Transforming Microsoft Excel Into an Audit and Cash Recovery Engine
By Richard B. Lanza, CPA, Cash Recovery Partners LLC
June 2005 (SmartPros) Spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel have proven to be an indispensable tool for data analysis be it part of an audit or to identify cash recoveries for an organization. While data files may be limited to 65,536 rows of information, users can often summarize large data sets down to a "spreadsheet size," allowing them to use Excel as the analysis engine.
Excel can perform a wide array of analytical tests and data analysis, including:
One key benefit of performing data analysis using a spreadsheet is that most business professionals are already trained and therefore, more comfortable experimenting with the tool. Further, spreadsheet user interfaces have improved over various iterations of the products and the graphing capabilities are highly functional while easy to operate. Lastly, Excel is part of the Microsoft Office productivity suite that comes with most business computers. For all these reasons, business professionals looking to enhance their activities with data analysis can look to Excel as a great starting point.
With the software ready and waiting, the three top processes for overall recoveries include the accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll areas. Sample reports in these areas include:
With the report ideas in mind, an extensive free guide is available for download explaining how Excel can be used as an audit and cash recovery software. The document details how to complete each of the various data analysis and analytical tests presented above.
RICH LANZA, CPA, CFE, PMP, is President of Cash Recovery Partners, LLC. He is the author of 12 publications and training courses in ACL, IDEA, Access, ActiveData, and Excel and has over 50 articles for major audit publications. For more information or to contact Rich, visit his SmartPros column, The Bottom Line.2005 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.