From my perspective there are 5 core areas to anticipate challenges when growing your audit/fraud analytics program: Technology, Talent, Project Management, Bugs and Standards.
- Technology: Your analytics program will likely start out with tools such as Excel or some other audit analytic software (ACL, IDEA, Arbutus). But it’s possible you may come to a point where these technology solutions aren’t as effective as they used to be. Most likely this will happen as you begin to greatly expand your continuous monitoring program or develop a need to frequently access your organizations large transactional databases. So, always be on the look out for new technologies that can take your team to the next level. Tools like SQL server, SAS, Business Objects are a good start.
- Talent: As you move into bigger tools you will also need a bigger investment in people. Managing data will be important and folks with previous experience in database development, extract-transform-load (ETL) processes and data analysis will be unbelievable helpful. If using Microsoft tools, someone having a certification like the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) would be good. You will also need folks with experience analyzing data. Business Analysts from varying parts of your organization often have the unique combination of business and data knowledge needed to be effective at this job.
- Project Management: Great news! You’ll find you get a lot more done with a bigger team and better tools. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have many projects open at any given time and your processes for managing them will have to change. Social themed project management software like Zoho, LiquidPlanner, AgileZen are good to check out.
- Bugs: I know! I know! You told yourself your reports will never breakdown or have issues like the ones put out by your organizations IT department. Well, I have some bad news for you: It’s going to happen. You’re going to make the greatest continuous monitoring reports your department has ever seen and just when you think all is great they’re going to break. Mostly likely because the source data you’re using is constantly being changed/updated by IT for various reasons. If you’re lucky, they’ll let you know but probably they won’t. And that gets us to the final area……
- Standards: Standards will be necessary to ensure you create quality products that can be efficiently managed. They will be necessary to help prevent bugs in your reports and to alert you when something has broken.