EY Digital Audit Close Report

UX Process


The Digital Audit Close Report (DACR) was intended to allow clients to view an online version of their Audit’s Close Report and to download a PDF version of the report. The project originated out of EY Asia-Pac, specifically from an Associate Director in Australia.

I was tasked to lead the effort to design the backend half of the system as the work on the PDF the application would produce had already been done. For me that meant working with the Associate Director in Australia along with the other people in his office. The scope of the project was to:

  1. Design a web based user interface to allow clients to view their Audit Close Report
  2. Allow clients to Download a PDF version of the Audit Close Report
  3. Create a content management system to allow the audit team to build the report
  4. Allow the system to assign auditors to different parts of the report so work could be done in parallel

This up front discovery work done with the Associate Director gave me a 30,000 foot view of what the system should be able to do, what the end system should be able to do. There was still a lot of work to do so to successfully complete the project the following process was used…


The Experience Design Group in EY Assurance had spent time developing a process that was comprised of the phases below and each phase was comprised of set of tools that were applicable to that phase. Depending on the project work and timeline, resources etc. the Experience Design Group would choose the appropriate phases and tools that best made sense. i.e. While the Experience Design Group would love to always go through the full design process it understood that that doesn’t always make sense so the most appropriate phases and tools would be used.


I started off the project with a kickoff call with the Associate Director in charge of the project. Working with the Associate Director we went through all of the pages of the example Audit Close report PDF that the Australia office had produced as an example of everything that could appear in an Audit Close Report. The PDF was a super-set of all available content, other Audit Close Reports would more than likely not have everything the template PDF had.

I also learned that the main team that was requesting the application all worked in the same office with the Associate Director. The group was tired of everything being worked on manually from a Word template that had to be passed around through email. Additionally all the work that was done had to be then combined into the final Audit Close report that the Partner would have to approve and then send to the Client.


My main research consisted of a working with the Associate Director and a group interview I conducted with the Audit team that worked for the Associate Director and that participated in the creation of the template PDF.

With the Associate Director I conducted phone calls and a Q & A chain through email because his day starting at 7am was my day ending at 5pm. So there was a limited amount of time that we could actually speak to each other live. The Q & A system worked through a date/time formatting of our files as well as a color coding system of our comments.

For the group interview I created a question script based on the prior work I completed with the Associate director. With the group interview I created the question script with the following assumptions:

  1. The manual word based close report creation is manual, slow and error prone
  2. The user have used or can learn to use a report templating system
  3. The users want to really streamline the report creation process

For my questions I worked through the following categories of questions:

The Current System

  1. Describe to me your current process when you create an Audit Close Report?
  2. Tell me about the issues you face when creation an Audit Close Report?
  3. How do you organize your reports/files/information and keep track of statuses through the report creation process?

The Ideal System

  1. What do you think an ideal online system would look like for creating Audit Close Reports?
  2. What do you think an ideal online system would look like for report approvals?
  3. What do you think an ideal online system would look like for comments and feedback
  4. What types of features would help you achieve your report creation goals/tasks?

After my work with the Associate Director was done and the group interview was done I made detailed notes from the audio of the group interview. This allowed me to really listen to and understand the feedback the users were giving me. Writing out the notes helped me connect ideas from different people participating in the interview because I could stop the audio and scroll to different sections of my notes when I heard something that connected to another person’s comment.


Following the Discovery and Research phases I moved into the insights phase. The insights phase allowed me to work towards structuring the content of the Audit Close Report and seeing how or even if it could translate into a content management system.

The first and most important piece was translating how the report template would work in the content management system. What the ended up meaning was that there was, for the beginning, one standard report template that had all of the sections and sub-section that were required and optional. A user would be allowed to create an instance of a report from the report template. After the report instance was create the user would select what sections and sub-sections applied to the report being created

After the report's basic outline was created the report admin would assign users to the different sections to begin work on them. A user assigned to a page would detemine the page layout through the content management system. Different page layouts were available that matched up with the layouts that were determined from the discovery and research.

Additionally the report creator would assign users as the approver and final approver of report sections so as a section was completed a notification would be emailed to the user to let them know that an approval was needed from them. An approver would then log into the content management system and either approve the work or add comments/feedback if there were issues and send the work back to the original user for changes.

The above workflow was determined to be the best way for the content management system to work through the Audit Close Report creation process and it wasn't to different from the current workflow but in this case multiple sections of the report could be worked on at the same time, thereby speeding up the report creatin process. A report creator could also lock section to keep them from being worked on and this would usually done during the final few weeks of an audit when changes to the Audit Close Report were to be avoided.


The Design phase was an iterative process that involved my working in Axure to create the wireframes for all of the pages in the content management system. I held reveiw meetings on a weekly basis where I would show the current wireframes for feedback. Based on the feedback I would then make updates to the wireframes. The audience for the meetings was with the Associate Director/Main Stakeholde, the local Australian auditors and the Development lead who I worked with to make sure what I was creating would be doable. The Development team was going to be creating the system using React.

Over time and through listening closely to the feedback I arrived at the final wireframes seen below. The wires take into account all the parts of the Audict Close Report content management system and covered all of the needs first laid out in the project kickoff and Discovery phases.

Due to the number of wires and screens I have opted to have the linkes to the PDF files for the Sitemap, Taskflows and Wires. Additionally I have a link to the AxShare wires.

DACR Sitemap

DACR Taskflow

DACR Wires

AxShare wires


This was a fun project to work on that required different skills from my UX tool belt. I needed to connect and work with the main stakeholder of the project and create a good working relationship with him in order to keep things moving forward. I aslo got to use my strategy and insight skills to formulate a plan on how to proceed. Finally my concept and design skills were put to use in order to create the designs for the content management system that was eventually brought to life through the wireframes. The main project stakeholder was very pleased with the final output and took all of the deliverables to move on to the next phase of the project (development) now that my piece had been finished. I say finished because at that point the Australian group took over to work with another group at EY to do the delivery of the system.