CaseWare Working Papers is recognized as a global leader in the Financial Reporting industry. This is a well-deserved reputation. However, it's a mistake to think of CaseWare as "just" a report writer - it contains a huge number of features and tools to assist the entire financial reporting work flow. We've developed this article series to outline many of these features and demonstrate how to maximize your utilization of the software.
Clients want to save time and they would love to lower audit fees. One of the many features of CaseWare that delivers these very benefits is often-overlooked: Document Management.
When preparing a year end file, Finance needs to be able to support the values they are presenting, both for their own certainty as well as for the auditor.
- Note 6 to your financial statements says total receivables are $12,932,000 with a table showing the aging analysis. We must evidence the underlying accounts that comprise this total.
- The first line of your Balance Sheet (Statement of Financial Position for Canadians) presents your current year cash balance of $3,866,345. How can the auditor be sure this is correct?
The answer is (of course), we provide documentation that supports these values. CaseWare Working Papers provides a completely customizable Document Manager for generating & collecting all the documentation you require. Below is part of a document manager we use in our presentations to represent a typical local government Document Manager:
The first, most obvious type of support to a financial balance on a statement, schedule or note is a leadsheet. CaseWare's Automatic Leadsheets are maintained by the system and provide a detailed listing of all the G/L accounts that comprise a total. These leadsheets are automatically updated every time data is imported, journal entries are recorded or G/L accounts are re-grouped.
The example below shows a lead-sheet that has been grouped into meaningful sub-totals which facilitate more detailed reporting in notes.
Clicking on the + sign to the left of any of the subtotals shows all the G/L accounts that make up the total:
These documents are incredibly important for understanding why a number is what it is. The second step for many balances is providing other supporting documents (bank statements, reconciliations, contracts etc.).
In the image above, we see a Receivable - Utilities account with a balance of $23,578. We know the auditor is going to need to see the lists of individuals / corporations that owe that money. This is likely easy to generate from your ERP system. With CaseWare, all you need to do is drag and drop it onto the document manager to ensure you have one central repository.
CaseWare intelligently numbers the supporting document and makes it available to your team and your auditor (assuming you provide your CaseWare Working Papers file to them) for subsequent review.
You determined you needed to support Receivables - Utilities, went to your ERP system and printed the report. Very likely, you will need to support this amount next year too. CaseWare will maintain the list of required supporting documents.
On any supporting document, mark it to "Roll Forward as Placeholder". When a roll forward is performed, CaseWare finds every document with this property, removes the current year's content and replaces it with a shell (a placeholder). These placeholders are clearly identified so you can find what support you still need to provide. And then you can hand the complete file over to your auditor, fully supported and referenced.