What is the difference between active and archived jobs?
Archived jobs are all jobs that have been recently rolled over recently or jobs that have not been worked on for the last 30 days.
Any change made to the job (including changing names, templates, adding comments, etc) will take it out of the archived state. The clients page can be filtered to show just archived clients by setting the “Job Status” in the sidebar. See the full article on client selection here
Are very small jobs economical using Audit Assistant?
Definitely! We have always ensured that we stick to our original design goal to help small firms to stay efficient and produce cost-effective work for even the tiniest client. All audits (no matter how small) must comply with the Auditing Standards and Audit Assistant provides the platform to document that without having to create masses of pages. If necessary the standard pages created for an audit job can be cut down by simply replacing a page with a comment from the control page. Massive efficiencies are gained in subsequent years once jobs are rolled over and content may be brought forward. We are presently also working on specific templates for Less Complex Entities (LCEs) to make small jobs work even better.
Can Audit Assistant be used remotely?
Being cloud based some internet connection is required, however tethering via cellphone is fine as very little data is required as most input is simply keystrokes to the server and updates coming back which are also small as most of the information is cached. Uploading attachments will use more bandwidth however so you may want to limit uploading of large attachments to when you are on broadband (maybe mark a follow up to attach once you get back to the office?). However data plans are so cheap now this is probably not an issue.
Is there a confidentiality agreement, since you will keep our client data?
Yes. Our terms and conditions state that we will only access your jobs if you request us to do so for support purposes. We restrict access to this area to our support team. The data is stored securely in NZ and backups and attachments are encrypted for offshore backup in Australia so your data is kept confidential.
Can I edit documents created from Audit Assistant?
Yes. At a client level documents may be edited including adding new paragraphs, deleting paragraphs, changing and adding text within paragraphs and including key variables that pick up recurring data (client name for example). This is done by selecting “Customise/Edit Page” from the bottom right corner of a Document page. All editing done in year one will remain going forward – just variables will update (new year for example). To revert to the standard template delete the document then recreate it. For advanced editing, it is generally easiest to use the “Copy To Clipboard” feature to copy the document (with formatting intact) and pasting it into a word processor.
Is Audit Assistant suitable for work in overseas jurisdictions (outside of NZ)?
Access works well from other countries. We currently reference to the NZ equivalents of ISAs for NZ firms (XRB), AUASB for Australian equivalents, and IFAC for the rest of the world. The audit processes are the same, so anywhere in the world using versions of International standards will work – but of course the final responsibility for knowing and complying with your own local standards remains with the Auditor. There are references in many templates to specific NZ reporting standards (for charities for instance), however the workflow is easily adapted other reporting.
We are also in the process of developing some more generic templates for international use.
Who is responsible for file backup and what do these backups contain?
When a job is in process all backups are done by ourselves and our partners. Once a job is completed and rolled over a PDF file is created. This should be backed up onto your system.
We keep backups and snapshots for rolling back files for at least three years in our system, but you should not be relying on these as your audit file. You need to also back up onto your own system to comply with the requirement to keep for at least 7 years. These rolled over PDF’s contain all attachments – everything that you have uploaded so nothing needs to be accessed from the internet to have your complete audit file.
Our database is hosted by Sitehost in Auckland, and in addition to their backup procedures we take a daily snapshot of the database and back it up to data storage facility Cloud Scale in Auckland. We also store attachments on S3. We also take snapshots of all data each night and whenever a page is deleted, a job rolled over or a trial balance is loaded to create restore points in case rolling back a job is required. The software itself is backed up on another service provider Github.
To see our backup and security policies view our licence agreement.
What are the Hardware/Software requirements?
Audit Assistant will run on any hardware capable of running modern browsers. We test in Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Older versions of Internet Explorer are not recommended as many features will either not work at all or not display properly (drag and drop of attachments for example) – we recommend if possible Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Will also work on tablet and smartphone.
What exactly gets rolled over at year end?
On rollover a PDF of the entire file including attachments is created. You should then download and save this onto your own directory.
- The client status on the main page is updated to the new year.
- The current column ‘final’ figures are moved to ‘prior’ which also updates all the lead schedules but sub-totals and mapping to lead-schedules are retained.
- The page structure is retained.
- All work including attachments and comments is moved into greyed-out ‘prior year’ areas which may then be brought forward as per below, then edited as required.
- The name and date of the staff member doing the work is updated on bring-forward.
- If these prior year boxes are simply ignored they will disappear on conclusion.
- Transaction tests are deleted but data tables and tests set up in the prior year are retained to be brought forward and re-adopted as required.
Can I change details on pages or add my own questions or methodology?
Customising may be done at a client or template level (depending on the package selected). Users may also attach additional work-papers (Excel or Word documents say) for specialised types of audit work. Once created these may be used for other jobs as well. We can provide training on how to create custom jobs that include your pages or work items. Also see articles on customising.
We also offer a service whereby we take your existing work-papers and create AA versions for you. If these are for a specific job type and you are willing to share this expertise with other firms we may do this for free. If you wish to keep it within your firm we will give you a quote for doing this work.