How to use the online and Excel binder

Article Objective:  To assist users in navigating the Active Platform to determine whether they should use the online or Excel binder, as well as how to use the binders. 

Context: Active Workpapers allows you to manage your binder online in conjunction with your Excel file. Alternatively, you can work entirely within Excel. The taskpane in Excel will mirror the details on the web and the two will always be fully synchronised, there is no need to refresh. This way you could work with your online Index on one screen and your Excel file on another.

Please refer to the Glossary for definitions of key terms used in this article. 

Choosing to use the online or Excel binder

You are able to choose whether you work online or in Excel, however you will always need to use Excel to create the supporting records and worksheets associated with your index. With this, we recommend that if you have access to two screens, you open the Excel binder on one and the web on the other. Where you are only on one screen, we recommend opening the Excel binder and using the taskpane. 

Essentially the web shows the account balances, all the workpapers that are linked to the accounts and the statuses of workpapers. 

You are also able to perform journals, add internal notes and client queries, access all documents which have been uploaded into Workpapers, manage accounts and access the QA centre. 

The Excel binder is largely only used to upload and complete workpapers, however has all the capabilities of the web accessible in the taskpane. 

Tip: The synchronisation between the web and Excel also allows multiple people to work on the binder at the same time. Clicking on the Active Users button in either the web or Excel will show you who is working on the file. 

Opening and using the Excel binder

Navigate to the relevant client and click on the Wp icon. Open the relevant binder. 


This will open the binder in the web. To access the Excel binder, click on Open Binder in Excel. 

After opening the file, a pop-up screen will prompt you to sign in. Enter your Business Fitness details. 

Once signed in, a taskpane will appear on the right-hand side of the file. This taskpane will synchronise with the online binder and you may choose to use either or both to work on your job, depending on your preference. 

Tip: The taskpane in Excel can be 'popped out' or resized, and moved to another screen for ease of use. Simply hover your cursor over the 'Active Workpapers' header until a cross appears and click and drag.

If you wish to navigate back to the web from the Excel binder, click Open Website. This will quickly navigate you back to the online binder. 

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