Projects in a nutshell
Use this guide to understand the different relationships that make up Projects and the workflows associated with Projects.
What is Projects?
Projects is a module that allows you to plan, manage, execute, and report your work across your team and organization. Projects provides a fully automated working papers solution intended for audit management, compliance management, operational risk management, and risk and control monitoring.
Key benefits include:
- Integrating common frameworks model one or more common frameworks into your daily workflow and stay current on the latest standards and regulations
- Streamlining fieldwork, documentation, and reporting plan, manage, execute, and report on your assurance projects
- Managing and tracking issues centrally manage all organizational issues and remediation statuses
- Working in remote or offline environments access your work anywhere, capture supporting documentation, and sync information when you return online
What does Projects consist of?
Projects consists of a series of relationships between different components.
There are two workflows in Projects: Workplan and Internal Control. The diagram below showcases the relationships defined by an Internal Control workflow. Terminology can be customized, as necessary.
Each component in Projects serves a specific purpose and relates to other components.
A project is a management system that allows you to define objectives, risks, and controls, perform tests, and compile information for reporting purposes. Projects are also known as programs, engagements, or audits.
Objectives are the key goals of a project, and the organizing containers for work done within a project. Each objective states the subject matter under examination and how performance will be assessed. Objectives are also known as processes, sections, cycles, or control objectives.
A narrative is a description of an objective or area under review. Narratives are also known as policies, process descriptions, or control guides.
A risk is an effect of uncertainty on an objective, with the effect having a positive or negative deviation from what is expected. Risks are organized by objectives, and can be associated with one or more controls.
A control is a program, policy, routine, or activity that is intended to mitigate a risk. Controls are organized by objectives, and can be associated with one or more risks. The combination of identified risks and corresponding controls defines the Risk Control Matrix. Controls are also known as procedures.
A test plan is a document that details how controls are assessed. Test plans identify the testing method or type of evidence obtained, specify the total sample size (split amongst testing rounds), and illustrate test steps or attributes.
A walkthrough is a procedure you perform to establish the reliability of controls and test the design of controls. Each control you define has a corresponding walkthrough that is used to verify that the control is designed appropriately. Walkthroughs are also known as outcomes, or procedure results.
A test is an assessment that ensures the operating effectiveness of internal controls within an organization. Each control you define has a corresponding test (or series of tests, if there are multiple testing rounds).
An issue is a problem or exception that has been identified within a project. You can identify issues at any time during your project work. Issues are also known as deficiencies, observations, or findings.
An action is an activity or follow-up plan that is intended to remediate an issue. Actions are also known as remediation activities or recommendations.
How does Projects connect with other ACL products?
Projects connects to a variety of ACL products:
|Related ACL product||Description|
Link objectives in Projects to risks in Strategy to track assurance and testing results associated with strategic risks.
Link Results data (tables and metrics) to your documentation in Projects to consolidate information, easily sign-off on when remediation is complete, and inform assessments.
Create customized reports based on data in Projects.
Import a variety of different types of tables from Projects to ACL Analytics to perform different types of analysis.
|Mission Control||Manage your controls in a simplified and centralized view, outside of Projects.|
Check out work from Projects to perform fieldwork in offline environments.
|ACL GRC for iOS or Android||
Check out work from Projects and use ACL GRC for iOS or Android to capture evidence on-the-go (take photos, record audio or videos, and scan documents to PDF).
How does Projects work?
Before using Projects an administrator must add users to Launchpad, and assign users the appropriate access in Projects.
Once users are granted the appropriate access, they can begin working in Projects. Additional setup and administration tasks are optional and can be completed at anytime.
The following diagram shows a simple workflow for conducting work in Projects:
1. Create a project
Creating projects involves choosing an appropriate project type and centralizing your workpapers and communications. You can create a project from scratch, from a project template, or by reusing an existing project (rollforward).
2. Plan a project
Planning projects involves assigning the appropriate access each person will have in a project, entering basic information about the project, and attaching planning files.
Once you have completed the planning documentation, you can either using a framework to build your Risk Control Matrix, or add risks and controls manually to the project.
3. Perform fieldwork
Performing fieldwork involves a variety of different activities including performing walkthroughs, testing controls, documenting observations or issues, reviewing and analyzing evidence, drafting interim conclusions and recommendations, and requesting additional information from clients and other team members, as necessary.
4. Schedule and track a project
Scheduling and tracking projects involves managing timelines and dates associated with all active projects in the organization, recording time spent on and outside of a project for reporting purposes, and tracking project progress.
5. Conclude and maintain a project
Concluding and maintaining projects involves drawing factual conclusions about the work completed in the project, including recommendations where necessary, and organizing project work so it can be easily retrieved, reused, or discarded.
Try out a simple workflow in Projects: Projects quick start.