Year 17 – 2004 – Part 2 – Construction

From time to time I was lucky enough to get to do some consulting work.  These were usually fairly large audits, involving a number of external experts.  As the “data guy” I was often given very little time to perform the required analysis.  On such audit was a review of the costs for a major construction project.  The audit team did not have all of the necessary expertise and had…

July 27, 2016

Year 17 – 2004 – Part 1 – Direct Deposit

This was the year that I re-published my second book “Fraud Detection: A Revealing Look at Fraud (2004).  This dealt with obtaining, verifying and analyzing the data to support fraud prevention, detection and investigation.  However, it was also relevant to regular internal audit analyses. I thought I would do something a little different this week – so here is a fraud analysis story.  It is based on an actual fraud…

July 18, 2016

Year 16 – 2003 – Recruitment Process

People, even those that perform analytics, often think that data analysis can only be applied to financial-type audits.  I have tried to highlight other types of audits where analytics played a significant role including transportation, inventory, and hazardous materials (environmental).   In that vein, I offer you analysis that was part of an HR recruitment audit. he organization was an international/national police force.  Like many police forces, it needed a fairly…

July 11, 2016

Year 16 – 2003 – Accounts Receivable

It was beginning to almost become routine – get data, perform analysis, identify significant results, make recommendations and, often, transfer the analysis jobs to management for continuous monitoring.  This doesn’t mean that there were problems: obtaining the data, persuading audit teams to use analysis, and sometimes convincing management to address the control problems.  It was a challenge and it kept the job interesting. I was also performing consulting from time…

July 4, 2016

Year 14 – 2001 – Fraud Analytics – part 1

After my year of consulting in numerous private sector companies I felt that my experience not only with ACL, but also with risk assessment and fraud risk assessment in particular had grown.  While ACL’s basic command set was powerful, there were a number of techniques that I had used specifically for fraud that were not (at this time) included in the basic ACL command set.  They required the use of…

June 6, 2016

Year 13 – 2000 – Back to Work after a Year of Consulting

This was another exciting year for me.  First, in 1999, I had decided to take a year off without pay and do some sub-contracting for ACL (I forgot to mention this in 1999 post).   It gave me the opportunity to really expand my analysis skills.  Also, I worked on the development of DirectLink for SAP which really forced me to develop a better understanding of SAP – something that has…

May 30, 2016

Year 12 – 1999 – Part 2 – Drilling down into A/P risks

Technically, we were still in the planning phase of the A/P audit – but had already identified several areas of risk that needed to be analyzed further. The early payments represented a potential fraud.  If you paid within 15 days, you should receive an early payment discount of between 1.5 -2.5% depending on the vendor’s terms.   In addition to reviewing the invoices with ‘immediate’ payment terms, we calculated the difference…

May 23, 2016

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…

April 18, 2016

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…

April 11, 2016

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…

March 14, 2016