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These tools can automate parts of your audit

GettyImages-850496336You’ve heard a lot about data analytics. But do you know how to use them to automate parts of your audit? From journal entry testing to inventory counts, a new AICPA mapping guide shows you how data analytic products on the market today align with general audit procedures.

The free Audit Data Analytics to Audit Procedures mapping document provides a direct link for nearly 100 audit procedures, covering areas like risk assessment, journal entries, accounts receivable, inventory, intangibles, accounts payable, income taxes, and more.

For example, one traditional procedure involves identifying the population of journal entries to be selected for testing. The mapping document provides two specific examples of how products on the market could help automate this task:
  • Caseware: “Importing the database from Accounting packages/ERP using connector or export/import using CSV. Conduct proper reconciliation to ensure data integrity by using Field Statistics and Summarization and compare with reports from client.”
  • ACL: “Stratify General Ledger Accounts – Stratify a particular GL account to look for journal entries that are outside of the normal range of values posted to the account; ACL Inspirations for GL Analysis.”

Another traditional procedure requires auditors to accurately count and record items a client owns or is responsible for. The mapping document provides the following examples of tools available for this procedure:

While the AICPA mapping tool provides references to specific vendors and products, including Oversight and Confirmations.com, it does not specify a preference for one tool over the other. Rather, the goal is to show practitioners what is available in the marketplace and how they can use it to automate traditionally manual tasks. The AICPA will update it periodically as new data analytic tools become available.

In addition to offering examples of products on the market today, the mapping document matches traditional audit procedures with the:

  • industry they cover (if applicable)
  • relevant audit assertions
  • type of procedure being performed
  • phase of the audit
  • applicable auditing standard
  • significant account being tested
  • relevant AICPA and PCAOB standards
  • relevant AICPA Audit Data Standards

For more information on how you can incorporate audit data analytics into your practice, visit the AICPA’s Audit Data Analytics website and check out the Advanced Accounting and Auditing Curriculum at the ENGAGE Conference this June.

Lindsay N. Patterson, CAE, Senior Manager — Communications and Public Relations, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants


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