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Task Automation Using IDEA

Audit scenarios rarely require an entirely unique process. Having a preferred set of tests ready to go is a great time-saver, but that can be further improved if the tests themselves can be run automatically with the click of a button. Some professionals may shy away from this concept, thinking they must be well versed in scripting and write everything by hand. Fortunately, CaseWare IDEA® has a variety of features to increase the end user’s confidence and save time. Most of the work is automatically done for you, requiring just a few minor tweaks at the end of the process.

Here are three methods you can use to create a scripted version of your tasks; plus, tips for running the tasks automatically on a schedule.


1. Recording a Macro


This is arguably the fastest way to get a scripted version of your tasks. To get this started, open the Macros tab in IDEA and click on Record Macro.

CaseWare IDEA Ribbon - Record Macro

The software will pay attention to the tasks you run while it’s recording. Press this button again to tell it to stop and IDEA will open a new script ready with the code matching your tasks.


2. Copying from History


If the work has already been performed, there’s no need to redo the entire project! Each IDEA table comes with a recorded history of everything done to the file. To access it, click on History on the right (by default, unless the Properties pane has been moved around).

Copy Tasks from History

From here, each entry can be right-clicked and IDEA can be told to copy the code to RAM or start a new script. Depending on the task, you just need to copy multiple steps and paste the code together in the proper order.


3. Generating from Project Overview


That may not be the best option for long tests. If the second option seems tedious, then Project Overview remedies this well.  Project Overview may be accessed from the Home tab in IDEA.

Generate Script from Project Overview

From here, clicking the fifth icon (create macro, Macro Icon in IDEA ) will allow you to select all tasks that should be part of your script. Then, upon closing the Project Overview, your script will be populated with every task selected.

Tips for Scheduling Your Tasks


Scheduling Your Tests


  1. Confirm that script will run to completion, no errors or pop up message boxes requiring input.
  2. Confirm that any input files will have same name & structure for each run if you have not scripted to provide for name change.
  3. Include at beginning of script (below Sub Main)
    Client.WorkingDirectory = “full path of IDEA Project Folder”
  4. Include at end of Sub Main
  5. From Script Window select FILE BUILD scriptname.EXE

IDEAScript File Menu Dropdown

Adding to Windows Task Scheduler


Click on the Start menu and search for task scheduler. In the window that opens, click on “Create Task…” on the right side. Configure GENERAL & SETTINGS tabs as needed for your goals:

Windows Task Scheduler General Tab

Windows Task Scheduler Settings Tab

Give scripting a try to save hours of effort. If you require assistance, contact the IDEA Help Desk.

Automate Procedures , Best Practices , Tech Tip

Posted By

By Danny Betancourt

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