ACL Connections Recap - St. Louis ACL User Group

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July 31, 2013
Jan Beckmann, CPA, ACDA
Overall Message
 New leadership - Laurie Schultz, CEO
 Committed to improving ACL Analytics (desktop)
 New releases every 6 months with substantial
 Town hall meetings for user input
Conference Concepts
 Lots of how to apply for cost containment, retired
assets, fraud tests, accounts payable
 AX implementation case studies
 New technology demonstrations
 Management of a data analysis department
Technology Enhancements
 Version 9.3
 Fuzzy duplicates
 Color script editor and word wrap
 Version 10
 Execute command
 DateTime data type
 Open multiple tables at the same time
 Performance improvements
New Functions
CTODT() - converts character or numeric value to Date and Time
CTOT() - converts character or numeric value to a Time
STOD() - converts serial Date to Date
STOT() – converts serial Date to Time
STODT() - converts serial Date to Date and Time
DATETIME() - converts Date and Time to character
NOW() - returns the current system time
TODAY() - returns the current system date
CMOY() - returns the name of the month for a specified date
EOMONTH() - returns the last day of the month
GOMONTH() - returns the date X number of months away
YEAR() - extracts the year from a specified date
MONTH() - extracts the month from a specified date
DAY() - extracts the day of the month from a date
HOUR() - extracts the hour from a specified Date and Time
MINUTE() - extracts the minutes from a specified Date and Time
SECOND() - extracts the seconds from a specified Date and Time
Serial Date and Time
 ACL Analytics 10 uses serial Datetimes to evaluate date and
time values
 42004 = January 1, 2015
 42004.50000 = January 1, 2015 12:00:00
 0.75000 = 18:00:00
 New functions help convert these into recognizable date
and times:
 STOD() – Serial to Date
 STODT() – Serial to Date and Time
 STOT() – Serial to Time
Example of Execute Command
NOTE – consider security issues
 Open other applications and perform tasks required
by the script
 Open any file in its default application
 Perform file and folder administrative tasks
 Run external scripts or non-ACL batch files (.bat)
 Pass parameters to a batch file
 Run scripts in other projects
 Incorporate waiting periods in scripts
 Access data from network locations
Examples of Execute Command
 Use FTP to access data from remote locations
 Zip or unzip data
 Encrypt or decrypt data
 Integrate with SQL databases
 Incorporate Active Directory account lists
 Integrate with VBScript
 Incorporate Windows task scheduling in scripts
 Open web pages
“Change Your Thinking”
Jim Kaplan – Audit Net
Rich Lanza – Cost Recovery Specialists
Overcoming Obstacles…
 Plan on education and make it routine
 Meet every three weeks on analytics – no matter what
 Build a team of champions to coach the team
 Get everyone else involved…..even if it is with Excel to
 Make it part of annual objectives to learn the product
“Change Your Thinking”
Jim Kaplan – Audit Net
Rich Lanza – Cost Recovery Specialists
Top Data Import Mistakes
 Asking for data before understanding reporting needs
 Settling for lesser quality data extracts from the company
 Not knowing what is possible within the tool to import and
normalize data
 Not documenting (videotaping) past ways to obtain data
 Not asking for data early enough
 Not obtaining data routinely and building the expectation
(UK Bribery Office)
Maximizing Results to Add Value
How to use data analytics to make an impact with audit
 Key points:
 Build complementary skill sets (sales, journalism,
political, etc.)
 Sell your issues by providing solid, quantified backup
 Chase the complexity and look for new audit areas
 The “5 Whys” to get to the root cause
Creating Sustainable Analytics
Manuel Coello, GE

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