Using Compustat data with Audit Analytics

On a regular basis I get questions from people who want to get Auditor-related data from Audit Analytics. Audit Analytics is a database that has (among other things) Auditor data for companies that have to file reports with the SEC in America. This not only includes many American companies but also some foreign companies.
Very often the starting point for the research question, however, is a list of companies that was created using the Compustat North America databases (Compustat databases cover financial and stock related data). Through Compustat you can not only create lists more easily with direct searches, it is also possible to use the Consituents Index database to work with historical indexes or index-related lists from exchanges (like S&P 500, etc.).

The important thing to remember is: only two link options exist for data from both databases: Tickers or CIK codes. Tickers may change for companies over time, but CIK codes should not (unless the company itself changes or transforms due to M&A activity, for instance). In a previous blog post I mentioned some research that I did using historical tickers but it seems both Compustat and Audit Analytics keep their databases pretty much up to date where Tickers are concerned. I am, however, inclined to think that using CIK codes to search (and later, match) data is the safer option.

In both the Compustat North America Fundamentals Annual database as well as the Audit Analytics databases it is possible to upload/search using text files containing a list of CIK codes. This way you can find data on the same companies in both databases.

It is also important to not only use the same list of CIK codes to search for data, but you must also select the CIK code varable to get it returned in your output. That way, both the dataset/output from Compustat, and the dataset/output from Audit Analytics, can then later be matched again based on the unique combination of the CIK-codes with the respective Fiscal years. In the WRDS versions of Compustat and Audit Analytics the CIK variable can be found at Step 3 when you are selecting variables for the Output:

  • In Compustat the CIK variable can be found in the block Identifying Information. It is easily recognizable by name: CIK Number
  • Audit Analytics lists the CIK variable under the name “Company FKEY“. It can usually be found in a block of variables with company-related data variables

N.B.: if you need to match both datasets on the unique combination CIK code and fiscal year you can use the Excel functions:

  • Concatenate() (=Tekst.Samenvoegen) to combine the CIK codes and Fiscal Years
  • Vlookup() (= Vertikaal.Zoeken) to match datasets using the unique coes you created.

See examples in my previous posts for Datastream and Compustat.

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