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  • Abdul Arriff Jalal

How to Choose an Audit Analytics Tool for Your Computer Assisted Audit Techniques (CAATs)


Modern internal audit departments are currently faced with the task of identifying the best audit analytics tool. Since they must do this with a few people and smaller budgets, they are forced to adapt to rapid changes in business processes and organizational structure.


Faced with these challenges, many audit departments receive feedback that their findings and audit processes did not add any value. With this in mind, audit departments require a high quality and efficient data analytics tool for their CAATs.


Although analytics can never replace the experience and expertise of a veteran auditor, it allows them to perform detailed procedures and in-depth complex assessments. Increasingly becoming popular, computer assisted audit techniques (CAATs) are currently being used throughout the industry to help the internal auditor with a more detailed analysis of large amounts of data for fraud detection and further analysis.


While CAAT has been around for years, auditors are finding it easier to use it to analyze large amounts of data. With CAAT, you can access the data stored in your machine without depending on the client. You can also test the reliability of the tool, increase the accuracy of the audit tests, and perform the tests more efficiently so as to get a more cost-effective audit. So how do you choose an audit analytics tool for your CAAT?


How to Choose an Analytics Tool

While regular audits can help drive growth, unearth weaknesses, and help businesses achieve a competitive advantage, choosing the right analytics tool is a huge challenge. Here is how to choose the right tool.


Consider Your Audit Engagement

Since there is no right or wrong audit analytics tool, knowing your engagement and determining which audit tests you perform often is quite crucial. So, look at which tools can perform those tests well and whether your staff can easily master the process.


If you have several hires, it’s important to determine whether they already know how to use a particular audit analytics tool. This will give you more reasons to choose it for your auditing needs. By having the best users, the rest of your staff will get up to speed faster.


Request For a Trial

It’s also important to talk to the vendors and ask them for a trial. Once they give you take your time and run real client data through the software. You should also re-perform the selected procedures that you had done before to see if there are any differences between the tool and what you used before. This will help you leverage the best tool.

Make sure you try out the audit analytics tool on different clients, accounting systems, and industries. This way, you’ll know whether it’s the right tool for your CAAT and determine the kind of procedure you can carry out with the tool.


Understand Your Expectations

The goal here is for the tool to make it easier to do your work in a complete fashion and ensure that the final report is credible. If you are only looking for a system of record, a less sophisticated tool will help you. Provided you have a place to type and link things, you’ll not have any problem ensuring that your work stored in such a way that it can be accessed when needed.


Audit Planning

Many of the audit analytics tools currently have a concept that allows for planning. For audit persecution, your tool should concentrate on areas that your business needs the most. This means choosing a tool that can help you conduct mini-assessments and rank each unit in terms of risks. However, it’s important to know that the mere fact that a tool is bigger doesn’t mean it’s better. So just ensure that your audit analytics tool for your CAAT can handle the ideas of assessments, auditable units, and organization units.


Automation

If you are looking for the best audit analytics tools for your CAAT, a certain degree of automation is very important in preventing duplicated efforts, errors, and oversights. It will also help you reduce the administrative burden associated with the auditing process. Apart from solving and escalating issues in a timely manner, the right tool should automatically remind you of certain tasks.


Reporting Options and Scheduling

A good audit analytics tool should provide you with reporting options and audit closure. Generated analysis must allow you to analyze and audit all the results including CAPA outcomes. You should also focus on a tool that can help you gather feedback, results, and report. Further, it should enable schedule recurring and one-off audits.


Affordability

Different analytics solutions have their own licensing model, such as named or concurrent user licensing. An effective audit analytics tool for your CAAT should come at a subscription cost and a reasonable basis. This way, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the right tool. Instead of paying more than you should, shop around and compare the features and the prices. By doing this, you’ll end up with the right audit tool.


Integration of Audits with the BI Reporting

The right tool should allow you to produce findings and provide reporting to all the stakeholders, which will be automated and require no further action from the user end. process goes off. The automated audit can also be integrated with business intelligence tools which all stakeholders can review on together. It should allow you to automatically trigger alerts in your your findings.


Conclusion

With the internal audit currently faced with the task of providing increased value and efficiency in an operating environment, choosing the right audit analytics tool for your CAAT is the way to go.


Doing this will not only provide you with immediate value but also offer you value-added and unique insights throughout the process so as to cover more risks, more locations, and more transactions. So provided you know the needs of your company you’ll end up with the right tool.


If you need help to build the data analytics capabilities for your team, please reach out to us for a further discussion.

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