Currently, I’m living in the Bahamas and working with the Office of the Auditor General to create various data analytics tests that can be applied with CaseWare IDEA®. My first engagement with the AG was in 2006. Since then, many new features have been added, but the core functionality and philosophy remains the same.
One of the new features that helped tremendously during my consulting agreement isn’t technically a feature of the software. Instead, it’s the free access to the AuditNet website via the Passport menu inside IDEA 10. This is a new resource containing a wealth of knowledge on data analytics in the context of all areas within the scope of audit.
In the Passport section of IDEA, the links will take you to the support portal on CaseWare’s website (support.casewareanalytics.com), where the user can then access the AuditNet site. AuditNet itself has been around since the late 90s and early 2000s, mainly as an online bulletin board that provided samples of audit programs that could be downloaded. Today, it’s a knowledge base filled with articles on accounting and auditing, such as articles on data analysis, that are written by expert auditors, fraud examiners, and data mining pros within the data analytics space.
An area that I’m specifically using IDEA for is payroll and vendor payments to detect anomalous activity such as duplicate payments, rounded-amount invoices, and invoices just below approval amounts. To get a better understanding of the concepts involved, I’ve been reading some excellent articles on the AuditNet site related to accounts payable and payroll. I simply enter a keyword search to find any documents relating to what I’m looking for – and voila!
The level of insight and value of this website resource can’t be understated. It’s like having your very own knowledgebase of articles based on real-world examples and case studies that is accessible anytime, anywhere. Just to give some context, this type of resource didn’t exist 10 years ago. Instead, we were limited to a few online articles or books. Today, there are literally hundreds of articles in the area of data analytics that have been curated and published on AuditNet.
As an IDEA license holder, we have free access to that treasure trove of information. It’s really an invaluable resource for any audit professional who wants to learn more about the concepts behind data analytics and gain practical insight from experienced users who have applied it successfully in their engagements and have shared their knowledge by writing about it. I encourage all IDEA users to visit AuditNet via Passport and take advantage of what’s available to supported users.
Mario Perez is an accomplished multilingual auditor and consultant. He has worked as an audit analytics consultant with the Office of the Auditor General for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and with well-known firms including Ernest & Young and BDO USA, LLP. He can be reached at [email protected].