During our recent webinar, 3 customers shared their experiences of implementing data analytics in their business. We received a great number of questions for the live Q&A session, too many to answer. So, here are some of the best ones we did and didn’t get to on the day.
Highlights of the webinar are also available to view here.
Q: Is this tool applicable to corporate finance?
A: Yes – customers are using Inflo for corporate finance work, such as buy-side and sell-side due diligence in M&A.
Q: What are the differences between the free version (for members) and the one paid for?
A: The free version allows analysis of interim datasets (up to 11 months) only. In the paid version you can analyse datasets of any length and you get access to our Customer Success team who are renowned for their proactive support. Both have full functionality available beyond this.
Q: On new client tenders – how are you using it?
A: Firms are using Inflo throughout the proposal or tender process. This can me more discursive, but some firms are requesting interim data sets from targets so they can incorporate client-specific visualisations in tender documents and do live demonstrations. Inflo customers can do this for free with target clients as part of our commitment to supporting our customer’s fee growth.
Q: Is the access by individual or firm
A: Access is at the firm level. There is no user/seat license so you can have unlimited users in a firm.
Q: Can Inflo interact with most accounting software on the market?
A: We have ingested data from 100% of client accounting systems requested by customer accounting firms. We have a flexible approach that allows us, where required, to work directly with your client to perform the extract, transform, and load of client data, to our tool or other software solutions.
Q: Can you upload data from a client system that is bespoke?
A: Yes. We use a variety of techniques and our data experts are always on hand to support, meaning your team don’t get involved even on bespoke systems. We advocate performing a planning data load in such circumstances. It is also worth noting, our licence model is designed such that if we don’t get the data, firms don’t pay us anything.
Q: Is there any limit of data, like, if client has a database of 1 TB, will it upload in your system (say initial upload) and thereafter delta upload for monthly review etc?
A: No. There is no file limit and we have some very advanced functionality regarding large datasets and group engagements
Q: When we have to integrate customer system like SAP, do we have to buy another license from SAP for access?
A: No. Inflo employs an in-house team of data scientists, which they utilize their collective knowledge of systems and libraries of extraction techniques to drive the data ingestion process with the end client and their respective systems. So a firm and their users do not require additional licences.
Q: Does Inflo accommodate for group engagements where you have various subsidiaries or do you have to do an import in separate files for each subsidiary.
A: Inflo does accommodate Group structures. We facilitate Top–Down ingestion of data (for example, from a single group ERP system), or Bottom–Up ingestion (for example, to aggregate different subsidiaries on varied systems) when performing group engagements.
Q: How does the panel find the integration of audit files with data generated through Inflo?
A: Inflo auto generates reports to Excel and .PDF, which are then attached to the relevant audit file procedures. Guidance is also available mapping Inflo techniques to common audit methodologies. The panel mentioned a few examples of this in the webinar, in the procedures they have automated via Inflo
Q: How would you describe the interaction between Inflo and a practices’ own auditing systems. i.e. with CaseWare. Would there not be a duplication of work?
A: There is no duplication – Inflo works in complement to another system. Each firm reviews what Inflo can do and builds that into their audit process to complement and enhance, not duplicate. Often this means ceasing to perform a task in another tool and replace it with a superior, more efficient Inflo process.
Q: Do you carry out regular internal training?
A: New users of Inflo are provided with a range of resources and guidance, which firms often complement with initial and occasional training (classroom or webinar). All software updates are accompanied with support resources to aid internal training.
Q: Do you have any experience with inspection from chamber of auditor’s whether they understand and accept the procedures making by Inflo for QAR purposes?
A: Many of our customer firms are subject to the highest levels of regulatory review and Inflo has enhanced the quality of their work. Regulators understand and accept Inflo procedures. Inflo techniques are designed in compliance with international and local auditing standards and regulatory reviews and findings. Inflo also has a relationship with multiple regulatory organisations sharing knowledge, expertise and best practice.
Q: In your experience, do clients mind sharing their data with Inflo?
A: No. They recognise the value of technology within advisory services and in fact have on numerous occasions come to Inflo asking for a firm using our software. The benefits to clients are very simple: 1) efficiency and flexibility for them, 2) more value from their advisory services. There is more information here, including a short animated video customers often us to explain Inflo to clients.
Q: What about data confidentiality? For both accounting firm and customer
A: Being founded by former practitioners, we understand the magnitude of security and confidentiality for confidentiality and data protections. Inflo undergoes regular external audits to receive our ISO 27001 accreditation and abide by the principles of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other data regulations across the world. Many customers specifically use our solution because of the enhancement to data confidentiality versus other methods of client communication. More information is available here.
Q: Where can I find more information on what the software can do (both free and paid for version) in general and for analytics-as-a-service offering?
A: You can sign up here to get free access to the software and receive various resources. We have a short white-paper available regarding analytics-as-a-service which you can access via request from email@example.com. We will also produce a detailed blog post on this topic soon.