Data Analytics and Internal Audit

This is the next post in a series that discusses the importance of having a proper audit objective, defining the business goals and objectives, and the risks to the achievement of those objectives.  This article will discuss the identification and assessment of risk.  The next series of articles will look at the audit finding statement: Criteria, Condition, Cause, Impact and Recommendation.  The focus will be on the use of data…

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Analytics – Pet Peeves

As a promoter of data analysis for fraud, internal controls, and audit for more than 30 years, I am often asked, “Which software tools or application should I use?”  While I have packages that I have used for 30+ years, and am a co-founder of an data analytics service provider (WWW.CTRLmatters.Com) , I hesitate to answer the question.  The capabilities and robustness of data analytics are changing very quickly, and…

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Better Audit Recommendations

Setting the proper objective is critical to delivering on a quality, value-add audit.  It must be strongly linked to the goals and objectives of the entity being audited; drive the risk identification and assessment; and be a foundation for the audit workplan and conduct of the audit.  And ultimately, is it the statement upon which the audit concludes. Yet too many audits have poor objectives. I have performed analysis in…

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My Analytics Journey

Dave Coderre, Co-Founder CTRLmatters It occurred to me today that I have been performing internal audits and reviews for more than half my life.  Throughout the years I had had many failures and successes.  I have learned from both by identifying lessons-learned when things worked and even more importantly when they didn’t.  I also took responsibility for my failures and shared my successes with the auditors on my teams. In…

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Building a Sustainable Analytics Function

Study after study has shown that data analytics is effective and efficient at detecting risk and identifying control weaknesses, non-compliance, and inefficient business processes.  Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) have repeatedly stated that data analysis expertise is a much-needed skill, and surveys by the ACFE and CPA firms over the past 10 to 15 years have rated data extraction, data analysis, and analytical software as critical…

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SOX Cost Reductions through Data Analytics

According to the Protiviti report, ‘SOX Compliance and the Promise of Technology and Automation1’ SOX compliance costs have shown year-over-year increases but are starting to level off.  It also states that organizations are beginning to make greater use of technology and automation to support the compliance process.  However, implementing automation in the SOX compliance process is difficult for many organizations.  Understanding and defining requirements, getting stakeholder buy-in, and the investment…

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Unicorns and the Case for Analytics

It feels odd to have to continue to justify the need for and use of analytics.  What can I add that has not already been stated many times over the past 20-30 years?  Studies since the early 1990’s have pointed to the need for businesses and auditors to embrace the use of analytics.  More recently, Deloitte’s 2021 Global Risk Management Study1 recognizes the potential for digital risk management technology to…

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More than Controls

When I tell people that I am an internal audit, three things happen: first I must explain that I am not from the IRS and will not be auditing their taxes.  The second, I must tell them that I do not just focus on financial statements, or fraud, but conduct many types of audits.  This often leads to the third comment, perhaps in jest, “So, you are just interested in…

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The Why Factor

Too often auditors are satisfied with only finding the problem.  In fact, it is usually only ‘evidence that there is a problem’ and not the actual problem.  At which point their recommendations fall short of providing value and helping management improve controls and reduce risk. These types of audits often look something like this: Objective: Verify compliance with “A” Criterion – you are supposed to do “A” Condition – the…

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37-Point Check-up for your ERP

COVID hasn’t really changed things for auditors – it has just brought things to the forefront that we should already have been doing.  Things like: focusing on key risks to the organization, and embracing and maximizing the use of analytics.  This article describes how an audit function can check on the robustness of the internal controls, identify and assess risks, prevent fraud, and provide assurance – remotely – by employing…

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