

A few weeks back I spoke with the CEO of a large private Canadian company and naturally, I asked questions centered around employability of early career business professionals. The CEO said—without hesitation—they wish their team employed individuals who:
  1. Are better able to see a problem, walk through a process, understand the complexities to solve the problem, and implement the solution [Sam Comment: This sounds like The CPA Way], and
  2. The inclination to create “fun little dashboard things” so they can review the work and only dig into the back-up numbers when necessary.  
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, how would you value a DAIS dashboard?

Answer: The future of our profession.

Do you have feedback on this post or a question you’d like answered by an experienced CPAWSB educator? Please contact your facilitator or send a question to the General Topic in the Candidate Discussion forum. 

Samantha Taylor, PME, CPA, CA
, is an educator and lead policy advisor for CPAWSB and a senior instructor of accounting at Dalhousie University. She is on a mission to understand and enable learner efficacy while eliminating doldrums occasionally associated with accounting education. Read more of Sam’s posts at the CPAWSB blog.


In Other News