Data preparation and analysis is an important aspects of information system auditing, which in most cases is a pre-audit activity. Depending on the area to be audited and its scope, data analysis may be required to validate the integrity of transactions, customer information or confidential business data. Data analysis may also be required for income validation (i.e. revenue assurance) and fraud detection and trend analysis. It is important that the IT audit team prepares data ahead of the audit engagement to enable it gain traction and speed when the real audit starts. To gain access to the data required for the audit, the audit team request access to the database where data of interest are stored.
Computer assisted audit tools (CAAT) such as ACL (audit command language) or IDEA are commonly used to extract and analysis the data in a more efficient manner. First, the CAAT tools are used to extract the data by establishing ODBC connection to the database of interest. The data are exported to the CAAT tool where specified queries, filters and logics are applied to make sense of the data and achieve a desired outcome. Result of the analysis can be used to perform further audit testing or essentially confront the audit clients for their explanation on observed anomaly or breach of business rules.
For details on how to perform revenue assurance using CAAT tool like ACL, click here
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