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Electronic Working Papers

Evaluation, Technical Requirements, Modular Construction, 'Controlled Statements' Templates, Up Grades, User Group, Technical Support , Combining with ACBA Tools

The ACBA Electronic Working Papers (EWP) package is built for all regular Excel users. The Foundation module provides project management and integrity tools, indexing and cross-referencing tools and a comprehensive template management system. It is designed to standardise the naming and control of related spreadsheets (called working papers), within a logical but flexible structural hierarchy contained in a single workbook. Users will find that EWP has a significant impact on their approach to spreadsheet design.

The 'Controlled Statements' module is specifically designed for auditors and consultants. Its purpose, in combination with the Foundation module, is to provide a total control environment in which the planning, execution, review and reporting of audit or other analytical projects take place. It has uniquely powerful tools for summarising the scope of work undertaken and delivering an opinion. With ACBA-EWP's flexible structure, presentation and reporting tools and Excel's enormous analytical power, this package is particularly suited to non-standard operational or systems audit work.

The primary strengths of the EWP package lie in

  • the project location control and management of its integrity within the operating environment
  • the under pinning requirement for the user to plan work before starting it
  • the flexibility of the structures that mould in to various types of plan
  • the controlled approach to registering and indexing external evidence (in particular photographic evidence)
  • the template classification and management system and
  • the employment of ‘Controlled Statements’ to draw together linked elements of systems, findings and conclusions wherever they appear in the project. The automatically generated status reports provide the facility to summarise queries (essentially memos to self or a colleague), risks, conclusions, recommendations  and all audit issues considered for report.

Overview descriptions of ACBA Electronic Working Papers (Standard package) and ACBA Electronic Working Papers (Audit package), together with the 'Controlled Statement' concept (MS Word 97 format), can be downloaded from the links.


The EWP package is no longer for sale (as at December 2011), but copies of the full package (including the 'Controlled Statements' module) are available free of charge a through the ACBA Functions discussion forum.

The on-line EWP-Help system shows the scope and functionality of the package. One of the most important features of the ACBA-EWP package is its methodology for managing and storing electronic evidence associated with the project. This methodology is incorporated into a special category of EWP project designed to maintain the security of the project environment. These are called 'Fixed Location Projects' and an example - 'Fixed Location Project - Test' - can be downloaded from the link.

It is not necessarily easy to conceive of how an end product will look. We have built a series of project workbooks which are available for download and inspection from our web page Exhibition Wokbooks.

Technical Requirements

  • Operating System: MS Windows 98 (or later) including Windows NT
  • Software base: MS Office 2003 or  MS Office 2010 - specifically MS Excel and MS Word
  • RAM: 32MBytes - larger amounts of RAM and high speed processors (greater than 133MHz) do significantly improve performance.
  • You will need one copy per machine or workstation.

Modular Construction

The standard ACBA Electronic Working Papers package incorporates 2 distinct modules.

Foundation Module

'Controlled Statements' Module

Managing project location and integrity with in operating environment

Inserting or 'flagging' substantive issues - including 'risks'

Managing project structures

Managing and 'linking' flagged issues

Creating or incorporating new project working papers

Review of report components

Automated project indexes

Creation and management of audit report structures

Moving around the project

Automated draft report preparation in MS Word

Registration and indexing of documentary evidence - including photographs

Automated review and control of outstanding 'audit queries'

Automated Cross-references

Automated preparation of 'Audit Recommendations' Action Plan

Full template management module

Automated creation of  'Status Reports'

User control


Downloadable files carrying templates which are designed to use with the ACBA Electronic Working Papers package but may be employed generally. You can see these templates in action within one of the company's Exhibition Workbooks.

Description of General Contents

Detailed Listing of Templates

Arithmetic and Analysis

  • Year on year analytical review;
  • Simple Auditor Time Control sheet;
  • Risk Index template;
  • Expenses claims mileage monitoring.

Styles and Presentation

  • Standard Audit Test with X-Ref. column;
  • Summary of Queries for Auditee Response;
  • List of hindrances and constraints during an audit;
  • Peer Review and Quality Assurance of Draft Report.











Up Grades

Since the withdrawal from sale, there will no longer be any regular up-grades. However, further information and possible future work on the software will be considered via the user group.

Technical Advice and User Support

The ACBA Functions user group provides a forum through which both technical advice and exchanges of user views and feedback can take place. Membership of the user group is free of charge. This forum is restricted to ACBA Function users and postings to it are moderated by ACBA staff. It provides an excellent resource for both technical and operational advice and information. We recommend strongly that users join the group.

Tools for Pragmatists

While ACBA-EWP has an intrinsic self-contained value, its use in combination with ACBA Tools is explored at Tools for Pragmatists. This pragmatic approach spreadsheet construction is also reviewed in Neil Hodge's article Armed and Dangerous from the Internal Auditing magazinre (Volume 34, Issue 5, June 2010).

Last updated 10 October 2016

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