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…

July 5, 2021
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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…

April 27, 2021
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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…

July 17, 2020
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Risk, Controls, Entropy, Black Swans, Analytics and RPA

For years I have been thinking about Risk, Controls, Black Swans and Entropy; and more recently about Analytics and RPA.  Only recently did I understand how these are all connected and impact large and small organizations – particularly in activities that are high-risk and strictly controlled.  Sadly, these tightly controlled areas are often overlooked until it is too late.  Which bring us to Risk and Controls. Risk and Controls:  Business…

August 23, 2019
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CEOs Need to Wake up to the Strategic Importance of GRC

GRC: Governance, Risk and Compliance (or, in my view, Controls) is critical to companies that want to remain viable.  A company’s GRC activities should be not just coordinated, but also integrated to provide all levels of management with a view into changing risks and risk levels.   If you do not have structures and procedures in place to monitor, identify and assess these risks you are less likely to succeed.  Want…

November 27, 2018
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Year 26 – 2013 – Payroll

 I haven’t looked at payroll very often; at least not as often as I think I should or would have liked.  Payroll can be a significant cost to an organization – easily representing 50% of a company’s total expenditures in some industries – but senior management seems to think that the controls over payroll are good and therefore it is low risk.   This belief is often transferred to audit even…

October 31, 2016
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Year 24 – 2011 – Fraud Detection – part 1

By 2011, I was becoming more and more involved in data analysis to detect fraud.  I had been doing this for years but had never really thought about the approaches I was taking to assess fraud risk and determine the analytics to perform.  The following is the result of my deliberations (which continue to this day). Fraud Detection The unrelenting advancement of technology is affecting virtually every aspect of our…

October 10, 2016
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Year 22 – 2009 – SAP Extract

Imagine my excitement when I had 7 responses to my previous post on Payroll and then my utter disappointment when I found out that all we in Russian and had nothing to do with the content of my blog.  This continued for several days and suddenly switched to English posts about Credit Unions.  In total I had over 65 spam bot posts including two that wanted to help me monetarize…

September 12, 2016
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Year 15 – 2002 – Part 2 – IT Audit

Second part of article on making IT Audits more effective and value-added …. The next area that will need to be address by CAEs is ensuring that risk-based audit plans are relevant and that selected audits provide maximum value to senior management.  Today’s business environment changes rapidly to adjust to market conditions, evolving legislation and economic forces; and the risk-based audit plan must keep pace with this rapid change if…

June 27, 2016
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Year 15 – 2002 – Part 1 – IT Audit

Many audit shops rely on IT auditors to support their use of data analytics; however, the IT audits typically focus on general and application controls.  Around this time I wrote an article for the EDPACS magazine which encouraged IT auditors to look beyond the black box – to look at how IT supports, drives, and impact business processes.  I have included below. IT Auditors need to come out of the…

June 20, 2016
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