BarnOwl

Tip of the Month – How to use BarnOwl review notes

21 October 2019

Did you know?

BarnOwl supports the ability to prepare, review and sign off work within an audit project. The preparer and reviewer may not be the same user. This ensures that all work prepared is reviewed by a manager. Once the preparer has prepared the work, the preparer checks out the work to the reviewer for the reviewer to review the work. The reviewer can accept the work or choose to raise review notes (sometimes called coaching notes) on specific items and send these back to the preparer for him / her to correct. A work item can go forwards and backwards between the preparer and reviewer many times before the reviewer is satisfied with the work. BarnOwl tracks the history of all prepared, reviewed and sign-off work and uses status flags to indicate the status of each work item:


Assigned ready to be Prepared


Ready for Review


Ready for Sign off


Signed Off

Review notes can be raised against almost any type of auditable object (work item) within an audit project such as:

  • Audit Objectives
  • Risks
  • Controls
  • Audit test results
  • Audit steps
  • Findings
  • Directly within any attached document including Excel and Word (version 2010 and above)

Wherever there is a ‘P&R’ (Preparer and Reviewer) tab, a review note can be raised.

The following example takes you through a brief ‘story board’ of the audit process and the use of review notes. In the following example we will make use of two users, namely the Manager (who reviews and signs off work items) and the Auditor (who Prepares work items). The Manager assigns work items to the relevant Auditor/s who prepares the work. Once prepared, the Auditor assigns the work back to the Manager for review. The Manager can either sign off the work or raise a review note and assign the work item together with its review note back to the Auditor. The Auditor corrects the work, updates the review note and assigns the work item and review note back to the Manager to review again. This cycle may repeat as many times as required. The system keeps an audit trail per work item of each preparer / reviewer iteration. The following is a summary of the process and various review note options:

Step 1. The Manager checks out work items to the Auditor/s (Preparer/s)

Step 2. The Auditor Prepares the work items and checks them back to the Manager for Review

Step 3. The Manager reviews the work and raises review notes where necessary

Step 4. The Auditor responds to review notes and checks back out to the Manager to re-review

Step 5. The Manager reviews again and returns review notes if necessary

Step 6. The Manager (or 3rd line) signs off (closes) review notes

Step 7. The Manager (or 3rd line) closes the project provided all review notes are signed off (closed)

Step 1. The Manager checks out work items to the Auditor/s (Preparer/s)

Fig 1.1 The Manager assigns and check outs relevant work items to the Auditor/s to ‘Prepare’ the work

View> All Checked Out Items

You will notice the flag

indicating the status ‘assigned / ready to be prepared’. The

indicates that the work item is locked for the Manager who has checked it out to another user; in this case the Auditor (Preparer).

Step 2. The Auditor Prepares the work items and checks them back to the Manager for Review

Fig 2.1 Auditor Prepares the template engagement letter in MS Word

When complete, the Auditor clicks on the highlighted ‘Prepare’ button in the BarnOwl toolbar below and saves and closes the Word document. The auditor will be prompted if he/she wants to add a comment:

Click ‘Save’ in the ‘Linked Documents’ form below:

The ‘Prepared By Resource and Date’ has now been set and the status flag is set to

‘Ready for Review’. Alternatively, the Auditor can click on the ‘Prepared By’ button on the above form which has the same effect as clicking on the ‘Prepared’ button directly in the MS Word document. The Word document can now be ‘checked out’ back to the Manager for Review.

Fig 2.2 Auditor Prepares all the work items in the audit objective

The Auditor clicks on the ‘Prepare’ button highlighted above to prepare all items and mark them ‘ready for review’ within the specific audit objective. The Auditor is prompted to enter comments if required. The Auditor is prompted to check out these work items back to the Manager. Please note that ‘check out’ can be done at any time. After ‘preparing’, the status flag is set to ‘Ready for Review’

and can be checked to the Manager for review.

Fig 2.3 Auditor attaches and Prepares a working paper in MS Excel

The Auditor clicks on the ‘Prepare’ button above to prepare the Excel document.

Click ‘Save’ in the ‘Linked Documents’ form as highlighted below:

The ‘Prepared By Resource and Date’ has now been set and the status is flag is set to

‘ready for review’ for the Excel document. Alternatively, the Auditor can click on the ‘Prepared By’ button on the form above which has the same effect as clicking on the ‘Prepared’ button directly in the Excel document. The Excel document can now be ‘checked out’ back to the Manager for Review.

Step 3. The Manager reviews the work and raises review notes where necessary

Fig 3.1 Manager raises a review note in a Word document

Highlight the text where you would like a review note added and click on ‘Add’ highlighted above in the BarnOwl toolbar to raise a Review Note.

Complete the Review Note ‘Title’ and ‘Review Note’ fields above. You will notice that the system automatically fills in the ‘Linked Text’ field. Click on ‘Save & Close’ as highlighted above to save the review note.

Click the ‘Save’ button in the ‘Linked Documents’ form below and you will notice that the status flag goes back to assigned

(to the Auditor / Preparer)

Fig 3.2 Manager raises a review note against a Finding

The Manager highlights the relevant text in the Finding and clicks on the ‘Review Note’ button highlighted above to raise a review note.

The Review Note form below allows the Manager to complete the ‘Title’ and ‘Review Note’ and then ‘Save and Close’ the review note:

Fig 3.3 Manager raises a review note in an Excel document

The Manager opens the Excel document and clicks on the ‘Add’ button below to raise a review note on the relevant cell as highlighted below:

A comment is automatically inserted into the Excel document as a review note and a review note record is created in the BarnOwl database. In addition, the Excel document is set back to status assigned, ready to be prepared again

:

Fig 3.4 Manager raises a review note against Audit Procedure Results

Click on the ‘Review Note’ button in the audit test results form as highlighted below:

3.5 The Manager checks out work items which have review notes back to the Auditor to re-Prepare the work items

Right-click the work item in the PFO to check out work items back to the Auditor together with the review note:

Alternatively, select the top node highlighted in yellow above and use the menu option View > Review Notes to see all Review notes and what they are linked to in a single register. For example, right click on the audit procedure test results to check them back out to the Auditor:

Step 4. The Auditor responds to review notes and checks back out to the Manager to re-review

Select the top node highlighted in yellow above and use the menu option View > Review Notes to see all Review notes and what they are linked to in a single register. Click on the document link:

Fig 4.1 Auditor responds to a review note in a Word document

Open the document and make corrections as indicated in the Review Note:

Then click on ‘Prepare’ as circled in blue above and the document goes back to status ‘Ready for Review’ after saving the ‘Linked Documents’ form below:

Click on the ‘Preparer / Reviewer History’ button to see the audit trail:

Fig 4.2 Auditor responds to a review note against a Finding

Click on ‘Finding’ as highligted below:

The system will take you directly to the relevant review note within the finding tab. You will see ‘review note numbers’ around the relevant text in the finding:

The Auditor clicks on the ‘Prepare’ button to prepare the Finding and set the status to ‘ready for review’ for the Manager to review again:

The Auditor prepares the review note by completing the ‘Response’ field in the Review Note and clicks on the ‘Prepare’ button.

Fig 4.3 Auditor responds to a review note in an Excel document

Click on the document link highlighted below in the Review note register to open the Excel document:

The Preparer corrects the amount in Excel and clicks on ‘Open’ highlighted in the toolbar below to open the review note and complete the ‘Response’ field in the review note:

The preparer clicks on the ‘Prepare’ button to preparer the Excel document again and to mark it as ready for review:

Fig 4.4 Auditor responds to a review note against Audit Procedure Results

Click on menu option View>Review Notes and the ‘Audit Procedures Result’ link as highlighted below:

The preparer corrects the result:

and then clicks the ‘Prepare’ button in the Review Note as highlighted below:

The Auditor checks out all items back to the reviewer once the items have been prepared and are set to ‘Ready for Review’. Right click the relevant node to check out to another user; in this case the Manager:

Step 5. The Manager reviews again and returns review notes if necessary

Fig 5.1 The Manager re-reviews all work items (either returning review notes to the Auditor (Preparer) to be re-prepared or signing off the review note and its work item)

Click the menu option View > ‘Quick Prepare/Review/ Sign off’ to get a summary of the status of all work items in the project as shown in the figure below:

Alternatively the Manager uses the audit objective screen to review and sign off review notes as shown in the figure below:

Fig 5.2 Re-Review of an Excel document and set to ‘Ready for Sign Off’ or Return to Preparer

Open the Excel document. The manager clicks on the ‘Open’ button button to check the Auditors response and clicks on ‘Review’ to set the review note to ‘Ready for Sign Off’:

The manager reviews the changes in Excel and then clicks on the ‘Review’ button to set the status of the Excel document to ‘Ready for Sign Off’:

The form below shows the Preparer / Reviewer history:

Step 6. The Manager (or 3rd line) signs off (closes) review notes

Fig 6.1 The Manager signs off a review note in a Word document

If the Manager tries to sign off the document without first signing off (closing) the review note you get the following warning message:

First, sign off the Review note. Click on open to ‘Open’ button in the BarnOwl add-in toolbar to open the review note directly in Word:

Sign off (close) the review note:

The review note is now locked; however you can undo the sign off if you have made a mistake by clicking the

button.

Click the ‘Finalise Review Notes’ button in the BarnOwl add-in toolbar to clear review notes from the document.

The review notes are removed from the Word document but remain as records in the database. The Manager can now click the ‘Sign Off’ button in the BarnOwl add-in toolbar to sign off the Word document:

The ‘Linked Documents’ form below shows the sign off flag

against the Word document. It also shows ‘0  open, 1 closed’ review notes’ :

Clicking the ‘Preparer / Reviewer History’ button shows the preparer / reviewer history with the comments:

Fig 6.2 The Manager signs off a review note in a finding

Open the finding and click on the “P&R’ tab:

Ckick on the ‘Review Notes’ button above to open the Review note.

Click the ‘Sign off’ button above to sign off / close the review note.

Fig 6.3 The Manager signs off a review note in an Excel document

This works in the same way as signing off a Word document as described above in 6.1. Click the ‘Open’ button in Excel to open the review note screen below:

Click the ‘Sign Off’ button in the review note screen above to sign off / close the review note.

Click the ‘Finalise Review Notes’ button in the BarnOwl toolbar below to remove review notes from the Excel document.

Please note that although the review notes are removed from the Excel document, they remain as records in the database.

Click on ‘Sign Off’ in the BarnOwl toolbar to sign off the Excel document:

Click on the ‘Save’ button below which the reflects the ‘Signed Off’ status flag

.

Fig 6.4 The Manager signs off a review note in an Audit Procedure Test Result

You can see your review notes in the View>Review notes register and follow the link to the ‘Audit Procedure Result’. Whilst, the link takes you to the specific audit procedure, it does not take you to the specific sample and test where the review note has been captured.

You will notice however, that the review note icon is highlighted in a yellow border

indicating that there is a review note linked to this sample and test. Hovering over the icon will also show the how many open and closed review notes are linked to this item. Click the review note icon to open the Review note form and double-click the specific review note to open the review note form as shown in the figure below.

Click the ‘Signed Off by’ button in the review note and then ‘Save’ as per the figure below. The Review note is now set to status ‘Signed Off’

Alternatively, you can see all review notes linked to the ‘audit procedure results’ form in the ‘Review Notes’ tab highlighted below:

Step 7. The Manager (or 3rd line) closes the project provided all review notes are signed off (closed)

Fig 7.1 The Manager (or 3rd line) closes the project provided all review notes are signed off (closed)

The Manager (or 3rd line) can only close a project when all review notes are signed off / closed

. A quick way to see all review notes in the project and their status is to highlight the project node in the PFO and selext View > Review Notes from the menu.

The Manager (or 3rd line) will not be able to ‘Close’ the project until all review notes have been signed off:

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