Test Templates 2045

  • I am in the process of creating test templates for us to use (i.e. workpapers) and I am curious to know WHAT everyone is looking for in terms of content of the workpaper? eg: sample selection approach, a grid listing the samples themselves, along with their test attributes?
    Any feedback on how you’ve approached yours would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance.

  • The best approach is to ensure that the work paper allows an experienced auditor to reperform the work.
    My templates detail the process, location, control number, Control objective and control activity.
    I have also included the name of the contact to source information from and detailed instructions to the tested as to how to perform the test (e.g for bank reconciliations: 1)Select completed bank reconciliations for a randomn sample of 3 months; 2) Confirm that reconciling differences have been investigated and amended where necessary; 3) confirm that the reconciliation has been reviewed and approved by the local financial controller/ team leader)
    i have also set up a template table for all information to be filled out by the tester.
    After this, I expect the tester to detail (in point format to match the instructions) who they contacted, what samples were selected, what they reviewed, what they checked to confirm etc.
    I also expect the testers to photocopy, file and reference all documentation examined so that if out ext auditors wish to reperform our tests, they can do so on a timely basis without having to retrieve the documents from their original source (this also allows me to review exactly what the testers have examined and confirm whether we have sufficient evidence).
    I also have a final section for findings, whether a deficiency has been identified, and sign off by the tester, with date of completion, together with a space for me to sign off on my review.
    Once this is completed, I have a findings section on the risk and controls section which is entered by myself and will eventually feed into the aggregated deficiencies report which is given to our audit committee.
    Hope this helps.

  • To add the previous suggestion for key items to include in the testing workpaper, some other recommendations:
    The test template can be developed in Word, Excel, or other application. However, it is much easier to summarize the test results, attach related worksheet tabs, and perform other groupings if Excel is used to develop the test template.
    I include a tab called, ‘Sampling Methodology’ so that the tester knows how many sample selections to examine based on the control frequency. I also include a tab called, ‘Error Tolerance Guidelines’ to each template to gives guidance to address handling test exceptions.
    By using Excel, it is also possible to use the template to accumulate information about the resource hours required to perform tests.
    As mentioned in the previous reply, you can also include the document number examined so it is possible for the auditor to reperform testing if necessary.
    Good luck,

  • We have test workpapers which feed directly to our RCMs. What it means is that the all the sections of a workpaper actually are listed as columns in the RCMs. This helps in carrying forward the content in a single document for a quick review. I have found this helpful.

  • I agree with most of what has been said, but would add 2 further comments:

    • I wouldn’t expect a tester to photocopy documents as evidence of testing, I believe it is sufficient to just note the document numbers as this allows someone to reperform.
    • The most important thing on the test template is a CONCLUSION i.e. is the control operating effectively or not.

  • I support all the above comments.
    To clarify on photocopying this may be beneficial if either your auditors rely on your work or you are testing at an external party. We have found that by photocopying all the relevant papers our auditors were able to review our files and rely on that work and did not feel the need to go and reperform that piece of work (which is what EMM was referring to).
    This was especially beneficial when some of our 3rd parties refused access to our aditor. Perhaps an unusual circumstance but there will always be the odd exception.

  • I wanted to thank those who took the time out to respond to my original post. I appreciate your input greatly and will keep them in mind as I create the test templates.
    Again, a heartful thank you…

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