ACL Scripts Part #4

In my previous discussion about variables, I neglected to mention ACL system-generated variables.  These are more evident now, and can easily be seen by using the Variables tab in the Overview/Navigation window.  The most common use of ACL system-generated variables are those created by the STATISTICS commands: MAX1, MIN1, HIGH1, LOW1, AVERAGE1, RANGE1, TOTAL1, COUNT1 and ABS1. These, and other variables, are created by the execution of ACL commands and…

July 5, 2018

ACL Scripts Part #3

Scripts are a powerful way of improving consistency and speed when processing the same commands over and over again.  But they can also be used to provide relatively novice users with the ability to run more complex analysis. By now you may be ready to develop more interactive scripts that you can give to other users.  This usually requires prompting the user for input; validating the input; and acting upon…

June 29, 2018

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,…

June 22, 2018

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…

June 15, 2018

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. 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…

May 31, 2018

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…

April 16, 2018

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…

April 7, 2018

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…

November 23, 2017

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…

November 2, 2017

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…

October 5, 2017