Crime Capers and Fraud-Fighting Tips


ACL Blog: Crime Capers and Fraud-Fighting Tips

By ACL Insider

Last month, we ran a book giveaway contest within the ACL Services LinkedIn Group. After crossing paths with local author and Accountant Colleen Cross on twitter, we learned about her fascinating new series of crime capers starring Forensic Accountant Kat Carter. The first of the series is called Exit Strategy, a tale of international diamonds, danger and fraud and Colleen had signed 3 copies for our giveaway. To enter, our LinkedIn Group members had to give us their best fraud-fighting tip using ACL. Kreso, Ann and Stephanie won the random draw with these fraud-fighting tips:

Kreso Suntesic, Internal Auditor, Croatia Airlines

“How about fighting internet credit card fraud on airline on-line ticket sales on a daily basis? Using ACL scripts and various ACL functions; relate (online sales files with revenue accounting system files -two different systems related through PNR), refresh, duplicates, find, match (on fraudulent e-mail adresses, ip adresses…), soundslike function (when comparing CardHolderNames with CustomerNames), AT function to isolate most frequent routings where fraud occurs… Computed fields counting days between transaction date and first flight coupon date… ACL scripts which in cca 17 min produce risky transaction report (TKTs sorted by first flight coupon)… Small airline but in a year and a half of using ACL in online airline ticket sales managed to detect cca 200,000 USD worth internet credit card fraud.”

Ann Swain, Data Analysis Audit Manager, Wells Fargo

“How about comparing customer or employee SSN’s to the Death Master File to find possible fraudulent identities by using ACL and joining on SSN to find matches?”

Stephanie Braedel, IT Data Analytics Analyst, Global Internal Audit, General Mills

“Hire an ACL consultant to help you develop that award-winning script to detect fraud. They are the certified experts and I’m amazed by the knowledge they have and the efficiency and grace they hold to develop that one of a kind fraud detecting script. I have seen awesome things done with the join function.”

We hope the winners are enjoying their prize. We had asked Colleen to sign with the inscription of “From one Fraud-Fighter to another!”

Other notable fraud-fighting tips include entries from Billy, Jeremy and Brenda:

Billy Cheung, Senior Data Analyst, Mercy Health

“One trick that I’ve found useful is to take a page out of mathematical proofs, specifically proof by contradiction (reductio ad absurdum) and use JOINs to project possible ‘realities’ to compare against your existing data to find matches and/or inconsistencies.

For example, let’s say you are reviewing the results of employee background checks, and you know that each person has to have checks A, B, C and D done. If all you have is a list of tests done for each person and a list of employees, then a quick JOIN MANY between your employee list and the list of all necessary tests using a dummy primary and secondary key would give you what the data would look like if everyone has been vetted for every test. A quick JOIN UNMATCH against that list of tests done for each person, and you’ll know not only if you have people who haven’t been completely vetted, but also what is missing.”

Jeremy Clopton, Managing Consultant, BKD Advisors

“I think mastering the JOIN command in ACL is one of the best tips I could give. Many fraud cases involve some form of related parties or conflicts of interest. What better way to identify these relationships than with the JOIN command. Learning the variations of the command – primary matches, unmatched record, many-to-many – can help take the use of JOINs to the next level and help you identify relationships of which you might not otherwise be aware. Common attributes to use in identifying employee/vendor relationships include name, address, phone number and SSN.”

Brenda Buetow, Senior Manager, Forensic Services, Crowe Horwath

“My ACL fraud fighting tip is to document your scripts. What is the red flag/risk that is being tested, what are the fields required, which variables have thresholds and what is the justification for the threshold. The script will live on after the author of has moved on or forgotten why the script was generated in the first place.”

Nothing gets by these fraud experts! Colleen said she knows where to look and who to ask when researching her next novel…

Find out more: ACL Blog

Friday, June 1, 2012 In: Hot Topics Comments (None)

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