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Tech Tip: Finding Unique Records

CaseWare IDEA® V11.1 gives you access to a growing library of popular audit-specific apps that make common tasks effortless. By upgrading to the latest version, you can easily sift through files with multiple records for a set of “Key Fields” to eliminate duplicates and reduce the number of false positives.


This is particularly helpful when working with files such as:

  • Account Master
  • Employee Master
  • Vendor Master
  • Payments
  • Invoices


When using IDEA v11.1 to identify unique records, follow these quick steps:

  1. Download and install IDEA Labs > UNIQUE RECORDS (an add-on to the Duplicate Key Detection feature)
  2. Select the database “KEY FIELDS” to determine a unique value and fields to include in the output
  3. Click “OK”
  4. The resulting database will contain one record per “KEY FIELDS” designated.



If you are using an older version of IDEA (V9/10), you can perform the same task with a few additional steps:

  1. Open the database and select “SUMMARIZATION” task from the
    “ANALYSIS” tab
  2. “FIELDS TO SUMMARIZE” shows a list of fields that make each record unique. Select all fields and click “OK”
  3. The resulting database will contain one record per “KEY FIELDS” designated and “NO_OF_RECS” field containing the count of records from the original file for each.


Browse the IDEA Lab for more great audit-specific tools and working prototypes including:

Outliers DetectionIdentifies unusual items (outliers) within databases by analyzing different categories and amounts with different algorithms (e.g., Local Outlier Factor, Support Vector Machine, Isolation Forest)
Currency ConverterRetrieves current currency exchange rate data to convert different currencies within a database to one uniform currency
Fuzzy JoinPerforms a fuzzy join between two IDEA databases by testing for possible duplicates between the databases
Python Profiling Gives an overall insight into a database such as the number of fields, number of records, missing information, etc
Range JoinJoins records between databases based on a range defined in one database and used to search for values within another database
Word FindDetects words not typically expected in a general ledger


To upgrade to IDEA 11.1, contact [email protected]. If you need help using any IDEA feature or function, our Help Desk is ready to assist you every step of the way!

Best Practices , CaseWare IDEA , Tech Tip

Posted By

By Kris Willison
Kris joined the Professional Services team in January of 2015 as a Solutions Specialist. She has an extensive background in Software and Database Development accumulated from thirty years in IT support with twenty years’ experience in database development, cleanup, audit and migration using Microsoft Access. In her time with Audimation, she has received client praise for her “Top Tier” engagement on Monitor and Scripting projects. Kris enjoys looking at problems from new angles to determine the most efficient means of meeting the clients’ needs. Kris has been breeding/showing purebred Balinese cats since 1972 and Oriental Longhairs since 1996. She also hosts one of the largest online pedigree database sites for Siamese and related breeds with nearly 600 users worldwide.

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