Course Description

Course Level:  Advanced

CPE Credits:  16 (2.0 days)

Course Description:

This two day “hands-on” course builds upon the material and subject matter presented in the Introduction to
ACL for Windows and in the Intermediate ACL for Windows training classes.  A brief review of intermediate ACL
and data analysis concepts and topics will be presented at the start of the course.  The course will proceed with
the introduction and explanation of various topics that are encountered by auditors and analysts when
performing data analysis on more complex data files and/or in more complex information systems environments.  
These include techniques for the identification of data that may require normalization prior to its use with ACL.  
Advanced strategies for working with multiple data files will be introduced and explained.  The participant will
learn how to design, build and debug standard ACL applications in order to enhance effectiveness and
efficiency in the data analysis process.  Advanced ACL commands will be presented.  The course will also
introduce and explain advanced ACL functions not covered in the Introductory or Intermediate ACL training
courses.  The participant will learn how to customize ACL in order to more effectively and efficiently perform data
analysis in his or her particular information systems environment.

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of this course, each participant will be able to:

  • Understand and successfully utilize advanced ACL commands, functions and other features when
    performing data analysis in large and/or complex information systems environments.
  • Identify “irregular” or non-conforming data and successfully apply data normalization concepts and
    procedures within ACL in order to produce accurate data analysis results.
  • Develop and utilize advanced strategies for simultaneously working with multiple data files.
  • Develop standard ACL applications to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of data analysis
  • Customize the ACL for Windows software system for his/her particular environment and/or data analysis

Course Balance:

  • Lecture / discussion:   50%
  • In-class applications:   20%
  • Section exercises:       30%

Course Prerequisites:

Participants should have previously completed the Introduction to ACL for Windows and the Intermediate ACL
for Windows training courses or have moderate working knowledge of the ACL for Windows software system.  At
the client’s option, PIA Consulting will provide a “pre-class” concepts/ exercise sheet suitable for distribution to
participants prior to the class date.

Who Should Attend:

IS and IT Auditors, Financial and Operational Auditors, Internal Auditors, Analysts, Accounting Professionals,
Investigators or anyone interested in enhancing their understanding and use of the ACL for Windows software

Other Information:

PIA Consulting will provide comprehensive course manuals containing presentation material, command, function
and other ACL reference material, class exercises, and glossary sections.

Course Outline:
PIA Consulting is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)  as a
sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors.  State boards of
accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.  Complaints
regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth
Avenue North, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417.  Web site:
This course is offered as an open-enrollment class and as an on-site class.  For more information or to register
for this course, please
email us at or phone us at (512) 343-2866.
Day 1
Day 2
A.  Review of Basic & Intermediate ACL Concepts
  • Common data types and structures
  • The ACL Environment
  • Basic ACL Commands
  • Basic ACL Functions
  • Other ACL concepts & features, as necessary.

B.  Advanced ACL Functions
  • Bit and Character functions
  • Conversion functions
  • Date and Time functions
  • Financial functions
  • Logical functions
  • Math functions
  • String functions
  • Miscellaneous functions

C.  Advanced ACL Commands
  • Assign command
  • Calculate command
  • Dialog command
  • Merge command
  • Cross-Tabulate command
  • Pause command
  • Various other ACL commands
D.  Data Normalization Techniques
  • Data Normalization (DN) defined
  • ACL functions useful for DN
  • Practical applications for DN

E.  Advanced Strategies for Working with
Multiple Data Files

F.  Advanced Uses for Scripts & Groups

G.  Building Standard Applications in ACL
  • ACL Applications defined
  • Creating ACL Applications
  • Using ACL Applications

H.  Customizing ACL
  • Customization/Settings defined
  • ACL default settings

I.  Comprehensive Class Exercise

J.  Course Wrap-up & Discussion
Advanced ACL