Grant Thornton Awarded Patent for Innovative Technology

Chicago-based IPA 100 firm Grant Thornton LLP (FY20 net revenue of $1.9 billion) has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for innovations related to its proprietary Whole Ledger Analytics system.

Whole Ledger Analytics was designed to enhance general ledger analysis by assessing risks related to each financial reporting transaction. Grant Thornton began developing the system over four years ago and has incorporated it into the majority of its audits, allowing for easier and more effective examination of a client’s financial reporting activity and identification of higher-risk transactions, human errors and reporting trends. The system also identifies process improvement opportunities, such as automating manual reporting activity and accelerating the time-to-close process.

The patent protects and recognizes the firm’s analytic techniques for flagging entries in a company’s general ledger, which compute transaction risk scores, analyze digital and textual trends and compare the frequency and nature of accounts used by a company across multiple periods. The techniques also look at the words used to describe the transactions, the relationships among the transactions and the prior history of transactions for the business.

“At its core, Whole Ledger Analytics allows auditors to perform a better and more robust general ledger analysis by considering dozens of separate risk factors across millions of journal entries simultaneously,” says Brian Wolohan, PIC of audit innovation. “Our pioneering approach to innovation continues to provide our clients with higher audit quality and better insights across their organizations, and this patent exemplifies that.”

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