IDEA Lab: The Innovation Hub That Makes Auditors’ Lives Easier and Work Simpler

It’s a common problem: how do you account for exchange rates when calculating expenses?


You could use an average of the exchange value over a period of time, or you could look up the precise exchange rate on the day of the transaction and calculate based on that.


The first option lacks precision, while the second is tedious and time-consuming. Wouldn’t a better way be some system that automatically calculates the value for you, based on the actual exchange rate from the day of the transaction? Wouldn’t that save time and yield precise results?


Enter IDEA Lab


That’s the thinking we had in mind when we designed IDEA Lab, an innovation hub for IDEA-related resources that makes accountant’s lives easier and their work faster. With just one of our apps—the currency converter—you can have exchange-rate accurate calculations in just seconds and in the currency of your choice, without having to look anything up, all from within the IDEA platform with which you are already familiar.


That’s why we developed IDEA Lab: to save you time and eliminate the need for a new program to do the things you need to do.


With IDEA Lab, users can access, download, comment on, and test working prototypes of IDEA script macros, Python scripts, IDEA-related resources, and more. The best part is using these apps requires no programming knowledge—installing these apps is no more difficult than installing a new app on your phone or a new extension in your web browser.


No Programming Experience Needed


IDEA Lab was designed specifically to give auditors and users with no programming experience under-the-hood access to our solution so that they can create specific solutions and tools tailored to their business and then share those user-created tools by uploading them for use with the wider IDEA Lab community.


Included with your subscription to IDEA (version 11 and later), IDEA Lab displays right in your default web browser. From there, you can download working app prototypes and add them to your IDEA projects. And if you find a useful app, you can pin those IDEA script macros and Python scripts to the IDEA ribbon so that you always have easy access.


Some of the many current plugins include:


  • Outliers: For identifying unusual items using various algorithms
  • Fuzzy Join: Compares two idea databases by looking for possible duplicates between the two databases.
  • Range Join: Joins records between two databases based on date range, numeric range, or time. This powerful tool allows you to, for example, search for employees who submitted travel expenses for periods when they were on vacation. In seconds you’ll get a result, saving you possibly hours of searching and cross-referencing.


And all apps include brief (5-6 minutes) instruction videos to walk you through the feature before you download and install. Learn more about all of the wild applications of IDEA Lab for data analytics in fraud investigations.


With eight plug-ins currently, and more available in the coming months, IDEA Lab will be your go-to solution for speeding up your workflow and leveraging community-built tools to improve your day-to-day.


To learn more about IDEA Lab—or if you have an idea for an app you’d like to see included in our suite of time-saving solutions—click here now