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The University of Texas System Audit Office

Workpaper Guidelines

Workpaper Guidelines
Workpapers are the record of the auditor's work and the link between fieldwork and the auditor's
report. They are the documentation of the results of the engagement and the basis for the
auditor's conclusions.

Workpaper General Guidelines

Internal auditors should identify sufficient, reliable, relevant, and useful information to achieve
the engagement’s objectives. General guidelines for the preparation of workpapers are:
• Completeness and Accuracy - Workpapers should be complete, accurate, and support
observations, testing, conclusions, findings, and recommendations.
• Clarity and Understanding - Workpapers should be clear and understandable without
supplementary oral explanations. A reviewer should be able to readily determine their
purpose, the nature and scope of the work done and the preparer's conclusions.
• Relevant - Information contained in workpapers should be limited to matters that are
important and necessary to support the objectives and scope established for the engagement.

Each engagement’s electronic workpaper file steps include the following information:
• Procedure Step Title – describes purpose of step using an action phrase
• Procedure Step – describes instructions to achieve the purpose
• Source – lists resources used to perform procedure step (documents, personnel, systems, etc.)
• Criteria – describes criteria used in procedure step, if applicable (policies and procedures,
rules and regulations, etc.)
• Results – describes outcome of the instructions performed in the procedure step
• Conclusion – summarizes results and identifies any findings
• Refs – workpaper, procedure step, and finding references, if applicable

Planning, Wrap-up and QAR Workpaper Guidelines:

While the purpose and results must be documented in all Planning, Wrap-up, and QAR steps, the
source, criteria, and conclusion tabs are not required to be completed but rather, should be
completed as applicable.

Fieldwork Workpaper Guidelines:

While it is not necessary to document a purpose and results/conclusion on every fieldwork
workpaper, each workpaper must, at minimum, have an appropriate reference to a procedure step
or another workpaper that includes a purpose and results/conclusion. If a workpaper has
considerable analysis, uses sampling, or includes complicated information, the specific
procedures performed should be documented. Sources of data should be clearly identified.

Last Updated: 3/20/2009

The University of Texas System Audit Office
Workpaper Guidelines

Workpaper Documentation:
• Avoid long narratives. Instead, use bullet points, flowcharts, etc. to convey information.
• Avoid repeating information that is already documented elsewhere in the workpapers.
Instead use reference and cross-reference links when possible.
• Differences or testing exceptions in the workpapers should be cross-referenced to the
Findings & Recommendations section, which should also include related recommendations.
• Documentation in the workpapers should satisfy the re-performance standard. Workpapers
must be documented so that an auditor not familiar with the engagement can re-perform the
procedures exactly as they were done. While copies of all work do not need to be included in
the workpapers, enough descriptive information should be included to let reviewer(s) know
what was done (e.g., voucher or document ID #).

Checkout Procedures for Completed Hard Copy Engagement Workpapers

Completed engagement workpapers prior to fiscal year 2006 that have not been destroyed per
record retention guidelines are hard copies bound and filed in CLB 3.100, which can be checked
out by any System Audit Office employee. To checkout workpaper binder(s), the employee
should contact the Office Associate and fill in the appropriate information on the “Workpaper
Checkout Sheet” located in a file folder at the front desk in CLB 3.100. The workpaper binder
file cabinet key is kept by the Office Associate at the front desk. Once the workpaper binder(s)
is located, an “OUT” tab should be replaced in the file’s place. To check-in workpaper
binder(s), the date of return should be filled in on the “Workpaper Checkout Sheet” and the
workpaper binder(s) should be placed in the inbox located at the front desk in CLB 3.100 to be
re-filed. Electronic versions of these engagement workpapers can be found in the applicable
folders on the System Audit Office shared network drive at:

F:\USERS\AUDIT\WORK\institution\fiscal year\engagement

Access to Completed Electronic Engagement Workpapers

Electronic engagement workpapers are archived by the electronic workpaper software
administrator after completion of the engagement, which includes all wrap-up and QAR steps.
These files can be accessed, read-only, on the System Audit Office shared network drive at:

F:\USERS\AUDIT\ Teammate\Archive\engagement

Procedures for Engagement Temporary Desk Files

All engagement team members are responsible for proper disposal of their temporary supporting
documents and drafts (working files, both hard copies and electronic) that were maintained
during the engagement review process but did not become part of the final and/or required
workpaper documents. Generally, these files and documents should be disposed of by 30 days
after report issuance.

Last Updated: 3/20/2009

The University of Texas System Audit Office
Workpaper Guidelines

Electronic documents should be deleted from the office network F Drive work folders. Hard
copy items should be disposed of with special attention paid to documents with any confidential
and/or sensitive data (e.g. bank account, social security, and credit card numbers, personal health
information, etc.), which should be shredded.

Glossary of Workpaper Terms

Conclusion: Provides an answer to the question/goal/objective identified in the

procedure step (purpose) and reflects the auditor’s assessment of the
results of the procedures performed. The conclusion drawn should be
referenced to the Findings & Recommendations section if deemed to
include a finding. [NOTE: The results statement and the conclusion
statement may be combined.]

Cross-reference: A hyperlink or reference number indicating that an item included on one

workpaper agrees with or was obtained from another workpaper or that the
workpaper itself supports or ties to another workpaper or procedure step.

Finding: A difference and/or exception identified during performance of the

engagement that has a condition, effect, cause, and criteria, which should
also have a related recommendation.

PBC: Document that is provided or prepared by the client for use in the
planning, fieldwork, or reporting phase of the engagement.

PBIA: Document that is provided or prepared by an institution’s internal audit for

use in the planning, fieldwork, or reporting phase of the engagement.

Procedure Step
Title (purpose): Briefly describes purpose of step(s) that will be performed to achieve one
or more engagement objectives, and should be written as an action phrase.

Procedure Step: An outline of specific instructions to perform, such as interview, verify,

determine, trace, vouch, agree, etc. whatever/whomever in addition to
sample size and method for choosing the sample (as applicable).

Recommendation: Addresses the condition and/or cause of a finding.

Reference: A hyperlink or reference number on one workpaper indicating another

workpaper or procedure step, which has information supporting or relating
to the first workpaper.

Last Updated: 3/20/2009

The University of Texas System Audit Office
Workpaper Guidelines

Results: A summary of what was identified during the procedures performed

(testing, interviewing, observing, etc.).

Scope: The period of time and/or specific process covered in the engagement or
included in the information contained in a workpaper.

Source: The personnel (name, title and department), document, IT system, or

website (as appropriate) from which information was obtained.

Findings &
Recommendations: A summary of findings and recommendations derived during the
engagement with the final dispositions. The summary should be cross-
referenced to the related fieldwork and report workpapers.

Tickmark (TM): A clearly identifiable symbol, letter, or number used to simplify

documentation of work by providing comments or further explanation of
differences or exceptions in the associated tickmark legend.

TM Legend (TML): A list of tickmarks and a respective description, which adequately explains
the difference or exception found during performance of a procedure. It
should be evident as to whether or not an error or weakness was noted.
Explanations should be provided to show why items marked "N/A" are not

Workpaper (WP): A document prepared or obtained by an auditor which provides relevant

evidence in support of a procedure step. Additionally, the document can
serve as the basis for conclusions and recommendations contained in the
report. Each workpaper becomes an integral part of the set of workpapers
(administrative, fieldwork, report) that support the entire engagement.

Last Updated: 3/20/2009