ACL Scripts Part #2

I hope that, after having read, and tried, the approaches to developing ACL scripts in the Part #1 post, you are anxious to learn more.  Certainly, the Part #1 suggestions will allow you to build simple scripts to re-run analysis, but there is more to scripting: more power, flexibility and control.  In particular, you may want to control the ACL environment to allow the scripts to run without, for example,…

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ACL Scripts

Many new ACL users overestimate the difficultly in developing simple ACL scripts.  I would agree with you if we were talking about IDEA scripts which require some knowledge of Visual Basic.  But, in my opinion a simple, ACL script which only performs commands that you have previously executed and want to execute again, is simple to create. Assumption: you have performed an analysis and want to save it in a…

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Fraud Analytics – Knowing what data you need

It is hard to perform analytics if you don’t know what data to get.  Here are two simple approaches I developed that will help you. www.caats.ca The American Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) Report to the Nations 2018 states that proactive data analytics can reduce losses by 52% and the duration of frauds by 58%.  And still many organizations do not use analytics to prevent or detect fraud.  The question is…

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Sentiment Analysis – Made easy?

Not being an expert in pretty much anything has never stopped me from taking ideas from others and adapting them to my needs.  Typically, this has meant transferring a theoretical analytic to a specific – practical – use.  In this case, I wanted to look at the use of sentiment analysis for fraud risk assessment. As many of you may already know, I use a software package called ACL.   I…

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Got Analytics – Now What?

What could be worse than not having an analytics capability? Having an analytics capability, but not being sure what to do with it!  This means that you have invested in developing analytics to access your business systems, but now are unsure about: Which analytics do I run? How often should I run them? What do the results mean? How do I verify the results? How do I deal with false…

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Simple Fraud Analytics in Accounts Payable

There is a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligent (AI) and unstructured data and how this will identify fraud and make life easier for financial monitoring, internal control and audit.  This all sounds great, but we are not even making use of the structured data we have and some basic analysis techniques.  How then can we jump to AI and obtain reliable, understandable, actionable results? So, let me give you…

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Sampling Guidelines

1.0 Introduction There are two main types of sampling: Statistical sampling is used to draw conclusions about populations. Non-statistical sampling is used to establish the existence, and determine the extent of, suspected conditions. Statistical Sampling Statistical sampling permits auditors to project characteristics of the sample to the population from which the sample s drawn, whereas non-statistical sampling only allows you to draw conclusion about the sample itself. Statistical sampling also…

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Becoming Sought After

At the annual ACL user conference (Connection 2017) the recurring theme was “Being Sought After”.  Employees who are sought after are recognized by senior management.  In the case of ACL users, this means their ability to use analytics to identify and assess risk, detect fraud and improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.  Clearly, if you can do that, not only will you bring value to the organization, but also to your…

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Data analytics, the essential and underutilized tool in detecting, assessing, and preventing fraud

The unrelenting advancement of technology is affecting virtually every aspect of our lives.  And as technology becomes more pervasive, so do schemes to commit fraud. Fraudsters are taking advantage of users’ inexperience with newer technology and weaknesses in the controls to perpetuate these schemes.  This is proving to be a challenge for evaluators, auditors and investigators in their efforts to identify and detect fraud.  However, technology is also a tool…

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Seeing Analytics

I am at the end of day two of teaching an introductory ACL to a really good group of students.  They are quick to grasp the concepts as we go through different commands and ACL functionality.  They are able to answer pointed questions like: give me three ways to ‘sort’ a file. However, when I ask, “where could you use ‘insert an ACL command here’ in your audit work?” they…

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