Richard B. Lanza Payables Test Set for ACL

ISBN 13: 9780973181203

Payables Test Set for ACL

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9780973181203: Payables Test Set for ACL
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The Payables Test Set presents a comprehensive list of objectives that every audit of the accounts payable function must meet. Tests are translated into computer-aided audit routines and fully documented, including flowcharts and source code. Within the menu-driven interface you can start doing necessary, worthwhile work within a few minutes of opening either book. Every application is open-ended: you can include additional batches, customize existing ones, create a new interface, whatever you wish.

Presented in a coil-bound 128-page manual showing actual code next to helpful programming tips, explanatory diagrams, tables and flowcharts. Compatible with Versions 7 and 8 of ACL for Windows.

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From the Publisher:

If you own or are planning to buy ACL software – and especially before you pay thousands of dollars for training or custom applications -- buy this Test Set!

-- Jim Kaplan, founder of, calls the Payables Test Set "very rare . . . practical solutions to everyday audit situations" and "a must have"
-- recommended by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and sold by ACFE to its members
-- the first audit application ever built to deliver the same objectives and test functionality in ACL and IDEA environments.

This application began in 1997 with 101 ACL Applications, also by author Rich Lanza. Our editorial team refined its approach to creating ACL applications with the Fraud Toolkit for ACL, a separate book by David Coderre, in 2001. These are the world’s most widely used ACL application add-ons, with thousands of satisfied users. We have spent years collecting feedback from users, trainers, technical support staff, and sales people. We came to conclusions you need to hear.

First, the good news. Data analysis really can pay off enormously. Studies have shown 30 to 40 percent of all audit findings come from data analysis – considering recovery of duplicate payments, discovery of fraud, correction of wasteful practices and poor controls, and other benefits, the total return can be millions of dollars. A persistent, skilled analyst can create many times his salary in savings each year. And with today’s massive enterprise data systems, data analysis is the best way, maybe the ONLY way, to keep up with what is happening in the organization.

Now the not-so-good news. Audit data analysis software often involves high user frustration in the beginning, and a corresponding dropout rate. There are literally thousands of unused copies sitting on shelves in audit departments. Large organizations have an advantage because out of 20 or 50 auditors, one or two will turn out to be enthusiastic analysts and serve to support and mentor the rest of the team. Smaller organizations lacking a "power user" can wind up using the tool far below its capacities, or not at all. Does this sound like what you’ve experienced? Or are you new to audit data analysis and wondering what it will take to succeed?

For new users, frustrated ex-users, and power users, we offer a better way. The Payables Test Set for ACL is a bridge to carry you from your high-level audit objectives to actually performing systematic data analysis with the software.

-- It goes beyond the "general survey" approach of 101 ACL Applications, focusing on one audit area and covering it thoroughly, building on a proven menu-and-documentation format that users find exceptionally easy.

-- The core of the Payables Test Set is a checklist of nearly 60 audit questions that every organization must ask about the payables function. This checklist has been built with reference to all available professional resources, and is comprehensive.

-- Chapter by chapter, in a 128 page manual, each question is reviewed to determine what kind of data analysis is needed, if any. Alternative approaches are discussed by the author, explaining what has been proven to work and what doesn’t. Numerous flowcharts and other diagrams accompany the text.

-- Each data analysis task is automated using powerful ACL "batch" or scripting language, and the tasks are organized into a simple menu that parallels the structure of the book. A separate product, the Payables Test Set for IDEA, provides the same core questions, the same chapter structure, and the same tests.

-- Any level of user from beginner to expert can benefit. You can simply work through the book and the application menu, running tests, or you can look "under the hood" to see how the code works. The entire application is open to customization in whatever way you need for your circumstances. You can modify the menu to add new audit questions and new tests, or revise existing ones.

If you own ACL, this book is a must-have. For a fraction of the cost of training, consulting, or additional licenses, you can immediately improve the quality of your payables audit, and develop a systematic approach to data analysis.

-- As a training aid, the book will focus your efforts to learn the software, and will get you started early on productive tasks.

-- If you later hire a consultant, or wish to build a custom payables-audit application, the existing menu of tests will save countless hours and dollars.

-- Working with a standardized test set will multiply productivity and make your audits more rigorous and repeatable.

-- For power users who are already confident in developing applications, the Test Set can be a source of new ideas.

About the Author:

Richard B. Lanza is a leading authority on the use of data analysis with more than ten years of experience in auditing, training, and consulting. He is the author of "101 ACL Applications" (1997), as well as numerous articles in industry journals.

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