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Forensic Analytics: Methods and Techniques for Forensic Accounting Investigations by Mark J. Nigrini, PH.D

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Chapter 1

Using Access in Forensic Investigations

Forensic analytics is the procurement and analysis of electronic data to reconstruct, detect, or otherwise support a claim of financial fraud. The main steps in forensic analytics are (a) data collection, (b) data preparation, (c) data analysis, and (d) reporting. This book casts a wider net than simply the detection of financial fraud. Using computer-based analytic methods our goal is the detection of fraud, errors, and biases where biases involve people gravitating to specific numbers or number ranges to circumvent actual or perceived internal control thresholds. These analytic methods are directed at determining the likelihood or magnitude of fraud occurring. They would be a part of a fraud deterrence cycle that would include other steps such as employment screening procedures, including background checks. The techniques described in the book rely on the analysis of data, usually transactional data, but at times, other data such as statistical data or aggregated data of some sort.

The main workhorses for the preparation and analysis of data will be Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel (or Access and Excel, for short). Other valuable and dependable and high-quality tools for data analysis include IDEA, Minitab, and SigmaPlot for preparing high-quality complex graphs. The reporting and presentation of the results is usually done using Microsoft Word and/or Microsoft PowerPoint. These results could include images cropped from various ...

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