View/Download Presentation

Report
Continuous
Assurance Best
Practices: Laying
the Roadmap to
Success
BA’s in History and Religion
 Studied for an Master’s Degree in Church History
 Got a job twisting balloons while in grad school.
 Worked for Babies R Us as an Assistant Manager.
 Worked Customer Service while working on an
MBA.
 Took Intro to Pascal in college to fulfill a
distribution requirement!

Because I am not a techie.
Prior to learning ACL:
 I was answering phones
 And twisting balloons
If you can take some clown
off the street and teach
them ACL, then you can
teach anybody ACL.
2007 – ACL’s Seven Habits of Successful Auditor’s
Campaign
 Founder and first president of TexasACL User Group
 Second person ever recognized as “ACL Super User”
 2008 – Spoke at ACL’s Annual Convention
 2008 – Participated on ACL Round Table
 2009 – Keynote speaker at ACL Annual Conference
 2009 – Asked by David Coderre to endorse book
 2011 – Spoke at ACL Business Assurance Seminar
 2012 – Presented Webinar for ACL

6
Major Projects
 Projects range from 40-100+ scripts
 New projects are built upon a common
“skeleton”.
 New projects re-use same scripts!
 Projects may perform over 100 different tests
 Continuous Assurance results are sent to one of
several standardized report formats
 Some projects produce over 10K worth of ACL
Logging per day!














Commands
Comments
End of Scripts
Field Names
In Scripts
Naming Conventions
Opening Sections
Project Names
Reports
Script Library
Script Names
Start of Scripts
Table Names
Variable names

Naming Conventions






Comments




Start of Script
In Scripts
End of Scripts
Opening Sections



Project Names
Script Names
Table Names
Variable Names
Field Names
Comments
Commands
Reports
All projects begin with two or three letters
followed by two numbers.
The letters organize the scripts by
type/purpose/objective/process.
The numbers organize the script within the
process.
We use alpha-numeric combinations:
2-3 letters to describe the nature of the
project
AP --- Accounts Payable
AR --- Account Receivable
GL --- General Ledger
GLT --- General Ledger Transactions
ACS --- Account Code Structure
2 numbers o1 -99
The alpha-numeric construct used to
identify projects can be used throughout
the project to perform various tasks.
Again a four digit alpha-numeric
construct can be used to define
and organize script names.
Use the Alpha characters to represent the
same processes in every project. For
example:
AX## = Start up scripts
BX## = repeating scripts within the project
CX## = Communal scripts
DX## = Data Load Scripts
EX## -WX## = Processing/Analytic Scripts
YX## = Administrative Functions
ZX## = Shut down/Clean Up Scripts
With both scripts and projects, I will have a
second part and possibly 3rd part that describes
what the script does. The second part is
usually what the script/project does and the
third part may describe or qualify the second.
But when referring to the project or script, I
always do so via the alpha-numeric constructs.
Naming Conventions
Script Names
Table Names
Data Tables
Results Tables
Working Tables
Temp Tables
Variable Names
Field Names
Project Names
Comments
Start of Script
In Scripts
End of Scripts
Opening Sections
Comments
Commands
Other Issues to Consider
AA01Naming Conventions
AA02 Script Names
AA03 Table Names
AA04 Data Tables
AA05 Results Tables
AA06 Working Tables
AA07 Temp Tables
AA08 Variable Names
AA09 Field Names
AA10Project Names
BA01Comments
BA02 Start of Script
BA03 In Scripts
BA04 End of Scripts
CA01 Opening Sections
CA02 Comments
CA03 Commands
DA01 Other Issues to Consider
There are 4 types of tables:
1) Original Data
2) Computed data/working tables
3) Temporary files
4) Final Product(s)/Reports
Original data files---Naming should include 3
parts:
–
–
–
A prefix to identify the file as original data.
The original table name without any non-alpha-numeric
characters.
The date of the data---consider YYMMDD v MMDDYY
AAA_Employeefile_111013
AP_VendorFile_111013
STD_memberfile_111013
MSTR_Hrfile_121212
{corporate initials}_Employeefile_111013
Temporary files are labeled TEMP001-TEMPXXX.
This allows for

Easy trouble shooting



Helps to identify where issues exist
Helps to determine if expected results flowed through
temp files
Clean up of project via a standardized clean up
script
Reports begin with the word “REPORT” followed
by the alpha numeric script identifier that
generated the report and a short description.
So one might have a
REPORT_DA01_DuplicateAddress.
Reports begin with the word “REPORT” followed
by the alpha numeric project identifier that
generated the report and a short description
with dates.
So one might have a
REPORT_ACS01_091812_092012.
Working tables are generally one of two types
of tables:
1) Data derived from basic data tables.
2) Data contained within the project, but not
derived from current data tables.
These tables should be descriptive and
contained in a special folder.
Two or three part name in creating variables.
Part 1 – the v_ that identifies the value as a
variable.
Part 2 – the type of variable being defined
Part 3 – a short description/qualifier for the
variable (optional)
User defined values should:



Not be unique and not potentially used by the
client. Poor values would include “Amount”,
“Company”, “Name”, etc.
They should be descriptive enough to remember and
to understand. Variable “A_1” would not be a good
option.
Ideally they should mirror common or anticipated
names.
•
V_Path
V_path_bat
– V_path_data
– V_path_results
•
–
•
–
•
V_date
V_date_run
– V_date_DOS
– V_date1
•
V_table
•
–
V_table_AP
•
V_cnt_test/v_cntr_tes
t
V_table
–
•
V_com_test1
V_cnt/v_cntr/V_cou
nt
–
–
•
V_com
v_table_list
V_define_tablename
V_Drive
V_type
Field Names
Field names generated by ACL
should always be readily identified
as such.
Amount vs amt?
 Dept vs Department?

Use a prefix “F_”ield or something
comparable to identify a field
name.
Best practice is to put the COM at
the start of every record which
should be commented out.
Comments that go at the start of a script
should be highlighted with two rows of COM
followed by asterisks. E.g.:
COM******************
COM******************
COM Written by Porter Broyles Date: 10/13/11
COM Description: This makes it easier to find the start
of
COM subscripts in the log.
COM******************
COM******************
Comments should be used at the start of every
script to:
1) Identify who wrote the script
2) When the script was written
3) When the script was last modified (by
whom)
4) What the intent of the script is
5) Any special considerations
When writing comments they should stand out.
To help them stand out add a line before and
after the comment itself. This should
include the word COM with a series of
asterisks after it:
COM*********************
COM details of the comment
COM*********************
When using scripts and subscripts, it can often be
a challenge to determine where one is when
reviewing the project log. Whenever a subscript
is called, the last command in the subscript
should be a note indicating that the subscript is
completed:
DO AA01_subscript_A
~~~~
COM*******************
COM Returning from AA01_Subscript_A
COM*******************
Before changing logs, always indicate what the
next log is going to be. After changing logs, always
indicate what the previous log was.
COM*************
COM Next Log [new logname]
COM*************
SET LOG [new logname]
COM*************
COM Old Log [old logname]
COM*************
 CAPITALIZE
ACL commands and functions()
 Lowercase for field names
 DELETE FIELDS before DEFINing them
 DELETE tables both .fil and format before
creating
 Don’t abbreviate functions or commands.
Functions use the thousandths separator to
separate parts.
In the US this is the COMMA:
SUBSTRING(fieldname,start,length)
In most countries, this the is period:
SUBSTRING(fieldname.start.length)
Generic option, use a blank space:
SUBSTRING(fieldname start length
 Development
v Production
 Change Control
 Version Archiving
 Crash Log
Diagramming a CAMS via flow charting is an
excellent way to understand how a script
operates and which scripts/routines are called
from different locations. You can indicate
what scripts are shared scripts, scripts called
via a DO-WHILE sequence, scripts called via a
DO IF sequence, etc.
Skeleton Load Process
Load Process
CA01Master Script
Script controls load process
This script is only called when a project/table requires special treatement
3
1
2
BC01_Select_Table
Process to pick tables
used in project
CA30 Verify Fields
Control Script
accumulating results from
load
CA02 Load Data Loop
Series of Script to Load data files
Process repeated
Until options selected
1
3x
BE01 Error Extracxt
2
1
3
2 - Repeated for each
table being loaded
CA03_Select DatesGLT
Defines v_new_dateGLT
BC02 Table Select
User selects tables
1 - Process repeated
to create dialog bod
ca40_dATAnORMALIZATI
ON_%v_type%
Script normalizes data
fields. Currenly only used
in IA01---which is a
project that hasn’t been
worked much.
CA31 Bars Err
Identify Bar differences
CA32 Load Err
Load Errors
CA33 Verify ERR
Identify invalid fields
BE01 Error Extracxt
BE01 Error Extracxt
BE01 Error Extracxt
2 - Repeat to
create list
BC03_Define_Diabx
Creating Dialog Box
CA06_Load_SQL_IMP
Import Files selected in BC01
BC04 Create List
Creating list of items
7
6
5 --- If table is GLTTRNSDT
4
1
2
CA36 Date_ERR
Checks to see if create date
of folder is the same as data
date
CA21 BarDelimi Clnup
Checks to see if table has
extra bars that needs to be
cleaned up
BE01 Error Extracxt
Process is repeated if there are
records with extra bar delimiters
CA22 BarDelimit2 CLNUP2
3
CA07_Loaddetail
Identifies syntax for
loading each table
CA23 Format STB
Takes care of issue with the
SYSTRANSBODY table
BE02_NoLoad_Extract
Extracts record if no
tables are loaded
CA08_Communal
Cumulative file for
GLTTRNSDT
KEY
CA34 Field Err
CA35 record Err
BE01 Error Extracxt
BE01 Error Extracxt
Yellow boxes indicate shared scrpts
Green boxes indicate processes that are
repeated via a DO WHILE Sequence
All changes to scripts in production should be
first implemented in a separate development
area. The scripts in production should not be
changed until and unless vetted in
development first.
All script changes should be approved by the
manager/director over the project area. When
changes are made, do not simply overwrite the old
scripts, but copy them to an archive. That way if
questions arise as to logic at a previous date, the
exact scripts can be revisited.
The crash log is one of my favorite best
practices. It does several things:
1) Serves as documentation should a external
reviewer ask about a process on a date
where the script crashed or had to be
reperformed.
2) Serves as a source to identify issues with
the system/IT.
3) Serve as a means to evaluate one’s own
script.
4) Serve as a means to identify bugs (both
with the software and with your scripts.)
Date
Issue
Worked Resolve
by
d
Reference
5/12/1
2
Data from Accounts
Payable was
incomplete
PDB
5/13/12 Link to email
from AP Manager
9/1/12
ACL could not connect
to data folder
PDB
9/1/12
10/1/1
2
ACL could not connect
to data folder
PDB
10/1/12 Link to saved
email from IT
11/1/1
2
ACL could not connect
to data folder
PDB
11/1/12 Link to saved
email from IT
Link to saved
email from IT
Porter Broyles
[email protected]
www.someclownconsulting.com
www.texasacl.com

similar documents