ACL Success Story – Transportation – Emirates Airline

 2011-03-01

Emirates Airline

“It can be said that ACL is the ‘Genie’ that is producing magical results for Emirates Internal Audit.”

Kalpesh S. Vashi, Information Systems Audit Manager, Emirates Airline

With head office operations in Dubai and corporate stations around the world, Emirates’ Internal Audit department must review more than 300 audit centers. The team spent considerable time downloading, formatting and preparing data for review of critical business information. The process was prone to errors and omissions, while the data was often fragmented.

The IA team implemented ACL technology and has now automated many of those previously manual, tedious and time-consuming tasks. Users simply open an ACL project, execute the relevant scripts and pre-defined PDF-format reports are automatically downloaded after the script has run. With ACL, the Emirates audit team has saved hundreds of labour days, while at the same time ensuring complete data coverage. Continuous monitoring capabilities, with valuable analytical and exception reports, have also grown through ACL implementation.

The Need for Broader Audit Coverage

Emirates’ Internal Audit department reviews more than 300 audit centers, covering departments and functions located at the airline’s Head Office in Dubai as well as its stations across the world. Audit centers used to be reviewed at least once every three years. With greater audit automation and continuous monitoring of critical business areas, IA management believes the audit cycle can be cut to two years.

Station audits cover the business’ operational, commercial and financial aspects. Data preparation, using spreadsheets as the primary tool, was manual, time-consuming and resource-intensive, with a considerable risk of errors and omissions. Analysis, inevitably, took a back seat.

HO monitoring controls require a consolidated view of station accounting data, which could reside in different systems. Sometimes, the information was fragmented and difficult to retrieve and compare. Consequently, auditors were forced to perform random sampling – a technique that could leave some control weaknesses unidentified.

Significant Time and Resource Savings

Emirates Group Internal Audit chose ACL analytics to automate many of the time-consuming manual audit tasks. The audit team developed custom ACL scripts that cut several hundred hours of manual labour and data generation down to just minutes!

Data generation and analysis for both station and HO audits can now be done with just a few mouse clicks – even with data from different accounting systems and remote locations. As a result, the IA team’s focus now can be on meaningful, business-critical analyses, which address crucial business risks. The reduced occurrence of error has also boosted confidence and provided a higher level of organisation-wide assurance.

Following is a summary of the results:

  • Dramatically less time required to extract, prepare, format and generate information for audits – in some cases, several weeks worth of labour has been cut to 10 minutes or less
  • Fewer manual errors and omissions with complete data coverage, rather than random sampling
  • Deeper, more thorough data analysis with higher quality results and a standardised reporting format
  • Continuous monitoring that quickly identifies exceptions and control gaps, and provides greater business assurance
  • Targeted analysis that can automatically be conducted across disparate corporate systems and data formats
Why ACL?

ACL was selected based on its processing power and data access capabilities. Reputation of ACL’s global support program was another deciding factor. Emirates’ Internal Audit department uses ACL throughout the audit cycle and finds the solution particularly useful in the planning phase.

Outlook

As a result of their productivity gains, Emirates’ Internal Audit department is able to cover more and more areas with ACL, which is generating interest from the finance department. ACL technology will continue to be applied across various audit areas to identify inefficient processes and control weaknesses.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011 In: Client Success Stories, Hot Topics Comments (None)

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