Description: The article is about lpl financial login. This is a brief introduction about LPL Financial and IDEA. The author mainly introduces how LPL Financial uses IDEA to conduct IT audits and help achieve regulatory compliance.
My name is Tim Smith. I’m the AVP of IT audit at LPL Financial. It’s a holding owned subsidiary of LPL Financial Holdings. We’re the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer, we don’t have a financial product to sell. As AVP of IT audit, I manage a team of 5 people, we do a variety of audits.
First we do IT specific audits, I was hired for that, we are getting down in the details of the information technology systems that we have. I also do a lot of support for both the financial operations side. Being a broker-dealer, we have a very large compliance side which relates to rules and regulations from Securities and Exchange Commission and the government broker-dealers.
There are a lot of information systems supporting those rules and regulations that we need to audit and understand. Back in about 2001, GAO came to KPMG because they were going to do some work on educational loans on behalf of the US department of education.
And I finished work at another client where I used IDEA and had some available time, so I was selected to do the work. First of all, I need to train 5 GAO auditors on how to use IDEA and do data analytics, I need to try to work on this problem of loans that were being improperly granted.
We were going out to the various loan servicers for the Department of Education. What we ended up finding out was that there were quite a number of records that fell into two categories. One, it was for people using social security numbers, it was for people who long since died, we used the social security deceased person’s database, we joined against the educational records on social security network, we also looked at fuzzy logic in the address fields.
We started finding that people who were co-signing the loans, they were geographically concentrated in various parts of the country, they were in places where they have no reason to know the actual student involved. At the end of the day, it came out that we got about 12 or 13 million dollars returned to the treasury.
I use IDEA,in a lot of ways there’s a level of abstraction that IDEA provides you with. In other words, you don’t need to think of the system issues. You don’t have to think about how you would do a join in sequel or how you would do a summarization in Excel and how you would get rid of the blank lines.
It gives you the freedom, you can think about what you want to do but not how you need to do it, that’s a big differentiator. At the same time, it’s a great staff trainer, at the end of the day, the history file tells what you did, the mistakes are in there.
Nonetheless, it’s a way to teach people. The first time I used IDEA, people asked me Why I didn’t use Excel or Access. When you’ve got 200 000 lines, if you by accident hit the wrong key, which of those 200 000 lines did I change by accident?
The concept of being able to have a file in its original version and at the same time being able to manipulate that way of field of manipulation is important, you can’t beat it in any other tool. Another helpful thing was thinking about the idea of files in transit between systems.
I have a client where they were doing their sales in Siebel, they ordered entry and put it in Siebel, the file would dump overnight into a file server and the next day got picked up by the general ledger. The sales manager at this particular firm also knew that, he also had access to that file, he was going in and changing the dates on some of those records so that he was getting cash awards for improving his receivables flow.
I used the concept of IT security, the file in transit between systems was not protected, that was the first place I went to look. I did joins on the sales order number, I had different dates on either side of the system.
I recommend IDEA even to shops that use the competition, I use it, I explain it to them the same way I explained it here, it’s so intuitive. At the end of the day, if you have the tool but it has not been used, it’s a complete loss of benefit.
If you have this tool which is powerful and intuitive, it’s absolutely a win-win solution. I have brought IDEA as a concept over to my current employer LPL. I would definitely recommend IDEA to people both in the accounting space as well as the IT space,it’s so intuitive and so powerful.