The Importance of Audit Data Analytics (ADAs)

Analytics are an integral part of the audit process. Yet, auditors often struggle with the best way to incorporate Audit Data Analytics (ADAs) into their workflow process. By definition, ADAs are:

“The science and art of discovering and analyzing patterns, identifying anomalies, and extracting other useful information in data underlying or related to the subject matter of an audit through analysis, modeling, and visualization for the purposes of planning or performing an audit.”

The AICPA is watching

In fact, ADAs are so important in our industry right now that the AICPA has an ongoing project addressing it. The purpose of this RADAR initiative is:

  1. Move the audit process away from a sampling approach – which is part of the current audit workflow for most firms and is inherent to errors
  2. Move it toward analyzing 100% of transactions in real time

Hence, what are firms to do? Well, firms must arm every auditor with an easy to use data analytics tool.

The perfect audit data analytics solution

Truthfully, TeamMate Analytics (TMA) is the perfect solution. It works with Excel (add-in) and contains a collection of more than 150 tools, specifically for use by auditors and accountants. At its core, this powerful data analytics tool is easy to use. Additionally, it provides auditors of all IT skill levels with access to it.

As with any software application, this solution continuously evolves to find new and better ways to improve the analytics process. With that said, the launch of TMA 6.0 in October does not disappoint. Actually, several new features greatly enhance the auditor’s analytics experience.

Enhancements that matter

First, remember that Excel is ordinarily limited to processing just over 1 million rows of data. Unfortunately, while that amount is enough for MOST audit tests there are occasions when your data just cannot fit. Fortunately, in TMA 6.0 Custom Modules are re-engineered to use data files that are bigger than Excel can normally handle. What happens is this. TMA seamlessly and automatically detects if your data file is too big to fit in Excel. If it is, it then loads your data into a database to perform the analysis. Afterward, the data then transforms into Excel using new capabilities added by Microsoft in Excel 2016. As a result, all of the Custom Module outputs still appear in Excel, just as they did before; however, no longer limited to 1 million rows.

There’s more!

Second, other changes also happened to Custom Modules.

  • PivotTable outputs are customizable, allowing changes to the layout that help you interpret results – with all the features of the standalone Advanced Summary tool
  • Report outputs are customizable, allowing you to choose:
    • Which results to include
    • Sort order for the outputs
    • Number of records to include
  • Flexibility to brand your firm’s customized content

Third, keep in mind that TMA uses a variety of different content:

  • Custom Modules
  • Test Library tests
  • Word, date, normalization rule
  • Formula lists

Previously, TMA allowed a firm to add only a single set of content to their standard content. Now, however, TMA identifies content as:

  • User content – created by the user
  • Company content – created by the CPA Firm
  • TMA content – created by TMA and included with the software

Thus, TMA content is now more easily accessible. No longer do you manually-add to lists. Additionally, TMA keeps this content up-to-date in new versions, and without affecting content you have created or customized.

Fourth, there are now two new data preparation tools in the Manipulate Fields menu. They allow you to extract either the date or the time portion of a data set.

Conclusion

As can be seen, these new features add to the already robust TeamMate Analytics feature set. Now – in addition to existing tools for sampling, visualization, custom modules and the test library – auditors can continue to use this easy to use Excel interface without concern of reaching a limitation by Excel.

Learn more about ADAs by watching an overview video and reading what your peers have to say about TeamMate Analytics.

P. S.

TeamMate Analytics is an integral part of Wolters Kluwer’s Integrated Audit Approach. The Integrated Audit Approach seamlessly unites CCH Audit Accelerator, CCH ProSystem fx Engagement, TeamMate Analytics, CCH ProSystem fx Knowledge Coach, and CCH Accounting Research Manager. Additionally, it also leverages our School of Audit. This combination of solutions helps firms:

  • Maximize realizations
  • Increase audit quality
  • Ensure peer review readiness

If you have not checked out these solutions and this approach, it is worth your time to do so. Consider attending a complimentary demo at a time that fits your schedule.

Finally, subscribe to the Audit Intelligence (AI) Spotlights monthly newsletter. Learn about audit news, whitepapers, webinars and more – delivered straight to your inbox.

AUTHOR

Kim Conaway

All stories by: Kim Conaway