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Tech Tip: Truth in Numbers

Fraudsters can be sneaky. While there are some legitimate reasons for employees to be listed in the customer master files, there are also potential fraud scenarios that have been associated with this as well. Cross-matching street address information can be problematic due to variations in punctuation and spelling.

However, there are some @functions in IDEA that can be used to distill address data to just numbers contained in the address fields to help reduce variances and yield a higher percentage of true positives for further review.

Cross-Matching Addresses Using Just Numbers


  1. Open the Customer Master.IMD file.
  2. Append a new address field called Just_Numbers using the following equation: @justnumbers(Cus_Address).


Field Manipulation Dialog Box - Adding New Fields


  1. Open the Employee Master.IMD file.
  2. Append a new address field called Just_Numbers using the following equation: @justnumbers(Emp_Address).


Field Manipulation Dialog Box - Finalizing New Fields Added


From the File menu, select Join Databases.


Join Databases Dialog Box


  1. The Customer Master file should be the Primary database.
  2. The Employee Master file should be the Secondary database.
  3. Change the File Name to Match Just Numbers.
  4. Click the Match button to select matchkeys. Select the Just_Numbers field from both databases as the match keys.


Match Key Fields Dialog Box


Click OK to close this window.

  1. Select Matches only as the join method to be used.


Visual of Match Just Numbers Database Created in IDEA


Depending on the information available in the customer master data as well as the employee master data, analysts should consider other cross-matching opportunities. Analysts have had success cross-matching other information including tax ID numbers, customer phone numbers to employee primary and secondary phone numbers as well as cross-matching addresses to other addresses in the employee data such as the addresses of emergency contact persons.


Don’t forget the 20 Minute Rule:

If it takes you more than 20 minutes to utilize any IDEA function, Contact the IDEA Help Desk for assistance. 888.641.2800, Option 4 • [email protected]


Concept created by Mark Nigrini. Step-by-step instructions and screenshots provided by Don Sparks.

CaseWare IDEA , Tech Tip

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By IDEA Help Desk Team
The IDEA Help Desk is staffed by CIDA-certified data analytics experts. Our team has one goal - to help you get the most from IDEA. In addition to providing one-on-one support for using any IDEA feature or function, they also provide Tech Tips to keep your skills sharp.

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