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The Litigation Side of Forensic Accounting Copyrighted 2001 D. Larry Crumbley, CPA, Cr.FA, CFD KPMG ... - page 92 / 275

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© D.L. Crumbley

Data Extraction v. Data Investigation

There is a difference between the procedures used for traditional data extraction (i.e., data mining) and data investigation for evidentiary purpose.

With traditional data extraction, tools such as Interactive Data Extraction and Analysis (IDEA) or ACL software are used to interactively extract, sample, and analyze data.

Yet simply checking a client’s files or cross comparing data, files for forensic investigations are damaged. Such actions are similar to sending a housekeeper in to tidy up a murder crime scene before the forensic investigative team is allowed to start analyzing the evidence.

For forensic purposes, software tools collect digital data without changing it. After the data is collected, it is analyzed.

Examples of forensic software tools are Encase, SafeBack, or Ontrack’s Easy Recovery software.

Increasing the time lag between initial fraud suspicions and the recovery of the related digital data makes the evidence less valuable.

Source: G.S. Smith, “Computer Forensics: Helping to Achieve The Auditor’s Mission,” Working Paper, December 2003.

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