Auditor Spotlight: Bistra Dimitrova
Q: Why did your organization start using data analysis software?
A: A few years ago, we had several IT systems housing different operational and financial data that didn’t interact with one another. It was challenging to combine the information to create the holistic view we needed to draw meaningful conclusions and produce accurate audit results.
We started looking for a data analysis software that would analyze data from different systems, was easy to implement and use, and robust enough to support our growing business and audit needs. After reviewing several options, we decided to purchase IDEA and we haven’t looked back.
Q: In what phase of the audit do you use data analytics?
A: We use data analytics in all phases of the audit. During the planning stage, we use it for scoping and sizing. During fieldwork, we use IDEA because we can analyze the entire population, which would not be possible with manual analysis. IDEA makes it easy to create new tests and narrow the population so we can focus on anomalies and exceptions.
For example, in a scenario where 95% of the population is compliant, we need to identify the 5% that isn’t. Data analytics make it possible for us to look for specific infractions or patterns and narrow hundreds of thousands of records to a manageable few.
In reporting, we use data analytics to quantify our results accurately without extrapolation, which makes them much more meaningful.
Q: Which IDEA functions do you love to use?
A: I use all of IDEA’s functions! One of the things that I really like is that I can use any file type. It doesn’t matter if it is a PDF, .txt or a .csv file, I can throw them into IDEA and extract the information I need.
Recently, I needed to combine two Excel files with 60 tabs and numerous records in each into one file. I was certain that IDEA wouldn’t be able to handle the import, but to my pleasant surprise it took the tool less than two minutes to import the files.
All of the data was imported, there were no blank or missing fields, and I could append all of the tabs very quickly. Just a couple of hours later and I was done with my analysis. Imagine trying to append 120 tabs and then manipulating a file of that size in Excel—it would take forever!
To learn more about how other auditors are using IDEA to improve their audits, check us out on SlideShare, where you can find more Auditor Spotlights and a variety of information and tips for using IDEA.
About Anu Sood:
Anu Sood is the Director of Product and Corporate Marketing at CaseWare Analytics and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy. Prior to CaseWare Analytics, Anu worked in various roles in the high-tech industry and her accomplishments range from writing software for telephone switches to launching a new global satellite communication service. Anu has extensive experience in strategic marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, content marketing, product management, product marketing and technology development.