Efficient auditing is expected for compliance with government regulatory structures and risk management at the organizational level. However, due to the difficulty of corporate processes and the types of financial audits that businesses may perform, auditing has become complicated and difficult. Businesses are beginning to recognize the value of audit tools in the auditing process. In today’s corporate world, using a spreadsheet-based framework to handle internal audit activities is no longer viable. Auditing software is used by businesses for a variety of purposes, including checking and sampling customer results and documents. The paper will discuss different auditing software by analyzing their purpose, capabilities, examples of how companies use them, and their auditing capacity. The paper will further discuss the benefits of the software and how they will be used in the context of a SEC Company of my choice.
The paper will review two important auditing software; ACL and IDEA. ACL stands for Auditing Command Language. It was started in 1987 and offers continuous monitoring software, data analytics, compliance management, cloud-based audit and risk and audit management consulting services. The software is recognized by reputable organizations such as Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Institute of Internal Auditors and the Association of College and University Auditors. ACL data analysis capabilities are tailored to help auditors and other risk management personnel to conduct a comprehensive analysis of financial data with much efficiency (Fineberg, 2013). It assists auditors to control breakdowns that may expose organizations to financial risk. The software is also critical sampling huge sets of data and irregularities in financial transactions. ACL offers functionalities like metrics, dash boarding and reporting to audit teams and other interested parties. The software also has tracking ability providing a complete view of activities required from different employees within a firm (Fineberg, 2013). A broad number of factors make fraud detection a very complicated venture in the business context. They include large volumes of data, the cunning nature of fraudsters, ever-changing business environment and the technicality of the information management systems. In terms of audit capacity, the ACL software has effective fraud detection capabilities. The software can run and create complex tests that are tailored to detect fraud at any level. These tests run automatically and are thus able to detect fraud at any time. As such it can be able to uncover anomalies and errors in financial transactions.
In the context of A Securities Exchange Commission Company like the Bank of America Corporation, I would use the ACL accounting software to standardize and streamline critical activities and improve organizational efficiency and productivity. For instance, I would use the software to track workflow using its dash boarding, visualization and reporting capabilities. I would also utilize it to reduce the amount of time spent on unnecessary and low-value activities and instead focus more attention on risk-prone areas.
The software has enormous benefits like saving on costs by eliminating the need for external audits, tight internal controls, and continuous monitoring of financial transactions. The software can be used in a broad range of industries including healthcare, insurance, telecommunication and retail among others.
Data analysis is the most complex activity for accountants, auditors, and other finance professionals. Collecting and compiling data from various areas of business and different formats take a lot of time and present a big challenge to auditors. Fortunately, there is an auditing tool called IDEA that can analyze data quickly and comprehensively. The auditing software is also easy to use and provides more data integrity. IDEA auditing software has several useful functionalities. The software can import data and financial records from different areas like ERP systems, databases, and spreadsheets. IDEA is the initial for Interactive Data Extraction and Analysis.
The software protects the integrity of information by offering read-only capabilities for outsiders. IDEA explores and visualizes data by creating charts which help auditors to detect patterns and trends. It also keeps a record of every stage of the audit for future reference. The software file integration functionalities improve productivity and quality. It provides an opportunity to examine financial information and generate customized reports. The software can perform various functions like displaying, reading, analyzing, manipulating and extracting financial information from different sources by its user-friendly interface. The software gets more work done in less time adding value to the organization. It is applied in various areas like fraud and risk control, internal audit and can also be used in other fields that rely heavily on data. The functionalities of IDEA include importation of information from various files, performing complex calculations, comparison of data, testing of strange items and recording a trail of operations. Other functions include analysis of data and the selections of samples using random or systematic methods (CaseWare Analytics).
The benefits of IDEA auditing software are enormous. The auditing tool provides audit assessment audits and ensures that the integrity of financial information is safe by providing read-only access (CaseWare Analytics).
In auditing capacity IDEA helps auditors to conduct financial analysis in a short time and detect errors and breakdowns. The software detects duplicates, identify the relationship between different sets of data, identify particular patterns and offer a complete analysis of financial data.
IDEA software helps auditors to offer their services fast and efficiently. The software assists in streamlining the audit process and reduces the need for manual verification of operations. This brings value to the business by cutting costs and saving a lot of time. Minimal errors and gaps in financial transaction inspire investor confidence and enhance the corporate image of a company.
In the context of the Security Exchanges Commission Company like the Bank of America Corporation, I would use the IDEA software to detect errors in financial transactions and identify specific patterns in financial transactions. I would use the file stratification capability offered by IDEA to auditing various assets such as inventories and account receivables. I would also utilize the software to test for items in the financial transactions that do not relate and checking for missing links and duplicates in information databases (CaseWare Analytics).
The value of auditing has tremendously increased with rising commercial needs and the need to comply with the regulatory framework. Auditors are now looking for auditing mechanisms that increase internal visibility and efficiently manage risks using limited resources. Auditing is a critical component of corporate governance. Businesses that manage their corporate governance poorly, risk damaging their corporate image and destroying customer relations. Computer-aided audit methods are utilized to detect errors, duplications and fraud fast and efficiently. They are utilized to execute tasks that would take ages to perform using old-fashioned techniques. They help auditors to execute tasks that cannot be performed manually, together with saving time and cost.
CaseWare Analytics. (n.d). Caseware Idea: the trusted Data Analysis Software. Retrieved Oct. 20, 2017, from https://www.casewareanalytics.com/products/idea-data-analysis
Fineberg, S. (2013). ACL Upgrades Analytics and GRC Software. Accounting Today. Retrieved Oct. 20, 2017, from https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/acl-upgrades-analytics-and-grc-software