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It’s been an eventful year on the ACL Blog, so we thought we’d take some time to reflect on what our readers loved in 2016.  In case you missed out, here are the year’s top 10 most popular posts:

1. COSO’s new Fraud Risk Management Guide and the rise of data analytics 

It was great to see the most recent publication from the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) on managing fraud risk and its specific call-out to the role of data analytics. The new COSO Fraud Risk Management Guide establishes five principles for managing the risks of fraud and links them to the five components of the 2013 Framework for Internal Controls, as well as the 17 Internal Control Principles. The five principles include guidance on establishing a fraud risk management program. Read the full post here.

2. Are you missing 80% of your risks? Learn why only data can tell you the truth. 

No matter what organization you work for, risks are lurking in material processes and in today’s fast-paced, highly regulated and wildly competitive market, sampling data to test your controls just doesn’t cut it. Effectively managing your strategic risk requires two words: data analytics. Read the full post here.

3. The big data opportunity for audit, risk management and compliance 

While auditors and those involved in risk management and compliance have their respective roles to play in addressing the risks of big data, many of the concepts of big data also provide great opportunities for transforming the way that audit, risk and compliance professionals perform their work. Read the full post here.

4. The Future of “Big Data” Risk Analytics and Obsolescence of the Traditional Internal Auditor 

The world of the traditional auditor has changed. In this post, Dan Zitting, chief product officer at ACL, looks at what the future holds for the audit profession and gives insight into the future of “big data” risk analytics. Read the full post here.

5. Too many or too few? How to find the right balance of financial controls 

What’s wrong with relying on built-in ERP system controls? Theoretically, most ERPs are capable of enforcing adherence to appropriate internal controls. However, a few things get in the way of this materializing in the real world and that’s where data analytics comes in. Read the full post here. 

6. Top 10 Analytics Tests: Users Choice

Inspirations is our collective public library, housing hundreds of analytic testing ideas powered by ACL. The Inspirations community is growing fast with 2,000 users worldwide, and we’re constantly updating with new content as we continue to research new ways to inspire you. In this post, we give you the top 10 analytics tests (users choice). Read the full post here. 

7. How will the Panama Papers change risk management?

What should auditors and risk managers be doing to determine whether there are risks to their organization from offshore financial structures, and, if so, whether they are being managed in an acceptable way? John Verver discusses how risk managers now  have to deal with an endless growth of regulatory compliance requirements—along with a host of complex operational risks. Read the full post here. 

8. Banking license revoked—a wake-up call to a watertight AML compliance framework

Banca della Svizzerra Italiana (BSI) Singapore lost their license in Singapore after 143 years of operation. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) revoked the Merchant Bank’s license for serious breaches of anti-money laundering (AML) requirements, poor management oversight, and gross misconduct. Rarely does a bank lose it’s license to operate, so what went wrong? Read the full post here.

9. 3 ways workpapers can work harder for you (and not just be a repository jail)

High-quality audit workpapers are essential. They support clear documentation and communication, provide an audit trail for third-party reviews, and enable risk assurance over material objectives and operational processes. So why do most teams use their workpaper software as a mere repository, almost like a shared drive? Here are three ways to make workpapers harder-working right now. Read the full post here.

10. Why is internal audit not addressing the data analytics capability gap?

There seems to be an increasing gap between what internal auditors—and particularly Chief Audit Executives (CAEs)—say is the importance of data analytics to the future of audit and their capabilities to actually put analytics to work. Three major reports this year, from two of the Big Four and The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), raise some concerning issues. Read the full post here.


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From the ACL team to you, happy reading and happy new year!