How to use this tool

Client Substantiation File.

The Client Substantiation File is designed to give you the tools to help you prepare for an audit.

When you are fully prepared for an audit it helps to make sure that we can complete the audit efficiently and effectively. We have produced an updated substantiation file which, when completed will support the financial statements submitted for audit. This is essentially a tool box to help you collate documentation that the auditor will ask for. Your auditor will use this as audit evidence. Completing this file will also help you answer questions that your auditor may have. This information can also help your auditor to understand your business better and help us to plan the audit.

The essence of a good substantiation file is a clear trail of evidence that supports each item within the annual report.

To help you build this trail, we have indicated the “substantiation file requirements” for most financial statement items. These outline the types of supporting documentation we will need in order to verify each account balance in your financial statements.

We have also included some guidance on what some of the evidence may look like.

When you start preparing the substantiation file, please talk to your audit team. They will be happy to help you.

Questionnaires and checklists

Other than the substantiation file mentioned above there is other information we use that your audit team will need from you. Questionnaires are used to get a better understanding of your business so that we can design our audit procedures to address audit risks in an effective an efficient way.

Checklists are there to help remind you of key elements of the financial statements and substantiation file that may be overlooked in the preparation process

Documents are available for download

You can download the documents that you need to complete your substantiation file. They are in Word or Excel format so that you can customise them to meet the individual requirements.

You can also download the relevant questionnaires so you can complete these easily and return them to your audit team. Your audit team will let you know which questionnaires they are likely to need answered.

Future updates

We will continue to update the substantiation file to reflect changes in client practices, as well as providing sector-specific supplements. These updates will be added here as and when they are available.

Talk to us

We welcome your feedback and suggestions on what else you'd find useful and how you find using it. We hope that it generates constructive conversations between you and your audit team. If you have questions about the content for any of the questionnaires or sections please talk to your audit team as each entity will have different needs.

Page last update: 12 July 2022