Advanced analytics enables all stakeholders who deal with fraud to analyze their organization’s business data to gain insight into the dynamics of internal controls and identify fraudulent or suspicious transactions that heighten the risk of fraud.
Analytics also can be applied to all functions of an organization where electronic transactions are recorded and stored. In addition, analytics allows companies to be more proactive in their fight against fraud.
To that end, management consulting services behemoth Accenture is launching seven new advanced analytics applications to help organizations more effectively detect and remediate fraud, and ultimately reduce losses to improve their bottom lines.
Designed specifically for banks, telecommunications companies, government agencies and manufacturers, the applications provide users with tailored analytics insights via visualizations that can enable more confident, data-driven decisions on strategies to address fraudulent activity.
“As fraudulent behavior can come in many different forms and morph quickly to stay under the radar, organizations across industries are seeking solutions that can help them to quickly identify and reduce this activity to decrease losses,” says Kieran Towey, managing director, Accenture Analytics.
FRAUD DETECTION AND MANAGEMENT
Fraud detection applications help banks, telecommunications companies, government agencies and manufacturers make more informed decisions in order to reduce losses, according to BCC Research analyst Arup Banerjee.
He says that while well-intentioned “whistleblower hotlines” provide the means for people to report suspected fraudulent behavior, as “reactive responses they’re not enough.”
“Instead of reactive responses to fraud, companies can now track indicators of fraud in the data,” Banerjee explains. “They can detect fraudulent activity much sooner and stop it before it creates any significant damage. To effectively test for fraud, all relevant transactions must be tested across all applicable business systems and applications.”
Analyzing business transactions at the source gives auditors greater insight into the likelihood of fraud occurring, he notes. It helps investigators focus their action on the suspicious transactions or pinpoint control weaknesses that could be used by fraudsters.
Follow-up tests should substantiate the findings and search for symptoms of fraud in the data, which Banarjee says can be conducted through a series of analyses. These can include either point-in-time analysis to find single instances for fraud investigations or exploration, or predictive analysis that can determine where fraudulent activity is likely to occur.
Finally, in high-risk situations or where the probability of fraud is high, organizations can employ a continuous approach to fraud detection in areas where preventive controls are not effective. Advanced analytics not only offer a range of solutions from repeatable automated procedures to continuous auditing and monitoring, but also provide insight into the integrity of financial and business operations through transactional analysis.
“Technology provides more accurate audit reports and better insight into an organization’s internal controls framework, as well as improves a company’s ability to access and manage business risk,” Banerjee concludes.
ADOPTION OF ADVANCED ANALYTICS GROWING ACROSS INDUSTRIES
The adoption of advanced analytics has gained significant traction across the globe in recent years as organizations try to gain a competitive edge and optimize their operations costs. Accenture developed its applications at its Analytics Innovation Center in Dublin, Ireland.
The Accenture Insights Platform, a cloud-based end-to-end analytics solution, hosts the company’s advanced analytics applications portfolio and an integrated design, build, and run environment that enables the agile development of industry and function-specific analytics applications.
In addition to using the applications through the platform, organizations have the option of using them on their own. Accenture customizes the applications to meet an organization’s specific needs–they’re integrated with an organization’s unique operational workflow process and designed for a specific user. Depending on the level of customization needed, applications can typically be ready for use in approximately a few weeks to 60 days.
“Recognizing the need for speed, Accenture’s new analytics applications can be ready for use in as little as a few weeks, informing more effective actions that can eliminate risky activities straightaway,” Towey says. “The faster we can help our clients to find fraudulent and abusive activity, the faster the steps can be taken to end it.”
The new applications join the company’s existing list of fraud management apps for insurance companies, retailers, and resources industries including energy and utilities companies.