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Statistical Techniques for Forensic Accounting: Understanding the Theory and Application of Data Analysis by Saurav K. Dutta

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10. Statistical Inference from Sample Information

It is a capital offense to theorize before one has the data.

—Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)

10.1. Introduction

Data-sets in accounting are extremely large, hence time and cost constraints make it impossible to test all the items. This requires the use of sampling. The process of appropriately selecting a sample was discussed in the previous chapter. When the sample is selected using a parametric or probabilistic approach, the results of the sample could be generalized to the population. This chapter discusses theory and methodology for these generalizations.

In most forensic accounting and auditing settings, a relevant sample of the population is selected and tested. The key metrics ...

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