Houston – April 22, 2014 – Audimation Services, Inc. has selected Timothy (Tim) Smith, Assistant Vice President of Internal Audit with LPL Financial, as the recipient of the 2014 IDEA User of Excellence Award. He is being recognized for using IDEA® Data Analysis software in innovative ways to streamline procedures, decipher large and complex data sets, and apply analytics to improve financial reporting.
Tim Smith, CPA/CITP, CISA, CISSP, began using IDEA more than 15 years ago while working at KPMG. Smith was a member of the KPMG team that rolled out IDEA data analysis software firm-wide in 2004, and was instrumental in developing the scripts for SmartAnalyzer, and contributing to product improvements.
While at KPMG, Smith worked with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to identify internal control weaknesses in Federal grant and loan areas. IDEA was used to analyze nearly 25-30 million records to uncover fraud, pervasive control breakdowns and improper payments. As a result, disbursement policies and procedures were changed to improve internal controls and millions were returned to the U.S. Treasury.
“Tim Smith brings a mix of experience as an IT professional and an accountant to his approach in problem solving,” said Carolyn Newman, President of Audimation Services, Inc. “He has been a tremendous resource in offering his “Tim-grams” with ideas to improve new releases, and has helped others embrace data analytics to expand their reach.”
His creative use of IDEA began during an audit of a federal agency, which was being performed by the GAO. Due to problems with accounting system configuration and access, the GAO found it “inauditable” and had to issue a disclaimer of opinion. Smith used IDEA to drill down into the accounting system and find the root cause of the errors, clean up the sub-ledgers and provide information to the GAO. He started the process with the accounts payable, and together with other KPMG team members, expanded the process to other accounting system modules. This use of IDEA allowed the agency to go from a disclaimer of opinion, to a qualified balance sheet opinion in year two, and finally a clean opinion on all statements in year three.
“When I’ve encountered challenges, but knew what needed to be done to solve them, IDEA became my go-to solution for problem solving,” said Smith. “IDEA has the unique ability to garner information from both a broad and detailed perspective to add value. We can provide beneficial suggestions to clients, with assurance that the data will not be altered in the process. IDEA has proven useful in countless ways, and it has helped me expand my career. I’ve enjoyed exploring who IDEA can be used to help organizations of all types and sizes – and I will continue to share what I’ve learned to build more opportunities for others.”
During his career, Smith has expanded his use of IDEA into areas of IT auditing, such as logical access, change management, data integrity, and segregation of duties. He has also had success in applying IDEA to streamline the process of reconciling and reporting Oracle financial information from a manual to an automatic process.
In his current role with LPL Financial, Smith leads a team of IT auditors and consults on a variety of IT and financial and compliance audits and special projects. He also provides data analytics support to the Internal Audit Department.
Shortly after joining LPL Financial, Smith assisted with upgrading the company’s accounting system. He used IDEA to streamline the consolidation of subsidiaries, which if performed manually would have taken additional staff and several days to complete. He has also used IDEA to review user access data over a year’s worth of transactions for certain systems, which he stated would have been virtually impossible to do manually. In this way, Smith has benefited from IDEA’s ease of use and ability to handle extremely large data sets.
Prior to joining LPL Financial in 2010, Smith worked with KPMG for 12 years in both the federal government practice and with public and private companies as part of the IT Advisory Practice. He co-founded the IDEA Independent User Group (IIUG) in southern California and was instrumental in providing product feedback for a number of versions leading up to IDEA Version Nine.
Smith will receive the award in May at the 4th North America IDEA User Conference in Chicago.
About LPL Financial Holdings Inc.
LPL Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA), is the nation's largest independent broker-dealer (based on total revenues, Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2013), an RIA custodian, and an independent consultant to retirement plans. LPL Financial offers proprietary technology, comprehensive clearing and compliance services, practice management programs and training, and independent research to more than 13,600 financial advisors and approximately 700 financial institutions. In addition, LPL Financial supports more than 4,500 financial advisors licensed with insurance companies by providing customized clearing, advisory platforms and technology solutions. LPL Financial and its affiliates have approximately 3,000 employees with primary offices in Boston, Charlotte, and San Diego. For more information, please visit www.lpl.com.
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 Software, 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 www.audimation.com or call 888.641.2800.
About CaseWare IDEA Inc.
CaseWare IDEA Inc. is a privately held software development and marketing company, with offices in Toronto and Ottawa, Canada, and distributor partners serving more than 90 countries. CaseWare IDEA Inc. is a subsidiary of CaseWare International Inc., the world leader in business-intelligence software for accountants, auditors and other professionals.
IDEA is a registered trademark of CaseWare International Inc.