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IDEA Software Training - 24 Hours

Everything you need to get started using IDEA and improve your effectiveness

The IDEA Series is a series of twelve 2-hour recordings, a total of 24 hours.

Who should attend?

The series is aimed primarily at auditors, both internal and external, who are beginning their career in Computer Auditing or who wish to understand the complexities and vulnerabilities of computer systems. The series builds rapidly to shorten the time period to productivity and effectiveness.

Handouts with sample files accompany the recordings.

1. IDEA Basics, Getting Started, and Basics of Importing Data

This first course will get you off to a quick start in utilizing IDEA.While basic techniques and data importing are covered, practical knowledge that can be used immediately will also be included.

The specific learning topics are:

  • Use basic IDEA functions and features including creating and using a project file
  • Learn to define IDEA Audit Objectives
  • Assess what data is needed for reports and preparing a data request

2. Importing Data - The Complete Course in All File Types and Data Tricks to Get Your Data Ready for Analysis

This course will teach you to import, combine, and define various types of data into IDEA SoftwareTM and understand the difference between the tables and implications for the import process.

The specific learning topics are:

  • Importing a number of different data types and formats
  • Access the Import Assistant Select the File to Import
  • File Type
  • Specify Record Length
  • Specify Field Delineators
  • Field Details
  • Create Fields
  • Import Criteria

3. Conducting basic Data Analysis with IDEA

This course covers the major functions which are in everyday use by the auditor in any use of IDEA and which form the basis of advanced audit techniques.

The specific learning topics are::

  • Summarizing the Data
  • Stratifying the Data
  • Viewing the Results Graph
  • Creating a Pivot Table
  • Joining Databases
  • Reviewing the History
  • Using Display All Records Containing
  • Performing a Record Extraction
  • Identifying Duplicate Invoices
  • Identifying Gaps in an Invoice Number Sequence
  • Performing a Key Value Extraction
  • Performing a Record Extraction Using an @Function

4. Reporting using IDEA

In today's environment the audit department is frequently judged on the quality of its primary output, the Audit Report and this can affect the perception of the professionalism of the whole department. In many cases the effectiveness of the audit itself can be affected by the non-acceptability of the Audit Report. As such, it is critical that the report is perceived to be professional and communicate the desired message in a clear, concise and unambiguous way. This course covers the formation of professional reports using IDEA. ;

The specific learning topics are:

  • Designing a Report
  • Report Assistant
  • Headings Step
  • Define Breaks Step
  • Report Breaks Step
  • Grand Totals Step
  • Header/Footer Step

5. Importing Data from Reports using the IDEA Report Reader

In some cases the only source of data is an already printed report of an electronic version of such a report. This course covers the importation of such data into an analyzable form.

The specific learning topics are:

  • Examine the Data and its Layout
  • Select a Sample Line and an Anchor Line
  • Define a Trap
  • Define Field Anchors
  • Save the Layer
  • Scan for Errors
  • Preview the Database
  • Create an Append Layer
  • Rearrange the Field Order
  • Saving the Template

6. Advanced Report Importing

The specific learning topics are::

  • Use Value from Previous Record
  • Headers, Footers, and Page Breaks
  • Multi-Line Entries and Multi-line Field Options
  • Pre-Append and Post-Append Layers
  • Using Floating Traps
  • Create a Floating Trap
  • Excluding Lines

7. Using Statistics in IDEA

The specific learning topics are::

  • Stat versus non-stat sampling
  • Variable vs Attribute sampling
  • Monetary unit sampling
  • Learn to use Field Statistics, within IDEA
  • Random selection of records for examination

The power of IDEA lies in the ability to interrogate large volumes of data. In some cases, the computer is used only to narrow the field of records the auditor may wish to perform more detailed testing upon. Under these circumstances, the auditor may choose to use statistical sampling techniques.

8. Continuous Monitoring using Advanced Statistical Analysis

IDEA’s Advanced Statistical Methods can be used by analysts as a component of a continuous monitoring set of routines. Depending on the nature of the functional area the analysis may take a variety of forms.

The specific learning topics are::

  • Correlation Analysis
  • Trend Analysis
  • Time Series Analysis

9. Basic Script Writing in IDEA

Basic concepts of script writing and benefits of automating your data projects will be covered in this IDEA course.IDEA includes a development tool known as IDEAScript for creating macros to extend the functionality of IDEA. IDEAScript can be recorded, written from scratch, or a combination of both.

Developing scripts and implementing best practices will show you how to increase the efficiency of your data analytics projects by analyzing transaction sets on a regular basis. And by facilitating the running of pre-prepared scripts by less experienced auditors..

The specific learning topics are:

  • Understand IDEA scripts and the value of automating data work
  • Record, create, and edit macros with IDEAScript (a customizable VBA-compatible scripting tool) and Visual Script
  • Learn and document best practices for script development

10. Using advanced @Functions

IDEA provides @Functions for performing operations such as date arithmetic, financial and statistical calculations as well as text searches. In addition, the auditor can also create custom functions.

The specific learning topics are:

  • The use of standard IDEA @Functions
  • Using @Functions in the Equation Editor
  • Tailoring your own @Functions

11. Advanced Script Writing in IDEA Part 1

Advanced concepts of script writing and benefits of automating your data projects will be covered in this IDEA course. IDEA includes a development tool known as IDEAScript for creating macros to extend the functionality of IDEA. IDEAScript can be recorded, written from scratch, or a combination of both.

Developing scripts and implementing best practices will show you how to increase the efficiency of your data analytics projects by analyzing transaction sets on a regular basis. And by facilitating the running of pre-prepared scripts by less experienced auditors.

The specific learning topics are:

  • Continuation from the Basic Script Writing class learning advanced techniques
  • Understand IDEA scripts and the value of automating data work
  • Record, create, and edit macros with IDEAScript (a customizable VBA-compatible scripting tool) and Visual Script
  • Learn and document best practices for script development

12. Advanced Script Writing in IDEA Part 2

Advanced concepts of script writing and benefits of automating your data projects will be covered in this IDEA course. IDEA includes a development tool known as IDEAScript for creating macros to extend the functionality of IDEA. IDEAScript can be recorded, written from scratch, or a combination of both.

Developing scripts and implementing best practices will show you how to increase the efficiency of your data analytics projects by analyzing transaction sets on a regular basis. And by facilitating the running of pre-prepared scripts by less experienced auditors.

The specific learning topics are:

  • Continuation from the Basic Script Writing class learning advanced techniques
  • Understand IDEA scripts and the value of automating data work
  • Record, create, and edit macros with IDEAScript (a customizable VBA-compatible scripting tool) and Visual Script
  • Learn and document best practices for script development


Your Instructor


Jim Kaplan CIA CFE
Jim Kaplan CIA CFE


AuditNet® is the Global Resource for Auditors, and serves the global audit community as the primary communications resource with an online digital network where auditors share resources, tools, and experiences including audit work programs and other audit documentation.

As the first online portal for the global audit community, AuditNet® has been at the forefront of audit websites dedicated to promoting the use of technology. http://www.auditnet.org/

Jim Kaplan, the founder of AuditNet®, became a Certified Internal Auditor in 1984. He has continuously promoted and encouraged the use of technology and the Internet for audit productivity.

As an active member of the IIA, he has held many positions at the local and International level. He is a founding member of the Northern Virginia Chapter and served as Chapter President in 1989. He retired from his government audit director position in 2005. He is the founder and President of AuditNet®, the global resource for auditors, and has been identified as an Internet for Auditors pioneer. Jim's contributions to the profession were recognized by the IIA (2007 Bradford Cadmus award) and the Association of Local Government Auditors (Lifetime Achievement Award). In addition to the IIA, he is a member of the Association of Local Government Auditors and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.


Course Curriculum


  Video Lectures
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  Downloadable Materials and Examples
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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