Better Business Through Data Analysis & Monitoring My Account

Federal Agency Streamlines Data Verification & Exception Review Process

Custom IDEAScripts Reduce Work of 30 Staff & Improve Review Asset Review Process

Federal agency with a staff of approximately 100 people tasked with processing detailed information about seized assets into the division’s investigative database system and keeping information accurate throughout the entire forfeiture lifecycle. The agency’s forfeiture financial specialists are dedicated to evaluating and improving internal controls, and ensuring processes are being followed.

Highlights:

  • Obtain raw data out of the two disparate systems managed by two different agencies
  • Review process required more than 30 staff at two review levels to examine
  • IDEAScript eliminates the need to review 100% of all manually entered data and allowed the team to focus only on exceptions
  • Reallocation of 3 quality control staff members, elimination of review of data entry by 25 field personnel

Challenge

Detailed information about each asset must be recorded and maintained in two systems, which are not integrated and managed by separate agencies. Information was being entered into the systems manually, which was time consuming and prone to human error. There was also no efficient way to compare information between the two systems, nor analyze 100% of the data to search for errors and exceptions. The review process required more than 30 staff at two review levels to examine up to 25,000 asset entry records each year.

The agency had never attempted to obtain raw data out of the two disparate systems, and to do so required close collaboration between the two federal agencies involved. The agency was also the first to utilize a raw data extraction of information to solve the challenges of manually entering and analyzing information between the two systems to identify potential errors, duplicates and anomalies.

Solution

The federal agency evaluated various data analysis tools to help them bridge the two inventory systems and search for exceptions. They chose CaseWare IDEA® data analysis software for its ease of use and Window’s-based user interface. Due to the complexity of both systems and their need to create an automated process, they solicited the help of the Audimation Services Solutions Development team.

One of the challenges associated with the project was security related, which prevented Audimation Services from working with live data. To overcome this issue, Audimation Services relied on “fake” data provided by the client for script development and testing – resulting scripts were sent to the client to test against live data sets to ensure the programming logic was functioning correctly.

After reviewing the complex requirements, Audimation Services delivered a custom IDEAScript capable of importing raw data from the asset tracking system and comparing it to data stored within the agency’s investigative database system. The script compares data from 74 fields to produce exceptions within minutes.

Results

The IDEAScript eliminated the need to review 100% of all manually entered data and allowed the team to focus only on exceptions. By improving the exception review process, the agency was able to reallocate 3 quality control staff members who were once responsible for second-level reviews and have them focus on more value-add work. Additionally, the need for first line review of the data entry by 25 field personnel was eliminated. More importantly, it significantly increased the accuracy of both systems and allowed the team to quickly identify and correct errors detected.

The agency currently uses IDEA for reporting, and for the first time, the team was able to pull data out of both systems to search for anomalies. It is imperative that the two disparate systems stay in sync and retain accurate records. IDEA allows the agency to easily convert PDFs into analytical documents for analysis, and produce detailed reports to compare data between both systems. With the IDEAScript in place, the team is now focused on improving the asset tracking process from start to finish and will rely on IDEA’s streamlining capabilities to help them accomplish their goals.

Print

Number of views (2127)/Comments (0)

coryw

coryw

Other posts by coryw
Contact author

Please login or register to post comments.

Name:
Email:
Subject:
Message:
x
2018 IDEA® User of Excellence Award Winner Selected
15 June 2018

2018 IDEA® User of Excellence Award Winner Selected

Jennifer Girard, CIDA with American Red Cross Recognized for Exceptional Use of Data Analytics

Jennifer Girard, Sr Auditor with the American Red Cross is the recipient of the 2018 US IDEA UoE Award. She utilized IDEA to assist Finance Department during a natural disaster.

Read More

The Rules of Nature and Audit
6 June 2018

The Rules of Nature and Audit

What’s missing is often as important as what’s present. The rules of nature apply very well to audit if you consider, “Everyone knows it, but do you test for it?”

Read More

Using IDEA to Import QuickBooks General Ledger Data
4 June 2018

Using IDEA to Import QuickBooks General Ledger Data

The General Ledger is typically the starting point to an expanse of detailed information, see a step-by-step guide on how to get a readable version in idea.

Read More

New Features in IDEA 10.3 Part II
10 May 2018

New Features in IDEA 10.3 Part II

IDEA Tech Tip

In a recent article, we introduced the improvements to Stratified Random Samples and Python integration added in IDEA 10.3. But that’s just a small part...

Read More

Cargo Company Swaps Programming-Intensive Data Analytics Software for CaseWare IDEA
10 May 2018

Cargo Company Swaps Programming-Intensive Data Analytics Software for CaseWare IDEA

Auditors Achieve More Success in First Year with IDEA Than 5+ Years with Other Tool

With the entire audit team up and running using data analytics, they are finding new ways to integrate IDEA into other areas of the business and automate repeatable processes.

Read More

Maximizing Your Environment - Global Variables
8 May 2018

Maximizing Your Environment - Global Variables

Consider scope to be a building in which people work. The tools required to accomplish their tasks will of course be housed in that building, but in scripting it’s important to determine which tools need to be shared among the buildings.

Read More

Tips on Acquiring Data
8 May 2018

Tips on Acquiring Data

An IDEA User Shares Frequent Practices

When working with rows and columns of data to spot suspicious behaviors, fraud and errors can look very similar to one another. While Yeriazarian often uses Excel as an interim format for data, he also understands there are several avenues to navigate before getting the right data.

Read More

Identifying Churn in AR
19 April 2018

Identifying Churn in AR

IDEA Tech Tip

Customer churn (customer attrition, turnover, or defection) is when a customer decides to stop engagement with your company. IDEA can help easily identify “churn” in accounts receivable by following these steps...

Read More

Jeremy Clopton Joins Integration Partnership Program to Help Professionals State & Sustain Their Use of Data Analytics
18 April 2018

Jeremy Clopton Joins Integration Partnership Program to Help Professionals State & Sustain Their Use of Data Analytics

Data analytics & fraud detection expert Jeremy Clopton joins the Audimation Integration Partnership program to help organizations leverage data analytics.

Read More

Think Like a Thief to Catch One
11 April 2018

Think Like a Thief to Catch One

Apply Logic to Detect Peculiar Behavior

When working with rows & columns of data to spot suspicious behaviors, fraud & errors can look very similar to one another. Tips on sniffing out fraud.

Read More

5 Elements of a Successful Data Analytics Program
12 March 2018

5 Elements of a Successful Data Analytics Program

Building a successful, sustainable data analytics program takes effort…and a few other elements.

Read More

The Power of Field Statistics
7 March 2018

The Power of Field Statistics

IDEA Tech Tip

IDEA’s Field Statistics can save you a wealth of time. It should be the first thing you go to after importing a file. Why?

Read More

Using Data Analytics to Prepare for Fieldwork
20 February 2018

Using Data Analytics to Prepare for Fieldwork

Automating High-Risk Transactions with IDEA

See how a global corporation used IDEA to develop an automated process to prepare auditors for on-site work.

Read More

People. Processes. Tools.
5 February 2018

People. Processes. Tools.

Successful Integration of Data Analytics

Expert IDEA users share their experiences and advice for building and sustaining a successful data analytics program.

Read More

RSS