IDEA 12 Boosts Auditors’ Productivity With Advanced Analytics

By Mike Martin


An improved user interface, hybrid web integration, and upgraded Python capabilities highlight Caseware’s recently launched IDEA 12, the latest version of the powerful audit analytics platform. Packed with these and many other new features, this latest release is designed to save auditors time and let them deliver additional value to their organizations.


“Audit professionals face the difficult task of balancing new challenges and emerging technologies with limited resources and time constraints,” said Douglas Wong, Director of Product Management, Analytics at Caseware. “IDEA 12 provides an agile, insights-driven approach for internal auditors that helps them keep pace with the transforming audit industry.”


A More Intuitive Interface


IDEA 12 allows auditors to move to a paperless audit software solution that can boost efficiency and productivity through several enhancements. 


Current IDEA users will immediately notice a more intuitive user experience featuring a new icon layout, streamlined contextual menus and better naming conventions, resulting in a simpler-to-use solution. The improved interface and navigation will save auditors time, help them find anomalies more quickly, and lead to better fraud prevention and detection.


“We spent a lot of time improving the user experience and information architecture throughout the application,” Wong explained. “These are all subtle changes, but they’re important for our users. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about the new look and feel.”


Integrated Web Capabilities Offer a Hybrid Experience


Auditors using IDEA 12 will be able to access external resources and information without leaving the IDEA platform, thanks to an integrated Microsoft Webview 2 browser. For example, an auditor may want to look for documentation, functional scripts or video links on the IDEA Passport site, or check out IDEA Lab, an innovation hub for analytics plugins. 


In the past, auditors had to access these sites through an external browser, which could be inconvenient and take more time. Now they can get to these resources with one simple click. An added benefit is the Microsoft browser is updated automatically with Windows patch updates, ensuring it’s always compliant and secure.


Smart Actions Drive Faster Investigations


New Smart Actions functionality lets auditors take advantage of Google Search, Maps and Translate directly from within the IDEA platform. 


An auditor, for instance, might want to do more research on a transaction that was flagged as an exception by making sure the supplier tied to the transaction is legitimate. Using the Smart Action function, they could simply click on the supplier’s address and call up a Google Maps search from within IDEA to make sure the supplier exists and is located where it’s supposed to be. This leads to quicker investigations and more accurate results.


“It’s a fast way for you to verify vendor information without having to leave the IDEA platform,” Wong said.


Upgraded Python Support for New Scripts and Plugins


Power users will be excited about IDEA 12’s upgrade to the latest version of the Python programming language. This will allow them to create their own Python scripts using the most updated range of libraries and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to automate time-intensive, manual tasks.


IDEA 12’s upgraded Python support also means auditors will have access to a wider range of Python-based IDEA Lab plugins for advanced analytics.


IDEA 12 also comes with an embedded Python script editing capability, meaning auditors no longer need to edit code on external text editors and paste it into IDEA. This not only saves time, but reduces the chances of an error occurring when transferring code from an external editor into IDEA.


Faster Data Summarization


IDEA 12 features an improved Quick Summarization function, which now has no limitations on output database size, the number of fields to summarize, the number of fields to total, and the number of statistics. This means auditors can now analyze 100 percent of their data without constraints on the fields, and generate more accurate results.


Quick Summarization can now deliver results four times faster than before, speeding up the audit planning process by quickly identifying focus areas.


Helping Auditors Deliver Value to Their Organizations


Time wasted performing manual tasks is one of the top challenges internal auditors face, according to Caseware’s 2022 State of Internal Audit Trends Report. Thirty-one percent of the 4,000 respondents who took the survey that the report is based on cited moving from manual processes to more efficient workflows as their top challenge, while 27 percent said adopting new audit technology was their biggest concern.


The survey also found 44 percent of auditors believe they have to prove their worth to their organization.


“IDEA 12 automates repeatable steps, while improving productivity and efficiency, enabling auditors to focus on critical tasks that require their professional judgment and expertise,” Wong said. “It lets you bring extra value to your organization by saving you time that used to be spent on repetitive, manual processes.” 


IDEA 11 users can easily upgrade to the new version from Passport. To learn more or get started on IDEA 12, get in touch with our Caseware Experts today.