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University of Georgia Students Compare Data Analytics & Spreadsheets

HOUSTON – November 9, 2016 – Students attending the University of Georgia recently completed an IT audit exercise using Microsoft® Excel and CaseWare IDEA® to compare attributes of both products including speed, ease of use and functionality.

Students reported 30-minute time savings using IDEA for the same tasks performed in Excel. While Excel was more familiar to them and did not require installation, students preferred IDEA’s ability to consolidate data and create graphs without programming, and the built-in data analysis tasks. Students used the Project Overview feature in IDEA to graphically represent all tasks completed within their project to create an audit trail.

“Our students did multiple exercises in IDEA; however, I had them do a similar IT Audit exercise in Microsoft Excel prior to completing it in IDEA,” said Holly Hawk, CPA, CGMA, Lecturer with the University of Georgia. “Two big takeaways for the students included the efficiency of using IDEA, demonstrated through the time difference in completing both exercises being dramatically different, as well as the ease of importing data and data analysis within IDEA. Overall, IDEA has been a great data analysis tool to introduce to our students, even though they were hesitant to learn new software, they have now started to understand and appreciate the functionality of IDEA.”

The University of Georgia recently joined the IDEA Academic Partnership to offer students the opportunity to learn data analytics techniques used by professionals to identify internal control weaknesses and anomalies within data. An in-kind software donation of 148 CaseWare IDEA licenses is valued at $74,000.00 was made to the University to give students hands-on experience with importing, analyzing and testing data.

“After working with the software, I feel that IDEA shows how powerful and beneficial data analytics can be for audits,” said Kevin Williams, University of Georgia student. “I think that the largest benefit of IDEA was the capability to import data from common sources such as Microsoft Access and Excel. During the assignment, this capability allowed me to quickly address key audit objectives and detect signs of fraud in files provided by the "client;" the IDEA software could be very beneficial for both internal and external audit processes.”

IDEA is a powerful and user-friendly tool designed to help accounting and financial professionals extend their auditing capabilities, detect fraud and meet documentation standards. It allows users to quickly import, join, analyze, sample and extract data from almost any source, including reports printed to a file, such as PDFs. With unlimited file size capabilities and an intuitive user interface, IDEA has the ability to analyze large volumes of data in seconds. IDEA is used in more than 90 countries, by major accounting firms, government, corporations in all industry sectors and by nearly 500 universities as a teaching tool.

The IDEA Academic Partnership is sponsored by Audimation Services, Inc., the U.S. distributor of CaseWare IDEA, CaseWare Monitor™ and SmartExporter. Participation is offered at no cost to U.S. accredited college and university educators. Additional information is available at

About Audimation Services, Inc.

Founded in 1992, Audimation Services, Inc. is a leader in providing data analysis technology to help companies understand their data, assess risks, test controls, and fight fraud. As the sole U.S. distributor of IDEA® Data Analysis, CaseWare™ Monitor and SmartExporter for SAP®, we help our clients maximize their technology investments by providing support, training and other valuable resources. For more information about Audimation Services, visit or call 888.641.2800.

About CaseWare Analytics

CaseWare Analytics is home to IDEA Data Analysis, Collaborative Analytics and Continuous Monitoring solutions. All CaseWare Analytics technologies are built upon the foundation of best practices in assessing risk and controls, hereby enabling audit and finance professionals to use real data insights to create remarkable ROI & business improvement opportunities. Visit for more information.

IDEA is a registered trademark of CaseWare International Inc. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders.


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