Getting Started with ACL 9

One of the objectives of this week’s class was to begin familiarizing students with ACL (Audit Command Language) software. The textbook for this class, Information Technology Auditing, 3rdEdition, includes a CD containing the ACL 9 Desktop Education Edition software. After the ACL 9 software has been installed, you can view the ACL Getting Started guide, located in C:\ACL Data\Sample Data Files\ACLStart.pdf.

You can also download ACL 9 tutorials from the publisher’s website, http://www.cengage.com. Click on the “Free Resources” button, setup an account, provide the Cengage website with the 13 digit ISBN number of the text book, and you’ll be able to download three ACL 9 software tutorials, in the form of zipped MS Word documents. (Hall 2011)

Loading the demonstration project for the tutorials is easy:

1. Click on the “ACL Desktop Education Edition” icon.

1 - ACL Icon

1 – ACL Icon

@2014 Image created by Harold Kay

2. ACL 9 opens. Click the “Open an existing Project” link.

2. Open ACL

2. Open ACL

@2014 Image created by Harold Kay

3. The Project dialog opens. Select ACL_Demo.acl

4. Click the “Open Button.

3. Select ACL Demo

3. Select ACL Demo

@2014 Image created by Harold Kay

5. The ACL_Demo.acl project opens. This post will now demonstrate some very simple functionality in ACL 9. Open the ACL_Demo.ACL project, using the instructions above.

6. In the left hand “Project Navigator” pane, select Tables|Metaphor_Trans_2002.

4. Select Table

4. Select Table

@2014 Image created by Harold Kay

7. Click the “Analyze” menu.

8. Select “Look for Gaps”

5. Select Gaps

5. Select Gaps

@2014 Image created by Harold Kay

9. The “Gaps” dialog box opens. Click on Invoice to search for gaps in Invoice Numbers.

10. Select “List Gap Ranges” radio button to view the gap ranges.

11. Click the “Ok” button.

6. Gaps Option

6. Gaps Option

@2014 Image created by Harold Kay

12. The screen now displays the “Gaps Found Between” report

7. Gap Report

7. Gap Report

@2014 Image created by Harold Kay This is just one simple function available to users of ACL. There are many others, and documentation on them can be found in the ACL Getting Started guide.  (ACL Services Ltd 2006)

ACL is a very powerful Computer-Assisted Audit Tools and Techniques (CAATT) application which allows auditors to take data from almost any platform, in any format, and derive meaning and analysis from that data. This post has provided a brief overview about opening the demo ACL project and running a simple Gap report.  (ACL Services LTD 2006)

Bibliography

ACL Services Ltd. “Testing for gaps and duplicates in sequential data.” In ACL Getting Started, 74. Vancouver, BC, Canada: ACL Services Ltd, 2006.

Hall, James A. “Chapter 9: Auditing the Revenue Cycle.” In Information Technology Auditing and Assurance, Third Edition, by James A. Hall, 647. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning, 2011.

 

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