Fieldwork - Testing Workpaper Template

Updated: Mar 21, 2020

I am a firm believer that the quality of your audit workpapers is a direct reflection of the level of care, diligence, and effort which you have put into an audit. Aside from the audit report, the only other real output from each audit is your workpapers. Therefore, it is essential that your audit workpapers are of a high quality.

Anybody that has worked alongside me will vouch for how pedantic I get over audit workpapers. I take a three rule approach:

  1. Does it look good? If the workpaper looks like a mess and is unstructured / unclear, I am going to assume that the content of the workpaper is just as bad. A neat workpaper makes it easier for the reviewer to read and understand.

  2. Does is tell me everything? If I can't understand what you have done, or how you got to your results, then it needs to be redone.

  3. Is it accurate? If I re-perform the work exactly as you have said so in your workpaper, yet reach a different result, then I think we need to take another look at either your documentation or your testing.

I have mentioned previously about my 'Golden Thread'... the magical line that links our planning to our scope to our work program to our workpapers and eventually to our report... A reviewer or cold reader should be able to follow from start to end, everything we have done and how we got to our final conclusions. Therefore, it is essential that we document everything.

If it's not documented, then it's not done.

As a guide for Internal Audit (and required for external audit), I refer to the auditing standard ISA 230 - Audit Documentation. The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has a great summary of the auditing standard on their website.

Our template workpapers have been built with this auditing standard in mind. Whilst heavily skewed towards a more financial statement audit, the template can still be easily adapted to suit any internal audit, whilst still adhering to the requirements of the auditing standards which I consider to be best practice for any audit.

We have developed the below example workpapers:

Key Processes and Controls

This workpaper documents the key processes and what controls are currently in place. Effectively, this template helps ensure your workpapers have been accurately documented. A preview of this workpaper is included below:

You can buy an editable version of this template HERE.

Process flows and mapping

At times, it can be easier and quicker to document the process via a high level / simple process map. By doing this, we are able to visually demonstrate the process and receive quick feedback from the auditee on whether our understanding of the process is correct or not. The process map can be used to compliment the walkthroughs performed earlier.

A preview of our process map template is included below.

You can buy an editable version of this template HERE.

Generic testing workpapers

As always, if its not documented, then its not done. We have developed both a Word version and Excel version template to help audit team members ensure their work is documented appropriately. You can view a preview of the templates below:



To buy an editable version of the Word template, please CLICK HERE, otherwise to buy an editable version of the Excel version, please CLICK HERE.

Meeting minutes

They can be annoying and time consuming, but meeting minutes are essential for every audit. They are a record of discussion and can be used as partial evidence when developing audit findings. A preview of our meeting minutes template is included below:

To buy an editable version of the meeting minutes template, please CLICK HERE.

A good quality workpaper can save a large amount time also. Providing it has been set up correctly and contains all the necessary information, it can be an invaluable resource when planning the same, or similar audit, in the future.

We should take care with using prior audit workpapers though. As mentioned in a previous blog post here, when rolling forward prior audit workpapers, there is a risk we may be rolling forward a prior period error. This is why its so extremely important that we document or workpapers well and make sure the paper can stand on its own so that we do not cause any problems during the current audit, or any future audits.

Simply CLICK HERE to download your free template.

#internalaudit #audit #template #download #workpaper #testing #fieldwork

942 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All