Kral Ussery LLC, Certified Public Accountants
TX Office: (817) 416-6842
NV Office: (702) 565-2727

Data Quality and M&A

Tap into KU's tools, advice and experience:

  • Data Quality Services
  • COSO Principle 13
  • M&A Due Diligence
  • M&A Post Transaction Integration

Data Quality

Data is a valuable business asset that can transform business performance. But many companies struggle to realize the true value of their data due to poor data quality. This not only affects analytics but also their compliance and operational business activities. A HBR Research report says, just 3% of the data in a business enterprise meets quality standards. A study from Gartner says poor data quality costs an average company $15 million a year. Overall, most organizations are plagued with poor data quality.

Our Data Quality Services include a set of tools, technologies, and processes designed to ensure that data is accurate, complete, consistent, and secure. The two key pillars or phases of our Data Quality Services are: Assessment and Remediation. We first assess or profile critical data elements pertaining to operations, regulations, and analytics and identify any inconsistencies, errors, or missing information. The next phase is to design and implement suitable remedial including governance and sustainment solutions based on proven best practices. This phase covers data cleansing and data enrichment. For more on our Data Quality Services, please refer to Dr. Southekal's best selling book - Data Quality: Empowering Businesses with Analytics and AI published by Wiley in

Here is a more detailed description of our Data Quality Services:

    • Data Analytics Training (30/15/12/2 Hours)
    • Regression Models for Predictive Analytics (8 Hours)
    • Introduction to Data Analytics (8 Hours)
    • Fundamentals of Data Engineering/DataOps (4/8 Hours)
    • EPM and KPI based Dashboards (8 Hours)
    • Building Monetizable Data Products (8 Hours)
    • Data Analytics for Supply Chain Professionals (20 Hours)
    • Data Analytics for Finance Professionals (20 Hours)
    • Data Analytics for HR Professionals (20 Hours)
    • Lean Six Sigma (DMAIC) (15 Hours)
    • Decision Science for Business Results (4 Hours)
Data Quality Assessments: 
    • We conduct risk assessments of an organization's current data environment to assess maturity and to identify risks and opportunities. The resulting report provides an independent perspective of what is working and what is not (i.e., opportunities for improvement).
Data Quality Remediation Services: 
    • Our team can troubleshoot data mining, processing, storage, and retention problems by confirming root causes and providing recommendations to help ensure robust data controls and processes.
Data Governance: 
    • Who is accountability for data quality and how is this defined? These are important considerations that oftentimes is closely tied to root causes of data failures. Our team is poised to advise as our firm was founded upon the premise of governance best practices.

Principle 13 of COSO's Internal Control-Integrated Framework 

Principle 13 of the Framework is arguably one of the more difficult principles to address, especially the focus point of maintaining quality throughout information processing. This principle defines quality of information along the attributes of accessible, correct, current, protected, retained, sufficient, timely, valid, and verifiable. As many US public companies that utilize the COSO Framework for SEC regulatory purposes know, this is wide scope that is becoming increasingly important as 5G, artificial intelligence, robotics, the internet of things (IoT), quantum computing, analytics, blockchain and other technologies drive the workplace.

In addition, external audit firms are closely scrutinized by the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) on this principle for not properly applying the considerations of Principle 13 in their public company clients' risk assessments and audit procedures. As a result, audit firms are directed to thoroughly understand the processing of data through information systems and information quality that is material to internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). They must be in a position to test the relating controls if their scope includes opining on ICFR. 

The KU team is well versed with all aspects of COSO's Internal Control-Integrated Framework, both from the company and the audit standpoints for all 17 principles of the Framework, including Principle 13. We can take the lead or support on-going efforts to ensure that the surrounding processes around data processing and information quality are robust in the spirit of Principle 13. This involves ensuring that controls are properly designed through adequate policies and procedures, and that control activities are being properly executed as designed.

Mergers and Acquisitions

The success of any decision-making process rests on the information flows and data feeding into the process. Many mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are subsequently criticized for insufficient, inaccurate, or untimely information. A poor decision can cost organizations big dollars as companies often realize that their supporting data, preconceptions, or assumptions were flawed. Our services aim to mitigate these risks to best take advantage of opportunities in the spirit of protecting and growing shareholder value. 

Understanding the risks of poor information and decision making is a start, however bringing in the expertise to mitigate these risks through all M&A stages is where the big payoffs reside. We can help on multiple fronts and during various stages, including:

Pre-M&A Decision Stage

  • Identifying the magnitudes of data and information, both internal and external, and potential for use
  • Clarifying the objective of evidence gathering in the decision-making process
  • Mitigating the risk of non-transparency between management, the board, auditors and stakeholders
  • Developing controls to promote strong decision rights and information flows
  • Ensuring a thorough understanding of reasonably possible outcomes
  • Understanding new regulatory requirements

Readiness Stage (Prior to Day 1)

  • Assessing the magnitudes of data and information, both internal and external
  • Aligning people, processes and technology
  • Adjusting the governance structure to ensure accountability
  • Integrating cultures
  • Preparing for a new look of consolidated financial statements, including potentially a new GAAP
  • Understanding what must happen by Day 1 and making certain it happens
  • Clearly identify who is going to do what, how, when, where and why
  • Building controls to best meet objectives in the new environment
Day 1 Operations

This is usually a relatively long list of Day-1 activities, including items such as:
  • Run integrated technologies in a live environment
  • Draw on new credit facility
  • Complete the first cash receipt and deposit
  • Complete first shipment
  • Complete the first customer invoice
  • Complete first goods receipt
  • Take first customer order
  • Pay first bills
  • Deliver upon first customer order
  • Record proper transactions in accounting system

Post Day 1 Operations

  • Monitoring and communicating operating performance
  • Making necessary refinements to policies and procedures to help ensure long-term success
  • Ensuring that initial weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reporting is effective for both internal and external purposes
  • Conducting a follow-up risk assessment in the spirit of maximizing long-term shareholder value
  • Updating strategic plan
Our experienced team can assist in conducting a robust due diligence assessment designed to ferret out potential risks and valuation considerations, assess their magnitude and the probability of the risks' occurrence, consider whether mitigation is possible and respond accordingly.

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