Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between ACL and IDEA

ACL vs IDEA

It is a known fact that MS Excel is popularly used by many professionals up to this date. However, amidst its popularity it is not hidden to the knowledge of some experts that it is already one of the so-called outdated programs whose functionality is very limited compared to other software that can perform almost the same, if not better functions. In this regard, other programs like ACL, ActiveData, SAS, Access, and IDEA often come into one’s thought. But perhaps one of the most argued and debated software nowadays is how ACL fairs against IDEA. Their competition is similar to how PC and Apple are batting it all out.

Actually both ACL and IDEA are classified as GAS or General Audit Software. Compared to Excel, both programs are boasting because of their ingenious functionalities over the popular auditing Microsoft engine.

Without any form of bias whatsoever, ACL is truly the software to beat. The reason for such is perhaps most GAS users started using ACL over any other products as stepping stone for professional auditing. In the long run, these users have developed a great amount of loyalty to the product which makes IDEA on second place.

Some of the advantages of using ACL over IDEA are the following:

a. It has a formidable user forum which is perhaps the most vibrant online communities today. There are a lot of experts who are able to answer your technical problems readily.

b. In connection to the user forum, ACL has numerous user groups throughout the world.

c. There are also lots of online and offline (hard copies) publications about ACL

d. Generally, there are more ACL than IDEA users today. With regard to employment prospects, many companies will prefer looking for experts in ACL than those who have an experience in IDEA.

On the other side of the coin, IDEA seems to be better than ACL in some other aspects as well. IDEA can better APPEND files. Field sizes are automatically shifted to normal data unlike in ACL wherein the user must carefully ensure to observe only the correct sizes for the fields. IDEA can also APPEND numerous characters worth of tables with only one command. In the case of ACL, this function has to be done one by one.

Moreover, IDEA is said to have a better navigation specifically when working with many tables that have both parent and daughter files. This means that IDEA arranges sub tables in such a way that they are indented from their parent tables. This is usually a common problem encountered by ACL users.

On top of these strengths, there are still other noteworthy advantages that IDEA has over ACL. Nevertheless, both ACL and IDEA are top quality GAS. When used properly, both systems can create significant positive changes in the overall auditing efficiency. In summary:

1. ACL is the more popular product or GAS compared to IDEA.

2. ACL is an older software compared to IDEA.

3. There are more people who know how to use ACL than IDEA, in as much as there are generally more ACL users than IDEA.

4. IDEA is said to have a better navigation interface when auditing tables.


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