Key Word Analytics – New Survey, Worldwide Tabulation Project & Complimentary Webinar Released by Auditnet®

2014-07-01
AuditNet® launched a new survey on Keyword Analytics in an effort to collect keywords from all audit, fraud, and finance professionals.  We invite you to complete this survey, which will give you access to the entire list  (already in the thousands of words!).  Further, the results of the research will be provided as part of a free CPE webinar for survey participants where each attendee will also receive sample ACL code to assist their key words analytic efforts. This webinar will take place early December and all survey respondents will receive an invitation.

Origin of the Survey
Key Word Analytics recently gained popularity in approach due to searches completed for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and even more recently for financial statement fraud. Traditional approaches to assessing compliance with FCPA and anti-corruption typically involved reviewing policies and procedures against best practice, designating various controls as anti-fraud controls and reviewing controls and documenting sample transactions.

Auditors can use ACL Analytics to design scripts to to flag FCPA transactions for research that are missing core descriptions, or display other significant items unusual in nature, such as a high incidence of key words. Key words such as “Gifts”, “For Services Rendered,” “Facilitation” or other terms can be used to search through data files to identify their occurrence and increasing use over time. Furthermore, while searches can start with traditional data sources such as the accounts payable, travel & entertainment, and the general ledger, they can quickly move to other business communications such as data files, Emails or Web searches and other meta data sources.

In the webinar, techniques will be discussed on how auditors can use ACL Analytics to perform the key word searches, against file names itself, as well as the content of the file.

Analytics  can also identify transactions with suspicious key words for financial reporting risk such as “Per CFO”, “Increase Revenue” and “Balance Account”.  This is where auditors, accountants and compliance professionals now employ Fraud Triangle Analytics (FTA) which links electronic communications to the Fraud Triangle.   The Fraud Triangle was developed by criminologist Dr. Donald R. Cressey and identifies three components present wherever fraud exists: (1) incentive or pressure, (2) opportunity, and (3) rationalization.  For example, words like “Sounds reasonable” being used in an increasing manner by someone or a department may indicate more likelihood of rationalization for the fraud.  Similar to FCPA analytics, financial statement fraud analysis may start with traditional data sources such as manual journal entries but can quickly be expanded to fruitful data sources such as Email, Word documents, Powerpoint, and Web searches.

Need for a Worldwide List of Words and an Approach
The new survey serves a need whereby most companies are searching with a thin list of words, mostly self-developed, and mainly researched using Web searches. The word tabulation portion of the survey will collect words (already in the thousands) from all and provide a combined list, summarized into Excel and text formats. There are also plans in the next few months to translate the survey results into a variety of languages while understanding which words are being used the most by organizations. Top words hoped to be identified from an FCPA, financial statement audit, and any other perspective deemed useful (i.e., quality management).

Aside from the tabulation of words, the survey also hopes to better answer the question of (1) what approaches to use with the list of key words, (2) who is doing what and (3) which data sources to analyze (see samples below).

1) Key Word Analytics – Who is doing what?

  • To the size of the department
  • To whether they perform FCPA work
  • To the types of auditing they perform in the department

2) Approaches to Using Key Words

  • Look at the trend by month over the last 12 months in the use of key words to total words appearing within the general ledger
  • Identify key words that are newly being used in the current year but in no prior periods
  • Locate employees using the most incidences of key words per the company

3) Data Sources

  • Accounts Payable
  • Sales Ledgers
  • Travel & Entertainment
  • General Ledger
  • Business Communications – Emails, MS Word, Powerpoint, and Excel documents

Please participate in this worldwide key words tabulation study by Clicking Here

(Source: ACL Blog)

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