one note

Microsoft One Note
Immediate Auditing Applications

There’s a resource available in our software tool box that many auditors may not know about. It’s Microsoft OneNote. I’ve taken steps to incorporate its benefits into my work. I’ve found it very useful to address a number of issues.

I’ve selected a problem with which we're all familiar.  I’ve written a short piece to illustrate how OneNote can be used to eliminate the issues caused by the termination of printing hard copies of our CAM semi-annually.

Many auditors have different versions of the CAM in their bookcases. Each precious volume is retained because there are sticky notes throughout every volume. The diligent practitioner doesn’t have a clue when a similar issue will present itself necessitating the immediate acquisition of that critical piece of knowledge that is in a CAM only a few years old? The same information is in the most recent CAM, if it hasn’t been superseded or revoked, BUT, the brand new CAM doesn’t have copious notes and numerous annotations as the previous version does. As issues arise, it becomes imperative that the auditor locate and review the aged version of the CAM to analyze the reference and then undertake the effort to review the same information in the most recent version of the CAM to see if the reference is still applicable.

Sound familiar?

Well, it no longer works. They’ve stopped printing hard copies of the CAM. Apparently, this means there is no longer any way to record critical insights on sticky notes and to make voluminous pen and ink annotations….. or is there? :-)

The dedicated auditing professionals of the Defense Contract Audit Agency can STILL have multiple versions of the CAM at their fingertips, complete with essential annotations going back for hundreds of audits and tens of years. Information that, as we all know, becomes more valuable and indispensable with time, application and audits.

You’ll find a copy of Microsoft’s One Note already installed on your desk top, you need only execute the file.

You may know that DCAA provides access to an up to date CAM at this location.

While it’s far and away superior to have an always current CAM available anytime there is a question, it’s disadvantageous not to be able to annotate and note relevant passages directly on the document for clarification and explanation.

You could do this on the paper CAM. Now you can do it on the electronic CAM.

Auditors who miss the ability to make specific notations on their personal CAM can now “Print” a copy of the electronic CAM into OneNote, one chapter at a time. Once this is accomplished, practitioners can then use OneNote’s features to notate, annotate, reference and cross reference as necessary with audits, CAM, FAR, and GAGAS along with contractor and client communications, just as they would with the old paper CAM. Unlike the paper CAM, this version is NEVER discarded. Neither are the notes AND both the notes and CAM are thoroughly searchable.

With a little thought, auditors can establish a convention tying specific references to specific audits or communications to contractors. Then, when a similar situation presents itself, they need only run a quick search to have reference, document and citation immediately available.

As guidance is updated, chapters relevant to the practitioner’s current assignment can be printed into OneNote. The previous version, complete with valuable auditor created references will be retained. Going forward, new research and communications referencing CAM will only cite the latest version of CAM.

Unlike before, when every auditor was provided with a paper copy of every chapter of CAM whether there was an immediate need or not, using OneNote, auditors will get new guidance only when they need it and only the chapters they need without losing their historical insights.

I’ve experienced similar significant benefits with GAGAS, FAR and organizing audit specific items.

I found this inexpensive resource very useful for coming up to speed quickly on OneNote. Click Here.

Smile everyone…. Happy Days are Here Again!! 

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