Auditors need to confirm the validity of their data before they move on to any analysis of the data. Auditors do this because data integrity is a key goal of their work and so when it is data they are analysing it is important that the data has integrity.
To understand the data in front of you, first perform the basic three steps (Total, Count, and Statistics) to test the validity, accuracy, and completeness of the data you have just imported.
In this example I am using the Total, Count and Statistics commands on a credit card transaction file to achieve the following:
Total: Check the Balance column equals the Amount + Transaction fees columns
Count: Make sure all credit card transactions are available for analyses and have been entered into the credit card log
Statistics: Obtain a basic statistical overview of the transactions made using a purchasing card
It is good audit practice to have requested these same pieces of information from those providing you the data so that you can reconcile these results. If they reconcile, then you have confidence that the file you have received matches the file your client expects you to be working on.
1. Select the Total icon in the overview, or alternatively select Analyze – Total
2. Select the fields to Total
3. Results will be displayed in the Command Log as follows:
Check the expected total values to ensure consistency. In this example, I am looking for the total of the Amount field plus the total of the Transaction fees column to equal the Balance. To determine this, I did a total count on both columns, and added them together. I compared the sum (2027, Amount, + 6,Transaction fees) to the final Balance (2033) to verify the data.
1. Select the count icon in the overview., or alternatively, select Analyze – Count
2. The record count will be displayed in the Command Log as follows:
Check with your data provider or other source for the record count to ensure all records have been provided.
1. Select the statistics icon in the overview, or alternatively select Analyze-Statistics
2. Select the numerical field you wish to generate statistics for
Statistics will be displayed in the Command Log. In this example I wanted to get a statistical overview for the Amount field. The Statistics command provides me with an overview of the number, total, and averages in a range of areas, as well as the top 5 highest and lowest numerical entries in this field.
For the purpose of a credit card review, I looked at the number of positives and negatives (representing debits and credits) and clicking the blue hyperlinks to drill into each. Clicking on the blue hyperlink for the negatives automatically generated the filter Amount<0 in the view, allowing me to see only the credits.
Press the red cross on the left hand side to cancel the filter and return the view to the full data set. Note: to make negatives appear in red for easy viewing, double click on the field name and select Display negatives in red.