Year 11 – 1998 – ERP Systems Arrive

Disaster!  After 10 years of hard work to develop a decent understanding of the company’s finance, inventory, two HR and three pay systems, we switched to SAP (for finance and payroll) and PeopleSoft for HR) and another ERP system for inventory.  It was bad enough that we were changing systems, but to implement separate systems for the major functions seemed idiotic and created much more work for me and the…

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Year 10 – 1997 – The importance of data

Even now, I firmly believe that the potential for the Y2K disaster was real.  The only reason that its effects were minimized was a result of the hundreds of thousands of hours spent checking and rechecking programming code to address the “00” year problem before it occurred. For those of you too young to remember, prior to the year 2000, many databases and applications only used two digits for the…

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Year 9 – 1996 – Promoting CAATTs

I had been writing articles for the Internal Auditor (IIA) and other audit-related magazines for several years now, but I wanted to do more to educate and encourage auditors in the use of analytics.  One day I realized that if I assembled all of my previously published IIA articles, I had about 50% of the content necessary for a book on analytics.  So I started developing an outline and writing…

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Year 8 – 1995 – HR analysis

Our analytics team was running on all cylinders and achieving significant results.  There was not just my opinion, we received an ISACA Award of Excellence at the Info Tech Audit ’95 conference for leadership and contribution to IT Audit Community.  Amazingly, it was a $1,000 cash award.  The team (3 people) went for out for a celebratory dinner and donated the remaining funds to a local charity. By how we…

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Year 7 – 1994 – Transfer of Audit Analysis to Mgt

Having been a member of the IIA since 1990, I always looked forward to the Internal Auditor magazine.  However, it rarely included articles on computer-assisted audit tools and techniques (CAATTs).  I wrote the first of several articles on data analytics “Computer-Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques: The Power of CAATT is turning up the ‘can-do’ potential of some audit shops”.  It was published in February 1993 and, to my knowledge, was…

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Year 6 – 1993 – Promoting Analytics

Analysis had proven to be successful in not only supporting the conduct phase of internal auditors but also during the planning phase. More and more we were being asked by audit teams to perform analytics to support the development of the audit scope and objectives. However, there were still team leaders that avoided the use of analytics.  “Analytics won’t be of any use in this audit” was still a familiar…

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Year 5 – 1992 – building a sustained team

The analytics team was now at three people – so I could build some overlap in our knowledge of the application systems that were we accessing on a regular basis.  For example, this meant that I was no longer the only person who understood the financial system.  Now we had at least two people for each of the 10-12 systems we were accessing on a regular basis.  For all but…

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Year 4 – 1991 – Up and running

By 1991 the idea of using data analytics to support internal audit was firmly in place in the organization.  I was producing monthly reports which described how analytics was used by various audit teams to improve efficiency, to expand the scope, to arrive at better findings and to fully test controls (i.e. not using samples).   The analytics team (still only two people) had developed CAATTs (Computer-Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques)…

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Year 3 – 1990 – Data analytics established

Welcome to the 1990’s, the age of personal computers, distributed processing and the promise of great things from technology – sound familiar? About six months ago, my manager questioned me about the fact that I had provided reports to, and performed analysis for, other audit teams. He said, “You were hired as an IT auditor, not to support other audit teams.” At the same time, he recognized that the audits…

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Year 2 – 1989 – the beginning of my analytics

In 1989 I was assigned a second audit in the telecom area. The main objective was to assess our use of Leased Long Distance Lines (LLDLs). LLDLs were dedicated long distance lines that were primarily used for transfer of data. Rather than pay long distance charges, we had dedicated lines for this purpose. The LLDLs were cheaper than using regular lines, and had higher quality and faster speeds. I asked…

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