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CaseWare Cloud - Getting Started Guide

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Getting Started Guide (PDF)

Introduction

CaseWare Cloud is a web service for managing your organization and workflows. Its features and apps combine to provide a convenient centralized solution for management of both your organization and your engagements. Cloud can integrate with CaseWare Working Papers so that you can synchronize engagement data to the Cloud for further analysis and monitoring. The growing number of apps available on CaseWare Cloud ensures that your organization will always have access to the latest tools and gadgets to serve your business needs.

Cloud’s secure interface provides assurance that your files remain confidential and are shared only with their intended recipients – staff and contacts can only access areas in Cloud that they have been explicitly granted.

CaseWare Cloud and Amazon provide security together under the Amazon AWS Shared Responsibility Model. AWS is responsible for cloud infrastructure security and CaseWare Cloud manages the operating system security and all other components for our Cloud servers, including server updates, log monitoring, and updates to the application to remediate new types of threats.

Purpose

This guide provides an overview of setting up your Cloud portal, including a brief introduction to working with Cloud.

Audience

This guide is intended for the organization administrator and administrative users of CaseWare Cloud. It provides guidance and best practices for managing CaseWare Cloud.

Getting Started

Once Cloud is configured, use the provided administrator account to access Cloud. You can use this account to set up all areas and users in Cloud. The following steps will help you get started.

Note: The administrator account has rights to perform any action in Cloud and should be used judiciously beyond the initial setup.

The CaseWare Cloud workflow in three steps

Each of these steps is described in detail in the sections that follow.

Step 1: Customize

Start by customizing the interfaces in Cloud to match your organization’s brand. Open the Cloud menu (located at the top-left corner) to access the Settings page.

The Cloud menu

On the Settings page, you can:

  • Customize the login page,

  • Complete your organization's profile,

  • Configure your regional settings,

  • Activate additional apps,1

  • and Configure other settings.

Once you’ve completed this, create entities for each of your clients, departments, and other organizations. Access the Entities option to add or import your client list.

From an entity you can track all related information from a single location - create discussions, monitor your engagements, store files, and exchange documents with clients.

You can also associate multiple entities together to consolidate their permissions, views, and other items.

For more information, see our online Help for instructions and details:

Tip: For sensitive content, you can simply toggle the Limited switch (The Limited toggle icon) when creating your entity, activity, or file. You’ll be the only one who has access to that entity or item until you’ve explicitly shared it with others.

1 Apps can be activated when licensed.

Step 2: Secure

Once you’ve configured the Cloud settings, start thinking about roles and which areas staff and contacts should be able to access by default. Generally, using system-wide roles can simplify administration and improves overall Cloud performance.

Start by adding staff and groups to Cloud using the import command or setting them up individually. OR if you have users and groups already set up via Working Papers Data Store, you can simply export this list and import it to Cloud1.

After staff accounts and groups are set up, assign them:

  • Administrative roles if they're managing areas in Cloud.

  • Staff roles if they're members of an engagement. We recommend assigning system-wide roles for staff to optimize performance of Cloud.

    System-wide roles provide some level of access to all entities that use the default security settings. For confidential entities, you’ll have to explicitly share access with other staff (system-wide roles do not give access to confidential entities).

    For more information about assigning security roles on Cloud, see Security considerations and Assign security roles.

    Tip: If you’re using the Entity Association feature, you can assign roles to users or groups on one entity and those permissions will propagate to all other entities in the association.

Cloud contains three types of roles: Administrative, Staff, and Contact

Once staff accounts are set up, they can log in to Cloud to start work on their engagements.

You can even provide client contacts with access to view and comment on select documents and reports – enabling you to manage all client communications from a central location. Activate their Contact account so they can log in to Cloud. These accounts have extremely limited privileges so you’ll have to explicitly choose to share any documents or reports.

For more information, see Setting up a client portal.

1 For integration options with directory services (such as Active Directory), contact your local CaseWare representative for more information.

Step 3: Collaborate

The Activities icon

Use activities to post updates and start discussions so that your staff are aware of what’s happening in the engagement. Create tasks to ensure procedures and methodology are followed in every engagement.

The Timeline icon

Take a look at the Timeline feed to get updates at a glance.

Files icon

Upload files and reports to Cloud to enable other users to review them from Cloud.

You can take things a step further by integrating your Working Papers file with Cloud and use it to host your Working Papers engagements.

Dashboards icon

Monitor your tasks at a glance by creating Dashboards. Get up-to-date details for all engagements assigned to you.

Q icon

Additionally, use CaseWare Q to see stats and engagement information for your Working Papers integrated file.

Time icon

Use the Time app on Cloud to enter time and billing information.

Cloud Integration

You can integrate Cloud with other products and services to join all your productivity tools together.

CaseWare Products

Integrating CaseWare products enables you to synchronize your engagement with Cloud to take advantage of additional apps for analysis and monitoring. You can integrate with Cloud on varying levels and use only the apps that you need.

CaseWare Working Papers

Once you receive a Cloud URL, you can integrate Working Papers from Tools | Options | CaseWare Cloud (do not include http:// or https:// in the Server URL).

You can then integrate Working Papers engagement data or files with Cloud. Choose one of the following methods:

  • Publish your engagement files to Cloud

    If you’re using SmartSync, publishing is a process that enables you to create or replace parent files with ease. When publishing to Cloud, engagement staff can locate the parent file from the corresponding entity to create their sync copies (provided they have access to Cloud - and if applicable, advanced roles to access the Working Papers file itself). This integration method enables you to use CaseWare Q.

  • Integrate your engagement data with Cloud entities

    By integrating engagement files with their corresponding entities in Cloud, you can synchronize the file metadata (such as engagement properties) with Cloud and use CaseWare Q and Dashboards to monitor your engagements. The Working Papers engagement file does not reside on Cloud for this method.

For more information, see our online Help about:

Once integrated, the wealth of engagement data from your Working Papers file can be used to:

  • Monitor engagement progress and issues using CaseWare Q. Once integrated, open the Q dashboard to track deliverables and the status of your engagement. To learn more, see Track the audit progress with Q.

    The engagement overview pane in CaseWare Q

Other Services

CaseWare Cloud can integrate with other document storage and productivity services such as:

  • Google Drive

  • Google Calendar

  • Google Viewer

  • OneDrive

These services can be integrated from the Settings page. To learn more, see Enable/Disable Features.

Best Practice

To improve user experience and productivity, try these best practices when setting up your organization:

Organization permissions and security

The following recommendations will improve security in Cloud:

  • Use system-wide roles as much as possible. Only give users roles at the entity or file level when necessary. This will improve server performance.

  • Grant Admin level access judiciously. The permissions to grant system-wide roles or to define new roles can be abused.

  • Implement the simplest security system necessary to meet your security needs. If necessary, custom roles can be created.

  • Avoid giving users redundant roles.

  • Restrict access given to Contacts. Ensure they cannot access content they should not. By design, Cloud restricts access given to Contacts.

  • Require staff to use very strong passwords that expire regularly.

Usability

The following recommendations will improve usability in Cloud:

  • Customize your login page with a logo and welcome text.

  • Create custom Views to ensure data is displayed per your organization’s specifications.

  • Add external links to the Cloud menu.

  • Configure the appropriate email notification settings for your staff and contacts.

  • Create dashboards with a small number of gadgets; they will load faster.

  • Ensure staff post activities (senior staff may need to take the lead to ensure this).

  • Define Tags and apply them consistently to your content.

  • Import client files to create entities based on those files. You can also manually create entities or import them via CSV.

  • Integrate document storage and productivity services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, and SharePoint if you use one.

General Practices

The following recommendations will improve your experience with Cloud:

  • Read the release notes for every update to use the latest features as they become available.

  • Contact CaseWare Support if you notice any issues or bugs or if you would like to make a feature request

  • Use only supported browsers from mobile devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

This topic covers some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) when using CaseWare Cloud.

System

  • What are the system requirements?

    Being able to run one of the recommended browsers is the only system requirement for Cloud. Provided that you can run one of these browsers, Cloud will work for all user functions.

  • What browsers can I sign in with?

    You can sign in to CaseWare Cloud using any web browser, however we support and recommend using only the following:

    • Google Chrome
    • Mozilla Firefox
    • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 10+

    See Supported software and hardware for additional information.

  • How am I billed?

    You are billed on a per-user basis. For each staff account you wish to create, you must first purchase a Cloud access license. Users with the Admin role can review the number of available licenses, along with other billing information on the Cloud Billing page (Settings | System | Cloud Billing). You can review pricing information and purchase additional licenses using MyCaseWare.

    CaseWare does not charge for disk storage, but we reserve the right to limit the storage capacity of users who place an unusually large burden on our services. For more information, see the CaseWare Cloud Terms of Use.

    For additional billing inquiries email us at solutions@caseware.com.

Access

  • How do I access the system from home or a client location?

    Cloud is an Internet based portal. You can sign in from anywhere with Internet access using a browser just like you would at the office.

  • Do I need to download anything to use Cloud?

    No downloads are required to use Cloud provided that you are using one of the recommended browsers. However, we recommend you download and install the Java plug-in on your machine to use Cloud's file upload applet. This applet enables you to upload and secure large files or multiple files at once. You are prompted to install this applet during your first file upload. See Upload documents to a workspace for additional details.

  • How do I configure the firewall protection to allow Cloud?

    Some upgrades, as well as changes on the server, may result in an IP change. However, the URL will not be affected. We recommend to avoid using IP restrictions on the firewall. Restricting access based on the URL for CaseWare Cloud will not require maintenance, as the URL does not change.

  • What does it mean if my account is locked out?

    Your account is locked out because you have unsuccessfully tried signing in five times in a row. Contact your system administrator to have your account unlocked.

  • What do I do if I forget my username or password?

    If you forgot your password, click the Forgot your password link on the login page. This link directs you to a page where you can provide your email address to retrieve or reset your password.

    If you forgot your username, contact your system administrator to retrieve the email address specified for your account.

  • Why am I being prompted to change my password when I sign in?

    You are prompted to change your password when it has expired. This expiry value is set by your system administrator.

  • How do I change my password?

    Select your avatar at the top right of the Cloud interface and select My Settings. On the My Settings page, select Account Settings from the list of settings. For more information, see Account Settings.

  • How do I change my email?

    Contact your system administrator to change the email address specified for your account.

Setup

  • Who in the organization should be the initial user?

    The initial user for your organization is the user that performs some of the initial setup of your Cloud environment. This user will have administrative privileges and this account will remain associated to your Cloud environment throughout its lifetime. This user can be a person from your IT department, but could also be a manager. The knowledge required to set up your Cloud environment can be business specific.

  • How can I use the system as a client portal?

    To use Cloud as a client portal requires setting up the proper workspace and accounts to enable secure file transfer, document management, and secure messaging between internal staff members and external client parties (known as contacts). To define a workspace, add a client entity to the system. All interactions between staff and contacts take place within this entity. For contacts to access the system, they require an account and permissions to access the associated client entity. You can add a contact and assign them appropriate roles. Additional roles can be assigned to this user to enable access to content. For detailed instructions, see Setting up a client portal.

  • Should I create accounts for all my staff?

    You should create accounts for all staff members that will be using the system. If your organization is using Cloud as a general internal portal, then it makes sense to create accounts for all staff members. If your organization uses Cloud as a portal for client interactions only, then only those staff members that interact with external clients will require an account.

  • What is the All Staff entry in the Share dialog used for?

    The All Staff entry is used to assign a role to all staff members in the system on the entity or item (activity, file, dashboard, and so on). All new staff members that are added to the system are assigned this role as well.

    Alternately, you can create Staff Groups to quickly assign roles to specific staff members. See Create staff or contact groups for additional information.

Data and Security

  • Where is CaseWare Cloud located?

    CaseWare Cloud currently operates on the computing resources provided by the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure in Australia, Ireland, and the United States.

  • Where is my data stored?

    CaseWare Cloud stores information on the Amazon Web Services Server infrastructure which may be located outside the country you are working from. CaseWare Cloud utilizes Amazon Web Servers in the United States for the Americas, in Australia for Asia-Pacific clients, and in Ireland for other jurisdictions. All of your data, including backups, is in the same region.

    CaseWare Cloud utilizes Amazon EBS Snapshots for backups which are constrained to the region where they were created and are not automatically replicated elsewhere. If, for example, your data must geographically reside within Australia, your data (including backups) will only be stored there.

  • Is my data encrypted?

    Data that is transferred to and from CaseWare Cloud (data-in-transit) is encrypted via TLS with ephemeral key exchange and use industry-accepted strong cipher suites. Certificates use a minimum of 2048-bit key strength with SHA-2 or stronger signature algorithm.

    Storage of data (data-at-rest) is encrypted using the industry standard AES-256 algorithm.

  • Security and Policy

    CaseWare Cloud uses an advanced cloud-delivered endpoint protection platform to detect and defend against known and unknown attacks.

    CaseWare Cloud also relies on the Amazon Web Services security polices and their accreditations which are a key element to protecting your sensitive information.

    For Canadian Clients: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has stated that outsourcing arrangements do not offend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act where the confidentiality and security provisions in the outsourcing agreement satisfy the requirement to provide a comparable level of protection of personal information.

For more information, see Frequently asked questions.

Getting Technical Support

The CaseWare Support Network offers you a wide range of choices and access to high-quality, responsive technical support.

Before contacting Technical Support, please consult the online Help and any other documentation included with this package as your first source to resolve the issue. Be sure to also check the CaseWare website for the latest troubleshooting and technical information.

If you are unable to find the solution, you can receive contact information for CaseWare® Technical Support through your nearest CaseWare distributor.

What you need to tell us

When you contact CaseWare® Technical Support, you should be at your computer and have your documentation on hand. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  1. Your Client Number.

  2. The product version number, found by selecting the Help menu and choosing About.

  3. The type of computer hardware you are using.

  4. The software version number of MS-Windows.

  5. The exact wording of any messages that appear on your screen.

  6. A description of what happened and what you were doing when the problem occurred.

  7. A description of how you tried to solve the problem.

Contact us

Comments and suggestions about our software and this guide are greatly appreciated. As a user of our products, you are in a unique position to provide ideas that have an impact on future releases of this and other products. You can contact our support teams in several ways to provide comments. For more information, see our website.

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