Each year, the internal audit department of this multinational sends employees to all of its operating countries to audit its financial statements there. Organisations in larger markets are visited by two Dutch employees for twee weeks during this process. Last year, the workload was such that there was not enough time left for the two-week visit to a country in South America.
The South American data was gathered in a process-mining tool for the last three years. The software illustrated the patterns and deviations that occurred most often. The data analysts at PwC – with their diverse backgrounds in accountancy, IT, psychology, and fraud investigation – were able to provide concrete questions. Why was this bank account number changed and then changed back three days later? Which employees have companies registered at their home addresses that do business with the tank storage company? And who awarded seven expensive maintenance contracts to the same principal within a one-week period?
PwC audit department employees travelled to South America for three days, taking with them a list of such concrete practical questions. This saved them a week and a half of work and they knew in advance exactly what would have to be investigated locally. This reduced the costs and time spent of auditing the country organisations’ financial statements. Since process mining charts all of the accounting records, the quality of the audit also improved. The international tank storage company now uses this data-analysis approach for multiple country audits.
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