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PAWS Version 8.4

Pentana released version 8.4 of the Pentana Audit Work System in January 2015.
PAWS users with active Maintenance & Support can download this release free of charge.
PAWS v8.4 is a technical compatibility update release of the Pentana Audit Work System from Ideagen.

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PAWS Version 8.3

Pentana released version 8.3 of the Pentana Audit Work System in August 2011.
PAWS users with active Maintenance & Support can download this release free of charge.
The main enhancements in PAWS v8.3 include:

Risks & Controls

  • Separate text for Likelihood and Impact

    PAWS v8.3 introduces the ability to have separate text for likelihood and impact. This allows, for example, a simpler implementation of Design/Operation ratings for controls, as well as for risk ratings.

  • Configurable sign off warnings

    The assessment sign off warnings are now separated so that you can choose precisely which ones you would like to warn. Thus you can turn off the SA warnings, but still warn for IA, etc.

  • Configurable rules for assessments

    Prior to v8.3, mitigated (residual/net) ratings had to be less than or equal to unmitigated (inherent/gross/raw) ratings. This is now a configuration option for each of Likelihood and Impact, and allows checking either way, or turning off checking.

  • Views in Spreadsheet mode

    You can now save your customisation of the Risks & Controls Spreadsheet mode. Additional columns are available as well.

Key Dates (Analysis)

  • Home screen

    Customise Columns on the Home screen has been enhanced to include the system key dates. Thus Planned Start Date, Actual Start Date, Planned Final Report Date, Actual Final Report Date, Planned Completion Date and Actual Completion Date are all available as columns on the Home screen.

  • New display modes

    There are two new display modes in Key Dates Analysis that give lists of dates rather than variances. These are for Planned Date and Actual Date. In addition, you can now launch audits directly from this screen.

System Administration

  • Disable standard Sign Off Rules

    The standard system Sign Off Rules have been separated and itemised to allow you to choose which are run. This means you can turn off unwanted warnings, allowing you to force clearing of the warnings at sign off. Plug in rules requested by individual clients also appear on this list and can be selected in the same way, giving extra control of sign off.

    Since a few version, PAWS can be configured to include Custom Sign Off Rules, combined with this latest features, this now means you can completely define the Audit Sign Off Rules.
    Some possible examples:
    - No Risk assessments below Medium without notes
    - No approvals allowed by reviewer
    - No failed tests allowed without Finding
    - etc

    Custom Sign Off Rules can be developed as per your requirements by Sepia Solutions or Pentana Ltd.

  • Hiding non-pick list fields

    You have always been able to hide Pick list fields or make them mandatory. However, other fields such as text, numeric and date fields were not available for this treatment. There is now an extra screen in Pick Lists which allows you to hide those fields that are neither pick lists nor system controlled. The screen also allows you to make the fields mandatory on entry and/or mandatory at sign off.

  • Password rules

    Password rules for those not using single sign on have been enhanced so that you can require users to enter alpha, numeric, and special characters, as well as length, change and re-use restrictions.

  • Entity names

    You are now allowed to have duplicate entity names (the reference must be unique).

  • Last audit date

    Last audit date defaults to the key date Audit Start. You can now choose to link this to Final Report or Audit Complete instead.

  • Performance improvements

    The performance of the risks and controls screen, particularly in the web module, gave cause for concern in very large installations with big risk libraries. Improvements have been made in the way the web modules handle the grouping and display which should make a difference for all sizes of installation.

  • Configurable staff

    The Client Liaison, Manger and Lead Auditor pick lists in the Audit Details screen now have a configuration option to show only staff that are users. Even with this set, you can still view all staff if required in the Staff section of the Audit Summary.

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PAWS Version 8.2

Pentana released version 8.2 of the Pentana Audit Work System in February 2011.
PAWS users with active Maintenance & Support can download this release free of charge.
The main enhancements in PAWS v8.2 include:

Findings & Actions

  • Findings library

    PAWS v8.2 introduces the ability to maintain a library for Findings. When adding a finding, there is a new option to add from the library, with categorisation and filtering to help offer an appropriate short list of suggested findings. This will allow pro-forma findings, offeringguidance to auditors, improving consistency and saving time in compliance systems.

  • Business users audit actions

    Business users have always been able to maintain their own Entity actions. New permissions and business rules have been implemented in PAWS v8.2 to allow the option for business users to maintain as much or as little of their own actions as desired. They can also create additional actions. Thus auditors can add a blank action, and choose to leave business users to fill in and add additional actions as appropriate.


  • New email client for SQL

    A new email client has been implemented to support SQL Database Mail (dbmail) as an alternative for installations where simple client originated SMTP mail is blocked.

  • Email plug ins

    In parallel with the new SQL email client, a new feature for plug-in email rules has been developed. Pentana can now plug in specific rules for sending email in addition to those configurable rules already provided for action progress checks and questionnaires. The approach also allows for entirely auto-generated emails to be driven by the system, with no user interaction required.

    For example, you might want to email the manager of an action owner automatically when a high priority action is incomplete and within two weeks of due date, alert senior management when a risk is assessed as 'critical', or notify an approver that an audit has sections ready for approval. Contact Sepia Solutions if you would like Pentana to add email rules within your PAWS implementation to meet your specific requirements.


  • Dashboard in the web modules

    The dashboard has been implemented in the web modules, allowing additional access to graphical analysis by both auditors using the web interface and business users. The same action, audit and finding charts are available as in the PAWS Desktop module, with the capability to adapt charts by changing chart type, preferred colours and filters.

    Re-designing the charts and permissions remains a function of Library Management in the PAWS desktop. Pentana can add custom charts to meet specific client requirements for both desktop and web modules.

  • New chart type

    A new chart type of Line Graph has been added to the chart types.

Global Risks

PAWS v8.2 includes several enhancements to the Assess Global Risks functionality, which some customers may know as 'Annual Audit Planning', 'Audit Priority', or 'Strategic Risks' as follows:

  • Entity materiality for audit planning

    A new field has been added to the entity details which records the materiality of the entity to the universe. This factor is used in calculating the final total risk for global risks, thus allowing the annual plan to have the entity materiality factored in.

  • Enhanced approvals for Global Risks

    Global risk approvals can now be reset for both sub-sets of and all entities. This, for example, formalizes the start of a new annual audit planning cycle. Optional business rules can be turned on to ensure that global risks are reviewed before they are approved, to ensure once approved they become read-only until reset, and a further option to enforce the approver as different from the reviewer.

  • Customise columns in Global Risks

    The Assess Global Risks screen has had customise columns added so that users can choose the columns they see when assessing global risks. This should help whencomparing entities and will enable the new materiality factor to be displayed for the entities.

Other enhancements

  • Auto-populating templates

    Where populating PAWS data into custom MS Word and Excel report templates, PAWS v8.2 can now pass to the template not only the entity and audit references, but also the reference of the item to which the template is attached and the ID of the user. These changes will allow context-specific population (e.g. based on test title) and the name of the person performing the population to be used (e.g. Prepared By).

  • MS Office 2010

    PAWS v8.2 can now be integrated with Office 2010.

  • Retain v5

    PAWS v8.2 can now be integrated with Retain v5.

  • Bug fixes

    As with all enhancement releases, we have also taken this opportunity to fix a number of reported bugs and issues.

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PAWS Version 8.1

Major updates

  • Rich Text Format

    This release introduces support for Rich Text in certain text fields, allowing auditors to apply font attributes such as bold, underline, colour and size.

    Note: In order to implement Rich Text fields, a custom script will need be created, taking into account individual field and reporting requirements. The development service related to Rich Text is not covered by the Maintenance & Support package; please contact Sepia Solutions for more information.

  • Work Paper enhancements

    PAWS v8.1 introduces an optional new PAWS toolbar for Microsoft Office applications (Office 2007 or later).

  • Work paper cross referencing

    The PAWS toolbar allows you to insert a link into the document which references an item in PAWS. You select the item of choice in PAWS in the same way as for a standard PAWS cross reference. The item could be any PAWS item, e.g. objective, risk, control, area, test, finding, action, work paper. Clicking on the link in the document will navigate you to the item in PAWS.

  • Work paper tick marks

    The PAWS toolbar allows you to insert tick marks in documents.
    There are three tick marks: Blank, Tick, Cross.

  • Web Module cross referencing / tick marks

    In the Web Modules, you can click on a link, and it will navigate to the correct item. You can also delete links. You can add and remove tick marks.

Other enhancements

  • Library management

    Additional enhancements have been made to improve the management of multiple libraries. A new feature allows Status (Draft, Live, Closed) to be set on all Objectives or Areas within the same Library, making use of the segmentation of the library data introduced in v8.0.

  • Permissions

    Added new permissions to separate Add Contact from Assign Existing Contact (to Entity). This allows a user to Add Contact as, for example, an Action Owner which given Assign Existing permission would allow any existing contact to be assigned, or given Add Contact permission would allow a new contact to be added as well. In databases where links to LDAP are not forced, this will help tocontrol multiple additions of the same contact.

  • Aliases

    Added aliases for column headings in email text to be changed (particularly for translation to other languages).

  • Fixes

    Some important issues relating to new style work paper templates attached to library items and dashboard charts have been resolved, in addition to a number of less significant issues.

  • Communications Link Failure

    Improved the handling of communications link failure in the desktop application to exit gracefully (remove the need to end task).

  • Enabled Access

    Added a user preference for a font size multiplier to aid the visually impaired.
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