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The approval process lets you review and approve workpapers and documents electronically. This is an important step in the substantiation process.

Approvals are only available if you are licensed for Workpapers. The examples in this help use an AU system. The same information applies for NZ, but you may see or use some different options or details.

Approvals can be used to track the progress on completing, reviewing and approving workpapers and documents. The workpapers and documents status can be set to easily see the progress on completing, reviewing and approving the workpapers and documents for the workpapers period. In the Prepare Trial Balance (Workpapers) table, the status icons indicate the progress on each workpaper and document.

While work is progressing on workpapers and documents associated with an account, the status icon on the account indicates that work is in progress. When all workpapers and documents linked to an account have been completed, reviewed and marked as approved the status icon on the account updates to indicate work on the account is approved. Once approved, the Approved By and Approved Date fields within the header section of the workpaper are updated to reflect the action.

Workpaper and document statuses

Each workpaper and document has a status associated with it in the Prepare Trial Balance (Workpapers) table:

Status types
  • In Progress—The workpaper or document is being worked on.
  • Awaiting Approval—When a workpaper or document is ready for review or approval, you can assign a task to a staff member and notify them by email. This status means the workpaper or document has been sent for review or approval.
  • Rework—The workpaper or document has has come back from the reviewer for rework.
  • Approved—All workpapers and documents that are linked to an account are reviewed and complete. Approval details are in the Approved By and Approved Date fields in the workpaper header.

Each status is represented by a different icon. You can assign a task while setting the status.

Setting the status of a workpaper or document to Approved may require special permission, depending on Task Permissions configuration.

Setting a workpaper to Approved will make it read-only, and fields in the workpaper will not be editable.

AE and Document Manager only: You can also control whether in-progress documents need to be completed before the period can be completed.

To set the status on a workpaper or document
  1. Go to the client’s Client Accounting > Trial Balance (Workpapers) tab and click a period in the Select Period section.
  2. On the Tasks bar, click Open Period. The table for the period appears.
  3. Select the checkbox next to the workpapers or documents in the table.
  4. On the Tasks bar, click the status option that you want. The Approvals window appears.
  5. Select the status of the workpaper from the Status drop-down list.
  6. To assign the approval task to a staff member other than the one in the Responsible field:
    1. Click the Responsible ellipsis.
      The Find Employees window appears.
    2. Enter the staff member’s name in the Search for text field and click Search.
    3. Click the staff member and click OK.
    4. If you want to change the subject, edit the Subject field.
    5. If you want to add a comment, enter it in the Comment field.

      You can enter more information later as the approvals task progresses.

  7. If you want to send an email to the responsible staff member to notify them that they have been assigned the approvals task:

    1. Select Send email.
      In the email, the Approval window's Subject field is displayed in the subject and the Comment field is displayed in the body.

      For the email to work, the recipient needs an email address to be defined in the application.

    2. Click Edit email. The email appears in your email program.
    3. Review the email.
    4. If the email needs any changes, make the changes in the email program's window that is displayed.
    5. When you're ready to send the email, click click Send.
  8. Review the information in the Other section:
    • The staff member who is requesting the review or approval. The Requested By field defaults to the staff member currently logged in. If you want to select a new staff member, click the ellipsis button.
    • The task priority. Click the Priority drop-down list to set the priority to Low, Medium or High.
    • The required completion date for the approvals task. The default is your computer's date. To change the date, click the Due Date drop-down and select a new date.
  9. Click Next. The History tab appears with a record of changes made to the approvals task.
  10. To export the information in the table to a spreadsheet, click Export to Excel.
  11. Click Finish. The status is saved and the approval task is assigned.
  12. If you need to add comments to the approvals task after the status has been set, use the Current Status option on the Tasks bar. See Viewing the status of a workpaper or document.

Current status

Use the Current Status option to view the current status of a selected workpaper or document. You can edit the Subject, Comment, Requested By, Priority and Due Date fields.

To view the current status of a workpaper or document
  1. Open the workpapers period. See Opening an existing period. The Prepare Trial Balance (Workpapers) table is displayed.
  2. Find the workpaper or document in the table.
  3. Click the checkbox next to the workpaper or document.
  4. Click Current status on the Tasks bar. The Approvals window opens. View the status of the workpaper or document and the properties of the approvals task. See Setting the status on a workpaper or document.
  5. If necessary, edit the Subject, Comment, Requested By, Priority and Due Date fields.
  6. Click Finish to save any changes made and close the window.

Audit trail

The Audit Trail window displays a history of the actions performed on a workpaper. The audit trail lists the actions performed, the date and time on which the action was performed and the staff member who performed the action. You can export this information to Microsoft Excel.

To view the audit trail for selected account or workpaper
  1. Open the workpapers period. See Opening an existing period. The Prepare Trial Balance (Workpapers) table is displayed.
  2. Find the workpaper or document in the table.
  3. Click the checkbox next to the workpaper or document.
  4. Click View audit trail on the Tasks bar. The Audit Trail window opens.
  5. Sort the information, if required.
  6. Click Export to Excel to export the audit records to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The Save As window opens.
    1. Navigate to the location where the file is to be saved and enter a name for the file.
    2. Click the Save button to export and save the file.
  7. Click OK. The Audit Trail window closes.