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

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Chapter 4

High-Level Data Overview Tests

Chapters 1 and 2 introduced our quantitative forensic tools. Access is an effective and efficient software package that uses data tables, queries, and reports to store data, perform calculations, and neatly report the results of a series of analytic tests. Excel is an effective and efficient software package that can also store data, perform calculations, and report the results, although the lines among the three aspects of the analysis are not so clear cut. Most analytic tests can be performed using either Access or Excel. The tests that are described in the next chapters are demonstrated using both Access and Excel, unless one of these is not suitable for the task, or unless the steps in Excel are somewhat obvious. The results of the analytic tests can easily be included in a forensic report or a forensic presentation. The presentation of the forensic findings with a strong PowerPoint bias is reviewed in Chapter 3. Chapters 4 through 17 discuss various forensic analytic methods and techniques. These methods and techniques start with a high-level overview of the data.

This chapter reviews a series of three tests that form a good foundation for a data-driven forensic investigation. These three tests are the data profile, a data histogram, and a periodic graph. This chapter describes the tests and shows how these tests can be done in Access and Excel using a real-world data set of corporate invoices. There is no general rule as to whether ...

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