Completing a workpaper 1/21: What's involved in a workpaper?

Created by Marco Fiumara, Modified on Thu, 02 Feb 2023 at 12:54 PM by Marco Fiumara

Welcome to lesson 1 of the Preparing a workpaper course! If you haven't already, we highly encourage you to first read through the General course.

This lesson will introduce you to a workpaper and what's involved in taking a workpaper from creation to completion at a high-level. While the outlined flow covers the various aspects of a workpaper, we recommend working your way through all the lessons to gain a deeper understanding each aspect of the process. Additionally, while the below will outline a loose order for completing a workpaper, the flow may look slightly different in your firm.


Create a workpaper

The process begins by creating a workpaper, which involves selecting the entity the workpaper is for, entering the workpaper information, and allocating the assigned users for the workpaper. These steps are covered in detail in our General 7/7: Creating workpapers lesson.

Peruse procedures

When a workpaper is created, you'll be launched into the dashboard which keeps you informed as to the progress of the workpaper. We'll talk about each aspect of the dashboard more in Completing a workpaper 2/21: Dashboard overview

Figure 1: Dashboard

When starting a workpaper, it may be useful to first have a look over the procedures required for the workpaper to confirm you have the capacity to complete the workpaper. Navigate to the Procedures tab at the top of the screen to view the procedures for the workpaper.

Figure 2: Procedures

Exclude unnecessary worksheets and allocate work to users

Once you're familiar with the procedures that must be competed (or marked as not applicable) for the workpaper, navigate to the Trial Balance screen via the Trial Balance tab in the header, where you'll see the following:

Figure 3: Trial Balance

From the trial balance you can easily filter and sort the accounts to determine which require worksheets and which do not. Of the remaining worksheets, leverage filters to isolate accounts and allocate work by assigning users to accounts. Excluding, allocating work, and more is covered in Completing a workpaper 3/21: Trial balance basics, and filtering is covered more in Completing a workpaper 4/21: Using search, sort, and filter.

Prepare worksheets

When your worksheets have been filtered down and work has been assigned to users, it's time to begin preparing worksheets. From the Trial balance, click the account name/code to launch into its worksheet, or you can hit the '/' key on any screen and search for a particular account to also go to its worksheet.

Figure 4: Worksheet

The worksheet screen has several components to it which are covered in detail over 7 lessons in this course, from Completing a workpaper 5/21: Worksheet overview to Completing a workpaper 12/21: Reviewing a worksheet. Preparing a worksheet for review involves 3 things:

  1. Ensuring the account is reconciled (with files attached to evidence entries)
  2. Ensuring all checklist items are complete
  3. Ensuring all internal comments and client queries are resolved

A worksheet cannot be reviewed until all these aspects are covered.

Prepare other schedules

For items such as Tax Reconciliations, you can create an Other Schedule allowing you to create entries to attach your custom Tax Reconciliation document. Other Schedules are covered more in Completing a workpaper 13/21: Other schedules overview. Head to the Other Schedules tab to add a new schedule. When a new schedule is added, click its name to be taken to its worksheet screen, pictured below.

Figure 5: Other Schedules - Tax Reconciliation

Review worksheets/other schedules

When the 3 elements mentioned in the Prepare worksheets step are satisfied and the 2 elements mentioned in the Prepare other schedules step satisfied, the Review button will become available to reviewers. 

If elements change on a worksheet, such as a new internal comment or values are changed when updating the trial balance, the worksheet will lose its review status and must be reviewed again. Similarly, if information changes on an other schedule it will also lose its review status. The review status of a worksheet is directly linked to the ability to certify and complete a workpaper; if data changes while the workpaper is active, you can be assured the review and certification status will be reset as to maintain proper governance and control.

Figure 6: Worksheet - Ready for review

Complete procedures

Before you can certify the workpaper, it's important you ensure all procedures have either been completed or marked as Not Applicable.

Figure 7: Procedures - Completed

Complete certification

When you think everything is complete and its time to certify the workpaper, head to the Dashboard. From the dashboard you can see the status of and any remaining tasks for the workpaper by the various aspects discussed above. When all aspects have been completed, you can proceed with certification by clicking the Certify button on the top-right of the screen. 

Figure 8: Certification - Completed

This will show the status of the required steps, and if all are completed, you can complete your certification. If the status of any of the items change before the approver has certified, the certification status will be reset and must be completed again when all items are resolved.

When the approver has certified, the workpaper is completed and locked, putting it in read-only mode thus preventing users from modifying the data. Completed workpapers can be opened and viewed any time for reference purposes. 

Next: Completing a workpaper 2/21: Dashboard overview

Now that you have a good understanding of what's involved in taking a workpaper from creation to completion in Cimplico Workpapers, let's take a closer look at the Dashboard and how it will help you track a workaper's progress and your tasks!

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