Founded in 2006, GreenSky provides business-to-business online payment solutions for Fortune 500 corporations. Since 2012, GreenSky’s revenue has soared 400 percent, and its workforce has expanded from 50 employees to approximately 800. The organization embraces technology to analyze data gathered from various sources to make real-time credit financing and business decisions.
- Monthly statements requested to provide assurance and identify risks
- Large amounts of data stored in different systems created weeks of work for staff
- IDEA used to generate a pure random sample from an entire population of individual accounts
- Workload reduced from 2 days to 1 hour
- Reliance on IT reduced for greater efficiency
The Business Risk Office, which operates as the audit arm of the operations and compliance organizations, was tasked with generating a monthly statement to provide assurance to bank auditors who fund loans on behalf of the organization. Auditors requested a pure random sample to be sure customer statements were accurate. The team also needed to generate a report of customers with two specific codes to identify accounts with fraud risks and assess whether they were being handled properly.
Quarterly data from IT was provided in multiple .txt files, which created alignment and capacity issues when working to upload the large data sets into Microsoft Excel. Using Excel, there was no way to access the entire population of individual accounts to generate a pure random sample. Copying formulas and steps in Excel created errors within the samples. After several attempts, the team was only able to pull a judgmental sample, which was not adequate. The team grew concerned that they would not be able to complete the number of requested reports using Excel.
Senior Audit Director Vincent Banks, who had used CaseWare IDEA® in his past role as Director of Internal Audit, suggested using data analytics to generate the required statements. He brought in all monthly statements in batch form according to different programs into IDEA. When Banks struggled with creating the import definition, he relied on the 20-Minute Rule and called the IDEA Help Desk for assistance. IDEA handled the large, complex data sets with ease. Within 1.5 hours, Banks was able to generate a true random sample of data for testing. Banks also used IDEA to combine words and key phrases within the text, identify accounts with specific codes, and separate the accounts into a file for a more detailed risk review.
“We’ve fully equipped our staff with IDEA because the level of efficiency we’re able to achieve offsets the software expense. It simply outperforms Excel when working with large, complex data. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to achieve what we’ve been asked to do.”
- Vincent Banks, Senior Audit Director, Business Risk Office, GreenSky LLC
IDEA has significantly increased the efficiency of operational and compliance audits. The GreenSky staff is using a library of import definitions and equations to filter multiple and single layers of data to search for important information within transaction reports. Monthly statements that once took more than two days to complete are produced within one hour. The team is also able to pull samples weekly in a fraction of the time. Auditors are able to access and analyze raw data, which has significantly reduced their need to wait on IT for reports. Management and outside stakeholders also appreciate the assurance and data integrity IDEA offers. Auditors are able to provide management with information about whether audit procedures were implemented properly to comply with regulations.
IDEA has also been used to help other departments get answers and insights from large, complex data. For example, management wanted to assess the effectiveness of customer care outreach. The customer management system contains approximately 40,000 accounts, and call campaign information is housed in a separate database. Prior to using IDEA, there was no way to combine the data sets and match cases based on unique identifiers. The team was able to bring in data from the disparate systems, identify missing items, create efficiency rates and provide management with reports about how well staff was executing the customer care calling campaign.
The ability to help other departments get answers to critical business questions helped increase the depth of work auditors and the business risk group were able to provide. It has elevated the staff’s role within the organization by gaining trust in the work produced.