Caseware IDEA® Data Analysis is a comprehensive commanding data analytics tool that guarantees data integrity and accelerates the performance of analytics that yield faster and more effective external audits.
As an external auditor, making sense of the organisational data of your clients can be challenging, to say the least. Caseware IDEA® enables you to read, display, analyse, manipulate, sample and extract data with ease and from almost any source through a user-friendly, intuitive interface.
Auditors can quickly produce tailored reports, identify trends and outliers and detect fraud in the external audit.
According to Christiaan Steyn, Assurance Product Manager, Caseware Africa, auditing teams spend a significant amount of their time selecting samples and analysing client data for audit engagements. “It is now more important than ever for auditors to look at all of the data in the audit, rather than just a sample. This is because of the explosion of the amount of data available to auditors, together with the fact that risk-based auditing is now the expected standard for external audits, as well as the focus upon the analysis and management of risk that’s applied within the risk-based auditing approach.”
Steyn confirms that although auditors cannot be expected to identify 100 percent of all fraud in all cases, they have an obligation to find material misstatements that would change the audit opinion.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s due to an error or fraud – if it’s a material misstatement, auditors need to identify it. With IDEA®, auditing teams can increase their data coverage, by investigating a larger number of items and potentially covering 100% of the transactions,” he explains.
What took hours, now takes minutes with IDEA®.
“IDEA® enables teams to save an enormous amount of time using a built-in risk-based sample model that allows for systematic, random and monetary unit techniques, and prioritises areas of elevated risks. Not only can teams easily sample within minutes, but also take advantage of over 100 audit functions for a robust analysis, including ageing, duplication detection and Benford’s Law,” says Steyn.
IDEA® allows audit teams to import information seamlessly and easily from almost any data source, in almost any format.
Once data is imported, IDEA® protects source data integrity by providing teams with read-only access. With built-in workflows, teams are empowered with a full suite of analytical tests for financial audits, that drive additional efficiencies and again saves an incredible amount of time.
Steyn further explains that IDEA® allows auditors to display data in different ways, and to generate analyses that would otherwise not be available. “IDEA® can also be helpful in identifying unusual or strange items, testing the validity of items by cross-checking them against other information, or validating calculations.”
Pinpoint trends and perform advanced analytics with ease with IDEA®
Additional features include the ability to pinpoint patterns, trends and outliers visually based on the outcomes of tests, to focus audit efforts. IDEA® provides for a built-in audit trail that easily enables repeatable analysis, and which can also be used as audit evidence. It further enables users to implement bespoke advanced analytics in the analysis process with Python scripting support.
Steyn acknowledges that while new auditing tools and emerging technologies hold the key to evolving the audit process, strategic risks around their adoption remain, and must be acknowledged to ensure the industry continues to develop systems that generate value for firms and their clients. The quality of data, auditor’s knowledge of databases, and experience will contribute to the success of the processes that IDEA® enables.
“Not only will the amount of Internet of Things (IoT) and real-time generated data dramatically expand, but so will the amount of data that will be created and managed by enterprises. It is estimated that by 2025, nearly 60% of the 175 zettabytes (~175 billion Terabytes) of existing data will be created and managed by enterprises versus consumers,” says Steyn.
He encourages auditors to empower their teams with analytical tools like IDEA®. “Given the volume of transactions, quantity of data and the rate at which both are growing, it is imperative for auditors to embrace analytical tools.”
He notes that in his experience, the best way for firms to build adoption is by starting small. “Identify a few audit engagements and commit the partner and the team to start and, especially to complete the audit, enabled by IDEA®.”
IDEA® Powering the audit of the future.
By building up a collection of successful audit engagements powered by analytics in IDEA®, teams build expertise, confidence, and skill. “The audit of the future will undoubtedly not be possible without data-driven analytical tools. Audit firms that drive adoption first, will be best-placed to meet the needs of the rapidly changing audit landscape,” Steyn confirms.
Connect & Consolidate
Import information seamlessly and easily from almost any data source, in almost any format.
Source Data Protection
Protect source data integrity with read-only access to all imported datasets.
Deliver Key Insights
Use over 100 audit functions for a robust analysis, including ageing, duplication detection and Benford’s Law.
Apply a risk-based sample model using systematic, random or monetary unit techniques, and prioritise areas with elevated risks.
Execute a full suite of analytical tests for financial audits with the SmartAnalyzer FinApp.
Pinpoint patterns, trends and outliers visually based on the outcomes of tests to focus audit efforts.
Follow a clear built-in audit trail that allows for repeatable analysis and audit evidence.
Advanced Analysis Using Python
Incorporate advanced analytics in the analysis process with Python scripting support.