Workflow - those required steps that a complex task must pass through from inception to completion.
Workflows range from the very simple, to the very complex depending on the job at hand. When the job is as complex as a month/quarter/year-end or the production of a budget book, managing the workflow is essential to accuracy & timeliness. How do you ensure that all steps have been completed, in the right order as quickly as possible?
Here are 5 features in CaseWare that are sure to manage and improve your workflow.
1) Document Management
Working Papers allows your to pre-define all the documents you need in your file for support. Lead sheets, work papers, Excel & Word documents. checklists and more. These document can be organized in any way you like allowing you to formalize exactly what steps must be completed in each area. Read more in our article on Document Management.
At the surface, the sign off function is simple, sign off on a document to signify its completion and that document is updated with sign-off status, date & user. Any other users who access the engagement will see the sign off credential.
Delve a litter deeper and we find:
- Up to 8 customizable color-coded sign-off roles. This means you can designate which documents require 3 reviews (for example) and which only need one.
- Any changes to a document made after sign-off are flagged
- Reports can be automatically marked as read-only after a specific role signs off
- The document manager can be filtered to present just documents ready for your review
- Automatic milestones take a snapshot of documents at the time of sign-off for the audit trail
Issue tracking allows for more than just the creation of review notes. Not unlike sign-off, this feature provides a myriad of capabilities you might not necessarily think of when considering workflow.
A few of the key ones include:
- Assignment, priority, commencement, deadline, reminders & status settings.
- Automatic reports based on issues which can be modified/filtered using a number of variables such as date/status/type/assigned to.
- Assign issues to document and/or line (G/L account) levels.
- Automatic audit trail kept of all issues recorded, by who and when.
Filter the document manager by hundreds of variables. View just those documents assigned to you, those with outstanding issues or containing specific information such as notes. You can read more and view a short video in our filters article.
If you spend time comparing prior and current year engagements to make sure you haven't missed any documentation, then this little feature is a game changer.
Prior to year-end, you can specify which documents you want to roll forward into next year's file. This year's bank reconciliation (for instance) is of little use for next year's engagement, so you wouldn’t want to roll the contents forward. This is where placeholders come in.
CaseWare allows you to roll certain document forward as a placeholder. It acts as the reminder of all the documents you need in your file. In the new year when you receive the current bank reconciliation, you drag it over the placeholder to replace it. No more wondering if you have missed a document. Just filter the document manager to show placeholders and if you see none, you're done.
If you found this article interesting and want to learn more about CaseWare's abilities, check out our Feature Spotlight series of articles.