HOUSTON – April 3, 2017 – University of Virginia graduate students in the McIntire School of Commerce are learning to apply data analytics techniques to extract meaningful insights and identify potential risks by participating in the IDEA Academic Partnership.
What if you could replace two weeks of work each month with a 3-minute process that actually delivered more consistent results? Our Solutions Development team was recently approached by a client to write an IDEAScript that could perform pre-field work analysis for an audit of submitted labor charges and expenses.
A common problem with importing any file into IDEA is dealing with date fields. The import assistant reads the field and does its best to determine what kind of data is being imported and what type of field to create. If there is anything in the field that doesn’t look like a date, it will either create a Numeric or Character field. Fortunately, there are ways to either correct this at the time of import or in the database after the file has been imported.
More than ever, auditors are taking on the role of programmers; writing scripts to run automated analysis and tests on a regular basis for the organization. Luckily, tools like IDEA offer a graphical user interface (GUI) and built-in compiler to design scripts while reducing or eliminating the need for manually typing code. IDEAScripts work much like Microsoft® Excel macros, but with greater speed and flexibility.
Technology impacts our lives. It has the capacity to make the world feel smaller, and make us feel more connected. Very early in my career, I realized the importance of embracing and learning to use technology in my work would generate opportunities. What I didn’t realize is the magnitude of its impact.
One of the best features in IDEA is that the data you import is record-locked. In other words, you cannot accidentally overtype the source data. Sometimes, say when you import a particularly nasty .pdf file, that great feature is a hindrance because the data imports correctly in most cells, but corrupts in a few cells. It would be nice if you could simply overtype the data and correct the few cells. While you can’t actually do that in IDEA, you can add an editable field in which you could enter the correct data.
Spreadsheets, like paper, haven’t gone away. And we understand why everyone likes using them for analytics. They come along with the office applications you use anyway. They are low-cost and easy to use. Plus, we know how addicted everyone is to pivot tables.
For years, Audimation's Solutions Development Team had been performing ad hoc implementation of Accounts Payable-related analytics for various clients. After doing the analysis in IDEA for several different projects, the team realized a central set of common analytics was emerging, so they compiled a list.
Data analytics gives us the ability to take large amounts of complex data and turn it into something meaningful. Not everyone understands how databases are set up, or how the numbers within rows and columns indicate critical issues, which is why data visualization tools are becoming more valuable to business stakeholders.
Report Reader is a powerful tool for bringing PDF or print reports into IDEA. However importing the same report month after month can get time consuming and tedious, especially if the report is particularly complex and requires multiple layers and numerous fields. If the reports follow the exact same formatting, this process can be made a little easier if users are able to reuse an existing template file. This can save you from having to recreate layers and traps all over.