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Go Beyond Disruption

177 EpisodesProduced by AICPA CIMAWebsite

Stay ahead of the accounting & finance curve with weekly insights on emerging technology, human intelligence and digital transformation. AICPA & CIMA's global community helps you leverage disruption today to prepare your profession for tomorrow. The Association of International Certified Profession… read more


“Reality Bytes: Demystifying Digital Transformation” with Waqqas Mahmood of BakerTilly (Washington, USA)

"First figure out the 'why', not from a organisational perspective but 'why' for a particular business process, and THEN figure out what technology - if any - will be needed to transform and automate that."

GBD62.  Waqqas Mahmood leads Advanced Technology & Intelligent Automation at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP. He tells Kyle Hannan (AICPA & CIMA, UK) about the basic jargon of RPA and AI, why you should understand the tech before you put it all together, and how to identify the goals of the digital transformation. He also outlines his "3 Fs" process for fighting the factors of failure.



  • RPA and AI: the jargon, the risks and the ‘gotchas’.
  • Don’t chase the bots (the tech). Understand it before you put it all together.
  • From AI and RPA to IA ‘Intelligent Automation’.
  • How does innovation rise above the red tape?
  • How to innovate in a profession that’s often perceived as having a change-averse internal culture?
  • What the jargon means, not just in the correct technical abbreviations but in the potential opportunities for a company.
  • Why there are times you should NOT put the customer first (not when you’re testing). Start with the back-end and get that right before you roll it out to clients.
  • Digital anxiety (personal and team’s)
  • Identifying the goals of the digital transformation (think about the ‘Why? T” rather than just the IT!
  • Understand the 3 Fs so that teams can Fight The “Factors of Failure”



Waqqas Mahmood is head of Advanced Technology & Intelligent Automation at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Washington) and was previously their Director of Innovation. Prior to that, he was Manager, Advisory - Digital & Emerging Technologies for EY in New York, a co-founder and Board Member of Cambridge Global Advisory, and even worked as a Senior Manager for Research In Motion, makers of the corporate world's original favourite mobile device The Blackberry. A PEO-qualified Engineer, he has an MBA in General Management from Harvard University, where he was Vice-President of their E-Business Society. Connect with him on LinkedIn, or Twitter as @waqqas_mahmood.



  • Waqqas mentioned BakerTilly's corporate 'Insights' page here.
  • Read about navigating digital transformation on the AICPA blog page.
  • Find out more about the CGMA's analysis of the digital skills gap facing today's finance professionals. 



These conversations with expert guests are recorded by different members of the AICPA & CIMA team from our offices around the world. While the sound quality may vary, the insights will always be consistently useful.

Hear more. Get our shows every week automatically and free. Share them easily with colleagues and friends by using the icons on your app or media player. 

Skill Up. Find related CPD/CPE resources at the AICPA Store and the CGMA Store.

Connect#GoBeyondDisruption  @AICPANews @CIMA_News

©2019 Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA & CIMA). All rights reserved.

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