# In Black & White

## Freeing Finance & Budget Departments from Drudgery One Article at a Time

### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Workflow

• James Goligher
• CaseWare Feature Spotlight
5 CaseWare Working Papers features sure to reduce time, cost & errors in your finance department through more efficient workflows.

### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Audit Trail

• James Goligher
• CaseWare Feature Spotlight
Save preparation time & reduce audit fees. These 4 CaseWare Working Papers' features provide an automated audit trail with analysis tools.

### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Diagnostics

• Darryl Parker
• CaseWare Feature Spotlight
CaseWare's diagnostics significantly reduces time spent to generate CAFRs, annual financial statements, budget books and other complex reports.

### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Content Library

• Jamie Black
• CaseWare Feature Spotlight
Rather than building your reports from scratch, yourself, leverage the power of CaseWare Working Paper's GASBE / IFRS / ASPE content library.

### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Document Management

• Jamie Black
• CaseWare Feature Spotlight
• minute(s)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. 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: Automatic Leadsheets 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.). Supporting Documents 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. Placeholders 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. One of the CaseWare's unsung features is Document Management - the easy for Finance to support their reports. ### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Rounding Relationships • Jamie Black • CaseWare Feature Spotlight • minute(s)CaseWare's financial reporting solutions provide massive benefits. Auditors in public practice, finance officers in government, and controllers in large corporations use CaseWare to automate their most complex financial reports faster, with fewer errors, and more reliably than with any other tool. How? By providing the most sophisticated features in the industry. Each of our "Feature Spotlight" articles discuss one of these features. Rounding Relationships Reduce Risk Rounding is a very challenging problem. We have discussed techniques for addressing it in Excel on several occasions. Because of the complexity and the frequency that accountants, auditors and finance professionals encounter rounding errors, CaseWare Working Papers provides a number of tools to solve this problem. In this post we'll review one of them: rounding relationships. In many scenarios (like the ones described here), differences can be expected. But typically the difference is an immaterial amount. To deal with this issue, we have CaseWare's Rounding Relations feature. Rounding Relations allows the end user to define an unlimited number of relationships to monitor and automatically resolve out-of-balance issues. To use this feature, all that is necessary is: Identify two cells to compare (Difference cells), identify a third cell (Plug cell) which, when adjusted, will cause one of the first two cells to change Set the maximum amount of the adjustment (Limit) Once the accountant has these options configured and enabled, CaseWare continuously monitors the cells and keeps them in balance. No computer programmer or external consultant required. We can even be a bit more sophisticated if we like. Using the Advanced option for the plug cell, we can specify a Plug Condition. The Plug Condition is the condition that makes this cell get skipped as the plug cell. That is, if the condition for a plug cell is evaluated to be true, the difference is not plugged to that cell and the next Plug Condition in the Rounding Relationship is evaluated. If the condition for a plug cell is evaluated to be false, the amount necessary to resolve the disagreement between the difference cells is plugged to that cell. Should the disparity between the "Difference cells" exceed the defined "Limit", CaseWare will immediately notify the end use of the problem complete with hyperlinks allowing you to jump to all the cells involved. This notification ensures discrepancies are not overlooked and allows the end user to investigate the cause and resolve the underlying issue. You're not forced to constant re-read the report, scanning for disagreements, and that directly translates into less time spent reviewing to ensure agreement. It also guarantees fewer errors in your reports. CaseWare Working Papers has multiple systems available to warn you of discrepancies and/or automatically fix them. Look for upcoming CaseWare Feature Spotlight articles to talk about how to get closer and closer to fully automated, agreed financial reports! If reducing the risk of errors while decreasing time investment is your goal, the rounding relationship is one feature of CaseWare Working Papers you need. ### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Modifiable Groups • Jamie Black • CaseWare Feature Spotlight • minute(s)CaseWare's financial reporting solutions provide massive benefits to more than 500,000 users in 130 countries. Accountants, from auditors in public practice to finance officers in government, use CaseWare to automate very complex financial reports faster, with fewer errors, more reliably than with any other tool. How does CaseWare do this? By providing the most sophisticated features in the industry. Each of our "Feature Spotlight" articles discuss one of these features. Groups For a report of any sophistication, you need to group items (general ledger accounts, performance metrics etc). In fact it is typical that you need to combine those accounts in several different ways in a single report. For example one schedule may show expenses grouped by nature, and another schedule shows expenses grouped by department. Further, because you may want to generate reports that the software vendor might not have anticipated, you need modifiable groups. In other words, customizable by you and not require a consultant or the software vendor's intervention. All of this is true of CaseWare. CaseWare provides standardized groupings to simplify your reporting For example, CAFR groupings are provided in the GASB template. You can also modify or import your own groupings if you have them defined elsewhere. In fact, CaseWare Working Papers has this and more. 10 Groupings that can be named and organized any way you need (note Group 3 in the screenshot below called "Any Name I Want"). Each grouping can have 40-digit codes and 50-character names all specified by you. They also have some sophisticated features: Flipping - consider AR & AP. Imagine that this year one of your receivable accounts has a credit balance. No problem - in CaseWare you can configure the group code to automatically "flip" that account to the payables group code with no intervention from the user required! Calculation - Consider AR. Most often you will want to show receivables net of allowances for doubtful accounts. Not always though. Calculated groups allow you to instantly add other groups (the AR group and the Allowance group) together to get AR Net of Allowances. Extended & Calculated Descriptions - Need a longer description? How about changing the description automatically in the situation where the "Due To" becomes a "Due From"? Check & Check! Mapping has all the features of the above groups and a number of extra features too. Mapping allows you to default account properties and automatically assign any or all of the other 10 groups. Map numbers can be 40 digits long with 50-character names, all fully modifiable by the end user. Entity code - this mechanism is often overlooked by CaseWare users. Not only does it do all the work of the other 10 groupings but it also gives you a very simple way to create what Excel users call a pivot table. This turns out to be an amazing feature when trying to tackle complex governmental reporting (GASB / PSAB) or dealing with large consolidations. Entity numbers (called abbreviations) can be 40 digits long and the descriptions can be 100 characters long. If you are keeping track that is 12 concurrent grouping mechanisms that can all be customized and modified by the end user! PS: There are actually 2 more ways to combine accounts: Tax Export Code & GIFI. Both of these are used to automate the population of your corporate tax software (very useful for public accountants and accountants in large corporations). We have not counted these two as true grouping mechanisms as they are built for very specific purposes, and are not that modifiable. Customizable groupings are key to saving time, reducing errors, reducing audit fees & improving the reliability of your reports. CaseWare has you covered. ### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Map Purge • Darryl Parker • CaseWare Feature Spotlight • minute(s)As Certified Consultants and Trainers for CaseWare International, the group at F.H. Black & Company Incorporated gets a chance to talk to Working Papers users from all over the world about how they use the software to do their daily work. Often people don't appreciate the full depth and breadth of the software's abilities and we get the chance to help long-time users get even better at using the software. These "Feature Spotlight" blog posts are designed to: Help those considering CaseWare understand how the solution can transform their reporting processes amd introduce existing users to some of these power features and techniques and help you to become a true "black-belt" masters of the software. One of the features that many people do not know about or are not comfortable using is Mapping Purge. This blog post will introduce the Map Purge, and its strengths and weaknesses. What Problem Does Mapping Purge Solve? In short, too many groupings. CaseWare International releases several standard map number typologies in North America: for GAAP and for IFRS. These map numbers are attempts to provide a comprehensive and standardized way to report all common types of assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, and expenses. However in any one Working Papers file, it is likely that many, many of those map numbers have gone unused. Just take a look at the Other Revenue map numbers available in the standard GAAP mapping: That's a big long list of$0.00 map numbers for you to constantly scan and consider.  Further, every map number represents another value that must be calculated and recalculated by CaseWare. These extra, unnecessary calculations can dramatically slow down your Working Papers file. Wouldn't it better if the unused map numbers were removed from the file, and you only had to review and consider the relevant ones?  That is the problem that Map Purge was created to solve for you.   How to Create Map Purges First, if you're lucky you already have some map purges defined in your Working Papers file. Writing map purges is something the typical user will do very rarely - once you have a good purge, you can simple use the Copy Components tool in Working Papers to copy it among your files. BEFORE YOU START - A Word of Warning!!! Map purges will delete map numbers out of your Working Papers file, and there is no undo button.  You must take a backup prior to running a mapping purge. Even better, take a disposable copy of your file and thoroughly test a purge and verify its effects before running it in your live file.  And even then, you should take a backup of that live file in advance of running your thoroughly tested purge! If you don't have the map purge that you need, here's the process to create it: Open your Working Papers file On the Tools Ribbon, click the Options item Select Mapping -> Purge in the left sidebar Click the New button Give your map purge a short name in the "Filter ID" text box Type a description that you could expect your colleagues to read and understand the goal of the purge in the "Description" text box. Decide whether you are writing a filter to delete the map numbers that match your criteria, or keep only the map numbers which match your criteria. Select the appropriate radio button. NOW, here's the hard part: write the filter expression.  This is a Boolean dbase filter expression that resolves to "true" or "false".  The meaning of the "true" depends on your selection to the radio button in the step above.  It will either mean that the map number should be deleted, or it should be retained. Finally, decide what should happen if an Unassignable map number has all of its subsidiary map numbers removed by the purge. Check or uncheck the checkbox based on the appropriate behavior. Click OK. Your map purge is made.  Just select it from the list and hit that "Purge Now" button The Weakness of the Map Purge feature The concept of a Map Purge is a powerful one and when it works well for you it can have a dramatic effect on your Working Papers file.  The purge pictured above removed more than 500 map numbers from the Samp01 file in about 10 seconds.  However, there are some serious limitations to what a dbase filter expression can achieve for you.  In particular, you cannot filter your map numbers based on whether or not accounts are assigned to it, only if the accounts have specific balances.  Consider: What about a Due To / Due From map number that is expected to balance to $0 for the parent in your consolidation, but will have balances for the subsidiaries? What about map numbers that sometimes have important balances in some interim periods, but get adjusted to$0.00 at the end of the year? The map purge feature cannot help you in these situations; the dbase filter cannot differentiate between the case of a set of accounts which net to $0 or the case of there are no accounts at all. It cannot help you if there are accounts in the map number in a period or balance type that you hadn't anticipated and included in your filter expression. Look for an upcoming article where we help you resolve this problem with Map Purges and truly clean up your Working Papers file for maximum performance and efficiency. Want to become a CaseWare Master? Click below to see our upcoming training courses. CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Map Purges reduce file size, improve speed and generally simplify your CaseWare Working Papers file. ### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: Importing Data • Jamie Black • CaseWare Feature Spotlight • minute(s)CaseWare's financial reporting solutions have been providing massive benefits to more than 500,000 users around the world since the first version was released back in 1988. How? By providing the most sophisticated features in the industry. Each of our "Feature Spotlight" articles discuss one of these features. Importing Data Complex reports like annual financial statements, CAFRs and Budget Books are built from large, complex data sets. In fact, they may require data from several sources; general ledger data, budget data, performance measures (number of staff per department etc.), even sub-ledger data. In many tools, integration to your data sources can be difficult, time consuming and expensive. CaseWare Working Papers makes this process extremely simple. Not only does Working Papers offer dozens of direct integrations to popular ERP systems, it has a very flexible Import Wizard designed to bring data in from nearly any source. In 5 steps you (not IT and a room full of programmers) will have your data in CaseWare: Once you have identified the report(s) in your ERP or budget software that has the data you need, save it as an Excel or Text file. Identify the Excel or Text file to be imported. Define the columns of your Excel / Text file. CaseWare supports importing nearly every value and modifier you are likely to need: current actuals, prior actuals, budgets, forecasts, foreign exchange rates, and any groupings you may have already defined elsewhere. Customize the import process to create exactly the Working Papers file you need using the advanced specifications. Do you want to exclude$0 accounts?  Round all of your balances to dollars?. Advanced properties can even be used to automatically calculate net activity from ending balances. Save all these settings so that next time you run the import (an hour from now or next year), all of these settings will be remembered!  Want to see it in action? This 3-minute video will show you how fast and easy it is to import your data into CaseWare Working Papers:
CaseWare features drive massive value for users. Ease and speed of importing data is just one of these features.

### CaseWare Feature Spotlight: SmartSync

• Darryl Parker
• CaseWare Feature Spotlight