Perfect Audit Review: Terrible Product, Doesn’t Perform as Promised

Standard

perfectaudit-ocrolusA few months ago, I was asked to beta test PerfectAudit software by Ocrolus.The software has used other names such as AuditGenius (auditgenius.com now forwards to perfectaudit.com) and Medicaid Genius. Promotional emails are being sent from the domain perfectauditpreview.com, which forwards to perfectaudit.com. The company is currently marketing to service providers in the divorce arena, and they say that firms such as Met Life, RGL, and Duff & Phelps are using the site for divorce cases.

The website bills Perfect Audit as a “game changer” for those who depend on data from bank statements and credit card statements. It’s a great concept! PerfectAudit will use OCR technology to pull the data off the statements, put the data into a searchable database, and you have access to data that is guaranteed to be 100% accurate.

But the product is terrible and doesn’t even come close to doing what they say it does. Here is what they say it does:

perfect audit softwareThe biggest problem with Perfect Audit is the 100% accuracy guarantee. In a promotional email, the Peter Bobley (company founder) says:

And since we sync the transaction data to bank balances the data is guaranteed to be 100% accurate.

Sam Bobley, who lists himself as co-founder of the company, says in his LinkedIn profile:

For the first time, auditors are quickly able to work with a perfectly accurate digital database of transactions while performing financial investigations.

My experience with the site was different. While PerfectAudit said my data was synced (and therefore accurate and complete), it was not. How did this happen? The OCR engine is imperfect, and doesn’t always capture all the data. When it missed data on my project, Perfect Audit had overseas data entry clerks manually enter the data. They didn’t bother to check their work; they didn’t even reconcile to transaction totals on the statements; they just said it was synced and moved on.

Unfortunately, there were major errors in the data. There were missing transactions, and there were many transactions that were duplicated. In essence, I had a completely unreliable database of thousands of transactions, and I had to go through it line by line to correct the errors.

Even the process of manually reconciling the data was made more difficult by Perfect Audit. The data could not be be sorted in statement order. In other words, when I’m trying to reconcile the data and look for missing or duplicated transactions, it is important for the data to be in the same order as on the actual statements. I can then scan down the statements and match transactions in the database to find my problem. If the transactions in the database are in random order, the process of matching the database to the statements takes infinitely longer. I spent hours trying to reconcile the data so I could have a usable set transactions.

Perfect Audit touts the ability to search transaction data:

The site enables users to instantaneously search, sort and note transactions by date range, dollar amount and more – even simultaneously from thousands of pages from multiple banks.

Again, the concept is great, but the reality is different. Searchability is only useful if your data is accurate (see above) and if all of the information from the bank and credit card statements is put into the database. When the OCR engine doesn’t pick up a transaction, the poorly paid data entry people manually enter the data into the database. But they don’t enter exactly what they see. They take shortcuts and make abbreviations that don’t always make sense.

If you rely on information beyond the payee, the data entry clerks don’t capture that. For example, you may have a case in which the location of the transaction is important. The credit card statements often list the merchant name and the city in which the transaction was made. Many times there is also a phone number listed with the transaction, which can be helpful if you’re trying to figure out who the merchant is or what was purchased. The data entry personnel only enter the payee (sometimes abbreviated, as noted above) and they don’t enter the remaining information on the statement, so you find yourself with incomplete information.

Then there is the pricing. The cost is $0.40 per page processed. That sounds reasonable, but there are a couple of caveats. First, as described above, I received back a database of garbage. It was completely unusable. I had to spend hours and hours to try to fix the data, and there was obviously a cost to me to find and fix all the errors.

Second, unless you want to pay for pages that don’t have any data on them, you will have to spend a lot of time deleting pages from your statements. Bank and credit card statements often have multiple pages with no data on them (they have all sorts of legal information, disclaimers, privacy policies, or sometimes even blank pages). Every page processed costs you 40 cents, so unless you want to pay for useless pages, you better manually delete those pages before you send in your statements.

I asked the company about any changes in the software since I tried it a few months ago. I specifically asked about their process for capturing the data:

The way we process the data has not changed. We run OCR (optical character recognition) on uploaded files and use a reconciliation procedure to generate an accurate database of bank and credit card transactions. This way, our users don’t have to worry about reconciling the data in order to ensure accuracy.

Over and over they tout 100% accuracy, when I have seen that the data they produce isn’t even close to accurate. The main flaws in the software appear to remain uncorrected.

In theory, PerfectAudit is a great concept. The reality, however, is far from what they advertise. In my experience with the site, the data was inaccurate and incomplete, the database was difficult to work with, and the software simply didn’t perform as promised.

What is the alternative to Perfect Audit? Some firms use software that converts PDFs to excel. I’ve found that software to be terrible. I’ve also used a horribly expensive and terribly terrible product called Comprehensive Financial Investigative Solution (CFIS or FIS) by Actionable Intelligence Technologies (AIT). While CFIS is better in the accuracy department, the company fails to live up to many of its promises and rarely meets deadlines. The software is cumbersome, adding hours and hours to process of reconciling and working with data.

Personally, I use a propriety system to capture the data, put it into a custom database, and analyze it. I’ve found that off-the-shelf products like PerfectAudit are limiting because they focus on what they think is important, not what you know is important for your case. It is much better to create a system that works and provides the accuracy you require. Don’t rely on a company that sells false hope, saying you’ll have 100% accurate data, when you’ll have nothing of the sort. Your clients, your cases, and your reputation are too important to take that risk.

7 thoughts on “Perfect Audit Review: Terrible Product, Doesn’t Perform as Promised

  1. Mark Harmann

    I know of Sam Bobley CEO Ocrulus and all subsidiary companies you named. Which are all basically the exact same application attempted to be marketed under different names to throw as big a scam net as possible.

    His career and company have been 100% funded by his father, the one hit wonder, Peter A Bobley and his partner Victoria Meakon.

    If you look at his resume, his internship at US Canteen.com was yet another company started by his father Peter A, and Ms. Meakon. Also check out 188-Specs.com and a few others.

    All total failures where the other investors lost all their money while Bobley and Meakon took salaries , expenses etc.

    Granted, Peter A Bobley and Victoria Meakon did have one home run, which came after a yet longer list of failures before the one hit.

    Bobley (an incredible egomaniac to the point of being psychotic), will forget all of the businesses funded for him prior to his one success existed. As well as the money lost on them.

    However, he and Meakon did found, build, and ultimately sell their “baby” Phonecharge” for $100 million to Thenpublic company Checkfree.

    His longtime partners and joint investors did all reap a windfall on that. No doubt.

    As part of the sale, Bobley “convinced” his longtime partners to re-invest part of their windfall in a new company he and Meakon founded to launch new businesses.

    Convinced of his own new found genius. Everyone of his partners agreed not based on confidence he would succeed again. They just thought he deserved it as a “bonus” based on the Phonecharfe success. They expected and did lose their re-investments quite quickly.

    My point is stay away from Ocrulous and any of the companies associated with it.

    It’s all a scam!

  2. Penny

    I agree with Mark “Harmann” that Peter A Bobley is a fraud and an egomaniac. I mean, claiming to “invent” Netflix with a video cassette-by-mail program from 25 years ago? I’m sure he has a long list of very successful “inventions.” And why would I want to buy an audit software program from the inventor of the American Express Appointment Book who happens to be a Broadway producer (no joke) that convinced himself that Netflix was his idea? What’s he drinking out of his canteen? And his relative Mark Bobley…talk about taking a huge salary when the company was losing hundreds of thousands of dollars and in bankruptcy. He claimed that purchasing single song tracks online (Apple Store) was his idea because 20 years before, he tried to launch an idea where you order music cassettes with hand picked singles from various artists. So going by their way of thinking, I guess that means I invented Taco Bell, the iWatch, the Prius, hard root beer, the dollar store concept and the idea for Disney’s Toy Story. These generations of Bobleys were fortunate enough to have successful GRANDPARENTS that financed all of their ventures. If you deduct all of the money these guys squandered over the years from what they sold PhoneCharge for, they’re in the red. And the real victims of their crimes are their customers and long-time employees. Everyone in this family is stuck-up, selfish, spoiled, delusional, mean-spirited, cold-hearted and irresponsible mental cases. Do yourself a favor…If you see the name ‘Bobley’ attached to something, stay clear of it.

  3. Chris

    Peter A. Bobley states to be the Founder of Ocrolus but his son claims that they are Co-founders. I bet neither are and someone else developed the PerfectAudit idea and inferior software, then just sold it to Peter. But to claim that Video Mailbox is a precursor to Netflix? Plus claiming to have developed the “free plus s&h” sales concept? Wow…That’s pretty irresponsible and sad that he’s so insecure that he feels the need to communicate this all over the internet. I realize that we’re not all as smart as him but we’re not dumb. He mentions more about Netflix than the one business he had success with. Sad.

  4. S. B.

    I was told that Peter Bobley invented the audit process while producing his Broadway hit play. So it makes sense that he founded PerfectAudit. Too bad the product doesn’t work.

  5. Anonymous

    All of the above is true. I was the controller there for 18 years. Family of ego. That mail order cassette deal was a financial disaster along with many others.

    Mark Harmann I assume you’re Vince’s son. I was sorry to read he passed. He was nice guy to work for.

  6. Mori Gropper

    I also worked for the Bobleys for many years and they always treated me with great respect. Mark Harmann’s father worked for them and was clearly envious of their success. Chris the controller was, too. You can tell from the tone of their criticism they have a personal ax to grind. Don’t listen to them.

  7. BM

    Mori, there is no ax to grind. It’s all true and you can ask anyone that worked for them. Even some of their relatives that worked for the company would agree. I could write a book with all of the scandals, fraud, dysfunction, incompetents, and constant b.s. I’ve witnessed over the years. With the money Peter A Bobley made, why does he feel the need to constantly troll all over the internet that Netflix was his idea? There’s a reason why none of the Bobleys like each other – cousin vs cousin, brother vs brother, father vs son. After years and years of all of the b.s. they shoveled, it would be nice if all of the Bobley b.s. can stop already. But that won’t happen because that family is envious, delusional, egotistical, and mentally unstable. They’re only concerned about comparing bank accounts and waiting for their trust funds and inheritance. And believe me, they would openly admit it. They love to talk about their money, estates, cars, boats, vacations, and horses. These people would go on and on about about their money to employees struggling to make ends meet and getting paid garbage. So, Mori, if they’re going to continue to post their crap all over the web, they can deal with the criticism. And the Mark Harmann who commented on this page is not Vince’s son. It’s just more b.s. from a Bobley.

Leave a Reply