This is the third of 3 posts; this post describes how I audited the auditors and my perspective on the whole thing.
Read the first post (background) and the second post (audit results).
This is the second of 3 posts; this post describes the audit, some speed bumps, and the audit results.
Read the first post here, which provides the background on the audit and the audit’s scope.
Usually, I’m the one doing the auditing, but this time, I (Mack) was the one who was audited.
It was a great experience for me.
Well, sort of. No one likes being audited (ahem). But it gave me a fresh perspective of how others feel when I audit them.
This is the first of 3 posts; this post contains some background info on the project that was audited, and the second one discusses the audit and the results, and in the third post, I describe my perspective on the whole thing, and some takeaways.
Rumors have it that ACL will no longer be available on the desktop (laptop, or other local machine) in 5 years.
That is, according to an ACL user who attended the 2018 ACL Connections conference.
Contrary to what ACL has been touting as their new ‘robotics’ feature, it is NOT robotics process automation (RPA).
[The ‘robotics’ feature is due out later in 2018. It appears to be ACL’s latest attempt to get you to use their GRC software.]
ACL, via John Verver, defines the term this way in his RPA article: “The idea is a relatively simple one: get computers to perform tasks normally performed by humans, and cut resource and time requirements for many repetitive activities.”
When you need to rename ACL tables, be careful to also rename the associated .fil file also.
Otherwise, you (or your ACL script) might get confused. You might delete the wrong table or .fil file, and create a head-scratching problem.
I know because I confused myself.
Here’s the 5 things I’m hoping will change in 2018 regarding ACL.
They are all related to each other and feed off each other…
Some Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) and audit managers tend to think that audit automation is a set-it-and-forget-it process. NOT.
In this post, I want to expand on a problem I mentioned in an earlier post , 10 Signs Mgmt Doesn’t Really Support Analytics.
Audit management too often thinks that once a process or an audit is automated, ALL auditor/staff hours previously spent performing that process can be reassigned elsewhere.
That is not the case at all.
Previously I wrote Will Robotics (RPA) Replace ACL?
The short answer is no, and I describe the reasons in that post.
But that doesn’t mean someone won’t try.
Shortly after I wrote my original robotics post, I encountered robotics vs. ACL, part 2.
In my last post, I described Why Internal Auditors Should Care about Robotic Process Automation.
In this post, I’ll explore whether RPA can replace analytic packages like ACL, IDEA, R, and Power BI.
That might seem like a strange question, but a few managers and a VP have asked me just that recently. Here’s how I’ve answered it.
Today I was adding a new table to a scripted ACL project and kept getting an error.
This project automatically opens a folder on the LAN, reads the files in the folder, and loads all of them.
All I did was add one more file to the folder. ACL refused to load that one file.
Whether you script your projects or use menu commands, you need to review your ACL log carefully.
Good analysts review their results and the log as they work in ACL, after they think they are done, and have others review their log before the ACL project is relied upon.
(You can’t imagine the dumb mistakes my team and I found that saved us a lot of embarrassment later.)
Do you know the #1 reason auditors don’t do data analytics (DA) much?
It is so simple, so obvious, I hesitated to blog about it. Let me know if you agree.
Here’s a way to automate the download of data from Active Directory (AD), specifically group members, into ACL using adfind and the ACL Execute command.
I’ll walk you through it step-by-step.
Even if you don’t use ACL, you might gain a better understanding of AD and LDAP in general….
Whenever you use OR and AND operators in ACL (or other software, for that matter), be careful to ensure that you receive the results that you are looking for.
Assume you have Table1, which contains 100 loan transactions. 10 of those transactions have a loan rate of 5% and 10 transactions have a rate of 6%. The remaining transactions have rates above 10%.
Recently, I ran an import script to import a delimited file into ACL, but the last 10 fields were not imported. And I didn’t know it right away, because I received no error message.
In addition (or should I say, in subtraction), the log did not indicate anything was wrong. Continue reading
You might be an Audit Command Language (ACL) freak if more than 2 of the following are true:
- At work, you have a second computer (or virtual machine) just for running ACL.
In ACL, a conditional computed field (CCF), is basically a regular computed field with some fireworks.
It looks and acts much like a regular computed field, but has some extra parts that do some extra work. Fortunately, the extras are NOT complicated, and after reading this post, you will find that will you use CCFs frequently.
So what’s the difference?
Once you’ve mastered creating computed fields, you’re ready to add computed fields to a table via script. It is easier than it sounds.
If you need some background on computed fields, see my previous posts, What is a Computed Field? and How to Add a Computed Field (manually). Now let’s explore writing a script that adds computed fields to a table.
As soon as you create an ACL script, you often have to add to it or edit it. There’s an easy way to do it.
Creating scripts (and editing them) is not as hard as many of you believe them to be.
Sure, it takes practice and time to learn the basics, but YOU can do it.
If you don’t learn scripting, you are NOT using ACL to it’s fullest, nor are you making the best use of your time.
Have you been following the “Optimizing Script Performance” series on the ACL Blog? aclkevin has been offering some great tips.
In case you missed them:
Adding a custom view to an ACL table comes in handy when you want to 1) change the order of the fields in an ACL table, or 2) view a select number of fields.
You can add a custom view manually or via script. We’ll tackle the script version first.
This post is in response to Les’ question about reordering fields in a table.
Did you know that you can create a script to import a file into ACL? That you can automate loading a table?
I’m talking about the File > New > Table command in ACL, also known as the Data Definition Wizard. Yes, you can create such a script, and I’m going to teach you how!
The good news is that it’s so much easier than you think. The bad news is that it doesn’t APPEAR easy, but it really is, because ACL does the heavy lifting for you. I promise that if you hang in there, you’ll so be a pro. Just try it once, and you’ll be hooked!
You can teach yourself how to use Audit Command Language (ACL), the data analytics software from www.highbond.com. ACL is used by internal auditors and others to: