David Coderre, Public Servant in Residence at Telfer School of Management, and Christian Lohyer, Office of the Comptroller General, have received an international award for “Technology Innovation”. The objective of their work was to transform the way internal audit and financial monitoring is conducted in Canadian federal government departments by improving the ability of auditors and financial officers to access and use financial data through analytics. The analytics provide the auditors and finance officers with easy access to departmental SAP financial data in a common format that allows for the development and sharing of ACL scripts (analytics) to assess key business processes and financial controls, and to monitor departmental financial performance and trends.
The data is not held centrally as each department has its own instance of SAP for its financial system. The departmental auditors and finance officers obtain the data from the departmental financial system using an SAP extract program and then run a common set of ACL analytical routines against the extracted data. Approximately one hundred analytical routines and financial tests were developed and provided to government departments. While at the Telfer School, Mr. Coderre also designed and developed data analytics to perform continual monitoring and assessment of financial risk using quantitative indicators of risk.
The innovative series of interconnected ACL analytical routines support auditors and finance officers across the federal government in the use of data-driven approaches to monitor and test controls, and assess financial risks on an ongoing basis. The analytics examine trends across fiscal years, and support financial monitoring and the examination of the accounts payable, procurement cards, payroll, and contracting business processes. This improves government efficiency and effectiveness, increases public confidence, transparency and openness, and supports the independent assessment of government spending and stewardship of resources.