IDEA’s analysis capabilities are endless. You can use IDEA as a discovery or forensic tool to identify anomalies in the accounting data.
Here are just a few examples of how IDEA can be used:
- Extractions – (aka: exception testing) Identify records with specific attributes. You can perform up to 50 extractions or exception tests with one pass through the database
- Sort – Create a new database sorted and stored in a specific order
- Search – Find text within fields of a database or multiple databases
- Group – Organize matching records in indexed fields into expandable/collapsible groups
- Field Statistics – Statistics can be generated for all numeric, date and time fields within a database, allowing you to compare values, numbers, dates and times
- Field Manipulation – Creates new fields (such as data normalization, recalculations, and conditional results)
- Stratification – Totals the number and value of records within specified bands
- Summarization – Accumulates the values of numeric fields for each unique key or multiple keys and results can be graphed or drilled into for more research
- Pivot Table – Creates multi-dimensional, multi-variable analyses of large data files
- @functions – IDEA includes more than 100 @functions, designed to perform complex calculations and exception testing
- Sampling – Sampling is a fundamental part of audit work, and IDEA simplifies sample creation while offering multiple methodologies
Overall, IDEA helps you look at the data from different angles to gain greater insight into the organization’s business activities. It can also be used to perform exception testing to spot internal control weaknesses and provide recommendations for improvement.