In today’s complex operating environment, businesses are processing thousands of transactions through IT systems, and are becoming increasingly reliant on IT processes. Data analysis is an important tool to assess large volumes of data, in order to identify anomalies and trends. Ever increasingly, businesses need to be able to perform complex analysis techniques using the latest data analytics tools in order to remain current and competitive.
Gaining a deeper insight into a business’ data can result in more efficient and effective business practices, as well as reduce levels of exposure to fraud, loss and wastage. Businesses now need to fully and intimately understand their operational activities and the data required to improve these.
Possible risks addressed by data analytics
- Unauthorised payments
- Fictitious employees and vendors
- Suspicious transactions, journals and activities
- Duplicate or redundant data
- Compliance with financial controls
Benefits of data analytics
- More extensive audit coverage
- Improves overall risk assessment
- Identifies data anomalies, trends and data issues
- Identifies control breakdowns in business processes
- Identifies revenue leakage and excess expenditure
- Identifies potential fraud risks
- Supports decision making
- Adds value by providing a deep insight into your data
- Benchmarking against industry leaders
Using Data Analytics
Data Analytics is about more than just running tests; it is the entire process of ensuring adequate data is collected, verified, understood and processed in order to create meaningful and enduring insights for your business.
At Crowe Horwath, our team can add value to you and your business by assisting with:
Discussing your requirements with you to develop an understanding of the processes, systems and tests that your business requires.
Consideration of the best methods of data collection, through regular data feeds and ongoing analysis practices.
Data Integrity Verification
We assist by performing integrity checks and validation of your data. We also reconcile your data to its source. By doing so this ensures completeness and data quality assessments to identify conversion or other formatting issues.
Performing the agreed analytics tests and undertaking further testing where initial results highlight concerns.
Reporting on summary findings and providing detailed formats with graphic representations.
There is an immediate call for action, particularly in today’s challenging and fast changing business operating environment, which data analytics can answer. How well do you understand your business? To find out more about data analytics and how this may assist your business, speak to a Crowe Horwath Audit and Assurance adviser.
This article was written by Les Foy, Senior Partner – Audit & Assurance and Advisory Services.