Connected Workpapers - Cloud Based Software

Connected workpapers gives you the option to import the trial balance for the client from the cloud based software they are using (i.e.  MYOB, Xero or Quickbooks) or from Excel.  For the import of an Excel trial balance, please see the article on Connected Workpapers - Excel.

Connected Workpapers use the same workpapers and have all the functionality of the Smart Workpapers, with some additional features.  See the features of Smart Workpapers here. Additional features for connected workpapers are listed below.  

Establishing a New Connection to a Cloud Accounting File

To connect a new cloud based file, left-click on the "Connections" button on the left-hand side of the page. Choose the type of file you would like to connect and select "Connect" if no current file is connected or "Manage" if you already have a file connected. 

From the Manage Connections screen you can see a list of your files currently connected and the dates the access was granted as shown below. 

To add a new connection, select the appropriate "Add File" button. 

This will redirect you to the Cloud Accounting Software page login and ask for Smart Workpapers to be given access to the selected Xero File - Allow access for the connection to be established. 

Once the connection is established the 'client file' will appear in the workpaper when attempting to import a trial balance into a Connected Workpaper. 

Connect a Client File to a Connected Workpaper

Access Connected Workpapers  

You can access the Connected Workpapers by logging into to the How Now Smart Workpapers Website. Left-click on the "Start" button on the left-hand side of the page, when you choose your workpaper type, choose a workpaper under the "Connected' heading and download the starter file for the year you are working on. 

Alternatively, for connections to cloud based software, you can left-click the "Connections" button on the left-hand side of the page.  Choose the type of file that you would like to connect and create a new workpaper. Note: The view usage button will show you which files you have connected and the date it was last accessed. 

Connect a File

To connect the client file, left-click the "Connect" button on the Home Page.  

Once left-clicked, a box will appear on the right-hand side of the screen. Choose which type of connection you would like to make.

Note: Only the Products available to your account will appear.

Choose the type of cloud accounting software file you wish to connect; a list will appear with all your available connected client files.  Enter in the period start date and end date. You can choose to show comparative column and a variance column.  Select the appropriate 'Client File' and left-click 'Connect'.

If your client file doesn't appear on the list, select add file 'online' and follow the instructions above under the heading "Creating a New Connection to a Cloud Accounting File"

Note: When connecting the file, all of the entity details on the 'Home' page will pre-fill.  Other sections on the 'Home' page will still need to be completed.  See instructions for 'Home Page' for help on completing these items.

Automatic Suggestions

By selecting Automatic Suggestions, when connecting a client file, recommended templates will be inserted into your file based on the trial balance accounts. 


  • Only templates which have been selected to 'Allow AI to Recommend this Workpaper for Auto Insertion' will be inserted - see instruction on uploading a customised worksheet to select this. 
  • The 'Allow AI to Recommend this Workpaper for Auto Insertion' can not be edited at a firm level at this stage. 

Importing Opening Balances

Where you have used Connected Workpapers in the prior year, you have the ability to "rollover" worksheets.  The worksheets used in the prior year will be added to the current year workpapers as part of the process. Where available, closing balances and lists from the prior year will be included in the current year workpapers. 

To import opening balances, either open the prior year workpaper and select it from the drop-down list or use the browse for the file button to select a file to import opening balances from. 

When you select both Automatic Suggestions and Import Opening Balances, only one instance of the template will be inserted. 

For more information on Opening Balances see the article Import Opening Balances.  


Once a file has been connected, the index page will show the trial balance of that entity.

Note: Additional Workpapers not added in the 'Automatic Suggestions' or 'Import Opening Balances' are added in the same way as How Now Smart Workpapers - see adding and deleting worksheets for more information.

General Ledger

You are able to see the transactions in the general ledger by right-clicking on the account balance and selecting "View General Ledger".  

A pop-up window will appear with the general ledger transactions as shown below:

You can refresh this list and copy it to excel by using the buttons on the top right corner.

Workpapers Tab on Excel Ribbon

The workpapers tab on the excel ribbon looks similar to the HowNow Smart Workpapers (covered in the Workpapers Tab User Guide), however with some additional sections.

The Integration section enables you to refresh your trial balance and connect a file.

Access to the 'Add Reconciliation Field' button is available for Connected Workpapers.

Refresh Trial Balance

On the Workpapers tab on the excel ribbon, there is a Refresh Trial Balance button.  If any changes have been made to the source file, this button will update the trial balance to the most recent figures.

The last refresh date can be seen at the top of the Trial Balance section.

Add Reconciliation Field

A Reconciliation Field is a cell in a workpaper containing an amount (generally a closing balance or summed total) which when selected from the index page performs a reconciliation calculation to the figure listed in the current year trial balance where the workpaper was inserted. 

To add a reconciliation field, go to the workpapers tab in the excel ribbon while on the workpaper you want to add a reconciliation field to.  Select the cell that you wish to reconcile the trial balance to and left-click on the "Add Reconciliation Field" button.  

A pop-up box will appear.  Enter a name for this reconciliation field and select 'OK'.  

Return to the index, and on the line for the workpaper the reconciliation field was added to, left-click in the "Reconcile To" column.  A drop-down box will appear.  Select the reconciliation field created for this worksheet in the previous step.

If the amount reconciles, the link will turn green.  If it does not reconcile the link will turn red.

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