Capturing Data Entry errors for audit purposes

A number of times the end client types in wrong data into the source ERP system thereby resulting in wrong outputs and results. Junk inputs imply junk outputs.  The ETL team would recommend an auditable output from Turbodata to be used as part of the reporting purposes.  Wrong data inputs can impact the end client in one or more of the following ways:
  •        Wrong tax filing specifically in online scenario.
  •         Wrong business picture
  •         Wrong predictive analytics.
As per the Toyota ProductionSystem, bad inputs should not be processed further as it adds to the final costs.
The ETL team(my firm) has found the following errors with regards to the data entry inputs specifically with Tally ERP 9.0.  

·         Stock input has been in one godown but stock outward movement has been from other godowns:

·         Missing purchase or sales order entries resulting in negative stocks at given points in time. One cannot have negative stock balances at any point in time.

Other data input errors that we have commonly seen are as follows:

  •       Duplicate payment entries
  •      Duplicate sales entries
  •        Receipt note entries but no purchase invoice entries
  •         Payments not having the required bill reference numbers.
How to resolve the errors:
·         In an object oriented program it is difficult to catch the errors on a real time basis. The ETL team recommends using the relational databases for catching the errors. The real time extraction module for Turbodata should be used for the same.
·         Transferring the data onto the third normal database is recommended. This helps catch data duplicity based on the composite keys.
For example if an end client has made the same amount payment for a given voucher on a given fiscal date, then the same should come as part of the discrepancy report. It is possible that the end client could be correct. There is also a possibility that the payment entries have been made by 2 different resources. Further handling of the given situation is as follows:
·         If the end client desires to catch the following error then the username by which the data entries have been done shall not be added to the composite key. In such a scenario there is a discrepancy between the Turbodata ledger balance output and the Tally report. The end client to approve the discrepant entry before the data is input into the system for auditing purposes.
Using perpetual valuations for ledger and inventory instead of periodic valuations. For example if an end client relies on periodic valuations for ledger balances then a duplicate payment entry then the periodic balances at the end of the fiscal month are difficult to catch. For example if an end client has a duplicate entry of Rs. 100k(One hundred thousand  only) over a balance of say Rs. 15000k(One fifty million only).
However using the perpetual system it is easy to catch the data entry errors.

Matching the consolidated trial balances and closing stock balances at the database level with the on fly calculations at the software level.

A small story for the end user: as Yuval Harari is Sapians says that mankind is primarily driven by myths. Hence many a managers are driven by myths regarding software or the consulting companies having the right audit numbers(with the managers inputting junk numbers).
A small story from one of my favourite books(Raag Darbari by Srilal Shukla) could best illustrate the point.
The protagonist Ranganath had gone from the city to visit his relative, an aunt’s husband , in the village. During the course of the village fair, it was suggested that the group goes and sees the village temple for the local goddess. At the temple Ranganath found that the statue instead of been of a goddess was of a soldier( for a goddess he was looking for two lumps  in front and two lumps in the back). The priest asked for donations for the goddess. To this request Ranganath refused saying that the statue was not of a goddess but of a man. There was an ensuing scuffle between the villagers and Ranganath. Ranganath was eventually rescued by his cousin. On going out and meeting other people, the cousin mentioned the following:
"My cousin has come from the city and is very well read. That is why he talks like a fool."
The author has always associated himself with Ranganath.

Apoorv Chaturvedi

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