The Latest Tech Disruptor: The AICPA
For the last several years, it has been apparent that there is a considerable gap between enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and the various different types of technologies and tools that are used to analyze a company’s information and data. It was common at one time for consumers in this area to utilize the services of IT professionals to develop new applications inside the ERP system or to manually create customized extraction features to accomplish specific and relevant tasks. Recently, however, the AICPA issued the Audit Data Standards (ADS), which promises to be a disruptive technology that impacts this process.
A Closer Look at Audit Data Standards
Business information customers understand that the ERP process can be costly and can be a drain on your time. The ADS has been developed in an effort to generate data on demand. This innovation is designed to benefit companies that utilize ERP systems, as well as internal and external auditors. In addition to benefiting those who work on these systems, there is an inherent improvement in the quality and reliability of the data in this type of system. The ADS also enables anyone who has been authorized to access the data to do so, and this includes managers, accountants, analysts and others. These individuals do not have to be IT professionals or auditors, which is generally the case with the current type of ERP systems available.
The Projected Evolution of ADS
ADS has already been released to the delight of auditors and others who deal with ERP systems, and this is because these systems offer true benefits. For example, the first release included base standards for a variety of purposes as well as accounts receivable, general ledgers and more. These were suitable for use in commercial and retail environments. A new release of the ADS system was recently issued, and this new system took the original system to the next level. It includes procure-to-pay processes and order-to-cash processes. This is a new system update, so the assurance services department for the AICPA is requesting feedback. Those who have feedback that may lead to improvements for future revisions of ADS should submit their feedback and responses by the end of February 2015. Keep in mind that there are future revisions planned for ADS that are suitable for other industries, such as financial services, health care.
How Audit Data Standards Work
As a first step to take when working with ADS, you will need to define the target. Then, you can map the data standard to the ERP system. From this point, the data extract process can be established so that it is automated and repeatable. In addition, edit checks will be created into the system so that the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the data will be improved. The fact is that the system is designed to be very easy to use, and it can even be completed with a few clicks of a mouse. After the system has been set up, it will run automatically. More than that, the process is entirely secured with password protection and encryption. Anyone who is an authorized user can access the data as desired, and the data is no longer kept inaccessible from the other users in the company who may need to access it.
Customization Features and Options
Those who utilize ADS with their ERP systems will be able to customize design reports and download them to an Excel worksheet, and they can update them for analysis. From this point, the data can be used for a wide range of purposes, and this includes SAP systems and database solutions. Both Microsoft and HP have worked on these systems, and HP has been instrumental in making an improvement to a process that has drastically improved the customization abilities of the program.
The Future of ADS
ADS is most commonly used in the United States in a select number of industries. The new revision that has been released has expanded the options for ADS, but there is ample room available for new revisions to be made. As the new revisions are made, ADS will become available for use with more industries. This will also expand the reach of ADS to markets outside of the United States on a larger scale.
The fact is that the latest technology disruptor is ADS, prepared by the AICPA. If you are not yet familiar with ADS or if you are not happy with your current ERP system, you should take time to learn more about ADS. Keep in mind that ADS is a work in progress, and new revisions are already in the works.
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