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  Home > Course Details

Course Details - Go to Course Contents

   Updated ! ! !   QAS   Registry
Title :

Spreadsheet Controls under Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404

Author :

Joseph P Helstrom, CPA

Status :


CPE Credits :


IRS Credits :


Price :


Passing Score :


Primary Subject-Field Of Study :

Computer Science - Accounting and Auditing

Description :

Spreadsheets have become pervasive in most companies and have many uses. Those that are used in the financial reporting process are of most concern to the assessment of the effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting mandated by Sarbanes-Oxley. This course discusses how to evaluate spreadsheets under the rules of Section 404 and AS 2201 as well as what specific compensating spreadsheet controls are supported by Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013 and Excel 2016. This course has been written for Excel 2007. Steps that differ in Excel 2010, 2013 and 2016 have been noted in gray shadow boxes for the few instances where there is a difference.

Usage Rank :


Release :


Version :


Prerequisites :

Excel 2007/ Excel 2010/ Excel 2013/ Excel 2016 is needed.

Experience Level :


Additional Contents :

Complete, no additional material needed.

Advance Preparation :

Should have familiarity with formulas and functions.

Delivery Method :


Intended Participants :

Anyone needing Continuing Professional Education (CPE).

Approved Audience :

NASBA QAS - NASBA Registry -  - 

Revision Date :


NASBA Course Declaration :

Participants must complete the final examination within one year of purchase and with a minimum passing grade of 70% or better to receive CPE credit unless otherwise noted on the Course History page (i.e. California Ethics must score 90% or better). After logging in click on the Course History links on your My Courses page for the Begin date and Expire date for the Final Exam.

Comments :

CPE, online, self-study, self study, CPA, CPAs, continuing professional education, continuing education, accounting, spreadsheets, sox, sarbanes oxley, internal controls

Learning Objectives :

Course Learning Objectives

The objectives of this course are:
    • Recognize fundamental aspects of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Public Accounting Oversight Board AS 2201
    • Recognize the process for evaluating spreadsheets under the rules of Section 404 and AS 2201
    • Identify specific compensating spreadsheet controls supported by Microsoft Excel

Course Contents - Go to Details

Chapter 1 - Spreadsheet Controls under Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404

Sarbanes Oxley

Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

AS 2201: An Audit of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting That Is Integrated with An Audit of Financial Statements


AS 2201 Approach


Using a Top-Down Approach

Identifying Entity-Level Controls

Identifying Significant Accounts and Disclosures and Their Relevant Assertions

Understanding Likely Sources of Misstatement

Selecting Controls to Test

Specific Procedures Related to Spreadsheets to Comply with Section 404 and PCAOB AS 2201

Inventory all spreadsheets

Determine how current spreadsheets are being used

Determine the risk factors of the spreadsheet

Evaluate compensating controls for risk factors

Documentation of procedures


Controls that Excel supports

Access to the spreadsheet is limited to authorized users  – Passwords

Controls to validate user input  – data validation

Review Questions 

Spreadsheets protected against unauthorized changes – Cell protection

Spreadsheets protected against unauthorized changes –Workbook Protection

Spreadsheet Documentation is Adequate – Comments

A Logic inspection by an independent party is performed – Formula Auditing

Highlighting all cells containing formulas

Trace Precedent and Dependent Cells

Error Checking

Watch Window

Logic Inspection – Inspect Document

Controls not supported by Excel


Review  Questions 



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