We can use stratification to highlight transactions that are ‘unusual’ and might require additional scrutiny. These transactions are unusual because their amounts deviate vastly from the expected amounts posted to the account.
Stratify a particular GL account to look for journal entries (JEs) that are outside of the normal range of values posted to the account.
- Obtain a dump of all the JEs from within the audit period you want to review
- Get it from someone in IT responsible for your ERP or core financial system (getting the data should be relatively easy for them to do!)
- Get it in a delimited text file format for easy importing.
- Include all key fields, but in particular things like: Description, Date, Amount, Employee ID, Account, etc.
- Import the JE data into AN using the import wizard.
- Filter for a specific GL account (select GL account with a typical range such a payroll expense, depreciation, lease payments).
- Apply the STATISTICS command on the posted amount (to determine the minimum and maximum values).
- Apply the STRATIFY command to visualize frequency of transactions within each strata. Use the Graph tab when stratifying to review the distribution visually!
- Identify any anomalies and drill down to investigate! Clicking on one of the strata will take you to the transaction details.
- You may also want to filter for specific transaction types (e.g. accrual entries, intercompany postings, etc.). How you do this will depend on your accounting application system.