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General

19 easy to perform tests

The general tests provide the most flexibility for the auditor to perform tests. as they allow full flexibility as to processing parameters, extract parameters and file names. Altogether there are 19 audit procedures which can be performed as part of the General procedures. (Or you can use a specific application template such as accounts payable or procurement cards).

Perform any of the following tests:

  1. Population Statistics
  2. Round Numbers
  3. Gaps
  4. Holidays
  5. Weekends
  6. Benford’s Law
  7. Stratify
  8. Extract
  9. Holiday Extract
  10. Ageing
  11. Summarize
  12. Duplicates
  13. SSD
  14. Top “N”
  15. Bottom “N”
  16. Confidence Intervals
  17. Histogram
  18. Box Plot
  19. Pie Chart

Data source(s)

Audit data in any of the following formats:

  • Microsoft Access (2002/2007)
  • Microsoft Excel (2003/2007)
  • Text File (comma separated value)
  • Text File (tab separated value)
  • Dbase IV

Main Menu form:

The main form is divided into four tabs or sections –

The first tab is called “Form”, an example of which is shown below


Form Image


How to complete the form and run it

The form should be completed from left to right, top to bottom.

Step 1

The first form element to be completed is the data source being used. The data source is selected from the drop down list box and can consist of any of the following data sources:

  • Microsoft Access (2002/2007)
  • Microsoft Excel (2003/2007)
  • Text File (comma separated value)
  • Text File (tab separated value)
  • Dbase IV

Step 2

The first form element to be completed is the analytical function to be performed. The function is selected from the drop down list box and can consist of any of the following audit tests or procedures:

Step 3

The next form element to be completed is the selection of the specific location of the data to be tested. For Excel files and Access databases this will be the name of the file containing the information to be audited. For text files and Dbase IV files it will be the name of the directory containing the files to audited. Note that in order to audit data contained in text files, a special file (“schema.ini”) must be established. How do I do that?

To select the file or directory, a typical Windows type file explorer using a tree structure will be displayed. Although the default value for Excel is 2003 and the default value for Access is 2002, the later versions may be accessed using the drop down list of file types.

Step 4

The system now provides a default name for the text report which is prepared. If a different file name is desired, the name can be changed, either by using the menu system or simply by over typing the file name provided.

Step 5

The system now provides a default name for the chart file to be prepared, if any. If a different file name is desired, the name can be changed, either by using the menu system or simply by over typing the file name provided.

Note that the file extension for a chart file must be either “png” or “gif”.

Step 6

Depending upon the data source selected, more information as to the specific source can now be provided. The details depend upon the data source.

Microsoft Excel

The name of the worksheet containing the data must be selected from the drop down list.

Note that this drop down list will consist of values formatted as follows:

Sheet$ (where sheet is the name of the sheet)

SheetRange$ (where sheet range is the name of the range specified for a sheet)

Microsoft Access

The name of the table containing the data must be selected from the drop down list.

Text Files

The name of the text file containing the data must be selected from the drop down list.

Step 7

The name of the column of data to be analyzed must be selected from the drop down list. Depending upon the type of data being tested, this may be either a numeric data column, date column, etc. The type of column will be displayed on the system status bar. “D” is for date, “N” is for numeric and “A” is for alphabetic.

Some audit tests require that the data being tested be of a specific type. If the data is not of the required type, an error message will be displayed on the status bar.

Step 8

An optional step is to provide additional criteria to limit the scope of the test being performed. If criteria is left blank (i.e. no criteria provided) then the entire population will be subject to testing. However, if criteria is provided, then only those records which match the criteria will be analyzed.

A few examples may illustrate how criteria can be used in an audit:

  • The auditor wishes to perform a data stratification, but only for those inventory items located at location ‘ABC’. The criteria specified would be “location = ‘ABC’
  • The auditor wishes to test asset additions, but only those after July 1, 2008. The criteria specified would be “acquisition_date > #7/1/2008#

Criteria available to the auditor are extensive and there is an entire document on how they can be used.

Step 9

An optional step is to provide an explanation for the audit test being performed. This explanation will be included in the system generated log and may be used as part of the analysis documentation and audit work-papers.

Step 10

For some types of audit procedures, additional information will be prompted by the system. Examples include additional column names, ageing dates, types of tests for Benford’s law, etc. The auditor would then complete all this information, either by selecting from a drop-down list of else by typing in a value.

Step 11

Other information, such as chart parameters, can also be entered on the separated tab, “Chart Parameters’. This includes information such as Chart Title, labels for the chart axes, as well as the chart “theme”, i.e. the colors to be used.

Step 12

Once all the information has been entered, click the “OK” button to process the information. This will result in the system performing the test required. Clicking on the “Exit” button will close the form out and return the auditor to the main system menu.

Step 13

Once the system has performed the analysis, one or more of the following will result:

  • a text report will be written to the file location specified
  • a status update will be displayed on the status bar
  • a chart image will be written to the file location specified
  • the report results will be written to the chart tab “Report”

If a chart has been produced, a new button will be displayed which will be labeled “View Chart”. This button can be used to see the chart that was produced (Of course you can also view the chart with any number of other types of software as well as include the chart in a Word document or other work-paper).

Step 14

If desired, you can return to the form, make changes to the processing specifications and rerun the test with other parameters, or else run other audit procedures.

Other reports available: