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CCH Software User Documentation

User Defined Graphs

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This section describes how to define your own graphs.

The system allows you to define your own graphs, selecting data from the trial balance and the equation list (see click here for details regarding equations) and, where appropriate, combining the two on a single graph. Each graph can contain up to 10 separate series and are very simple to define. Once a graph has been defined, it can be viewed and printed from the graphing option, or it can be copied to the Windows clipboard for pasting into working papers or reports.

This facility further enhances the analytical review tools that are provided in Audit Automation and also enables you to easily extend the reports that you provide to management at the end of the audit, thereby enhancing the value-added services you provide to your clients.

Adding new graphs

To add a new graph, select Planning [Analytical tools] User defined graphs from the client menu and the User defined graphs dialog will be displayed.


This dialog allows you to add, edit and delete graphs as well as display the graphs ready for printing or copying to the Windows clipboard.

Click on [Add] and the Graph definition dialog will be displayed.


As you will see, this dialog contains two pages, the first is the header details which allows you to define the code and the name for the graph as well as the number of series you wish to plot, and the second contains the data relating to each series.
Enter the information relating to the header, as follows:

Code An alphanumeric code which will be used to identify the graph and which can be up to 8 characters long. This must be unique as two graphs cannot have the same code allocated to them.
Name The name by which the graph is to be identified. This can be up to 50 characters long and is used as the default title for the graph when it is first created.
Series Enter here the number of individual series you wish to plot on the face of the graph. Each graph can contain from 1 to 10 series and you define, on the data page, the type of data which is to be plotted for each, and the accounts and equation results to be included for each point.

After entering the number of series, click on the Data tab and the first series will be selected for you to enter the information to plot.


The information stored in respect of each series is as follows:

Name The name of the series, which will appear in the legend if this is included in the graph. Details on how to edit the graph format are set out below. For example, you may wish to plot two series, one representing sales and the other gross profit. In this case the first series may well be “Sales”.
Type of data

The type of data which can be plotted is available from the drop-down list, and can be one of the following:


For this type of data, the system can plot up to 10 points representing data for each of the 10 years stored in the system. If annual is selected, there is only one Data definition possible and that is “Year on Year”. When the type of data is set to annual, the number of points will default to 10. You can change this if you have less than 10 years data recorded within the system.


this option allows you to select from a list showing from the current year to 9 years ago. For example, if you wish to plot a pie chart of different types of expenses for the current year, thereby showing how the expenses are made up, you would use “Current year” as the data definition. When selected data is chosen, you are able to specify the number of points to plot from 1 to 13. You then define the information to be included for each point in the Data to plot column. In the example of the pie chart, you would specify for each point the range of accounts to be added together to arrive at the total expenditure to include in each piece of the pie.

Data definition

As indicated above, the list available in data definition will vary depending on the type of data selected. For annual data a single entry of “Year on Year” is available, for selected data the options are as follows:

Current year
Prior year
One year ago
Two years ago
Three years ago
Four years ago
Five years ago
Six years ago
Seven years ago
Eight years ago
Nine years ago

Series style

The styles available are shown in the drop-down list, and are as follows:


Each series can have a different style. In our above example, sales may be shown as a bar chart, with gross profit overlaid on it as a line. The setting entered here will be used on the first occasion that the graph is plotted. Once it has been displayed, you may adjust the settings, including the style of each series, and any changes you make are stored. If you make changes, but then do not like the result, you can revert to the defaults for the graph by using [Restore to default settings] described below.

Number of points For annual data this can contain from 1 to 10, the first point representing the current year’s data, the second point the previous year’s data, etc. For selected data, the allowable entry range is 1 to 13, representing the number of points you wish to plot. After you have changed the number of points and moved focus away from the entry box, the number of edit fields available in the Data to plot and Optional legend column will be changed to match the number of points.
Data to plot

Enter in this column the definition of the data to be calculated for the point. You can include in this field references to single accounts, account ranges, and Equations. These can either be entered manually from the keyboard, or selected using the [Select item] button. As you will see, when you use this button, you will be offered a list of options and the way in which the system reacts will depend on the option you select. You may insert either a single or range of accounts, or an Equation using the standard pick lists. You may enter any number of elements within each Data to plot entry box, separating them with the plus sign, up to a maximum of 50 characters.

For example, if the sales account range was 1 to 20, to pick this up you would enter 1:20. If you wanted to add to this the contents of account range 30 to 40, it would appear as 1:20+30:40.

Equations are included by simply typing their code, e.g. if you had 2 equations with codes, SALES and COSTS, you could plot the sum of the two by entering SALES+COSTS. You could equally have entered 1:20+COSTS. There is no concept of a minus as the system works on debits and credits.

Optional legend Enter in this column any legend that you wish to use for each point. For example, in the case of a pie chart of expenses, you would enter the name of the expense represented by the point.
Reverse values

As indicated above, the system works with debits and credits, where credits assume a negative value. Hence, if you plot credit data this will be shown below the X axis. The facility is provided for you to reverse the value and switch positive and negative values. This allows you to, for example, plot sales above the X axis, or to plot sales and purchases on the same graphs with both being shown as positive items.

To reverse the values, place a tick in the Reverse values checkbox.

Series displayed When the Data tab is first selected, the system will display series 1. If you have indicated that there is going to be more than one series on the graph, you can use the scroll buttons within this panel to display the information relating to the other series. As you click the left and right arrows, the system will save the information displayed in respect of the current series and display the next series selected.

After you have entered all the information relating to the graph, click on [Save] to store the definition and return to the User defined graphs dialog.

Continuing our example of plotting two series representing sales and gross profit, the definition of the data for the first series would be to add the sales accounts together, say, from 1 to 20 on a year on year basis, with the values reversed and showing the data as a bar chart.


The second series would be defined to pick up, say, accounts 1 to 99 representing the sales and direct cost accounts. This series will be depicted by a line and the values reversed as we want profit figures to be shown as positive.


Note that where the same data is to be included for each point, it is only necessary to enter it for point one as blank points will automatically assume the same data as defined for previous points.

After saving the definition, you may view the graph, using the [Show] button and change its format, as described below.

Editing an existing chart

To edit an existing chart, highlight the chart in the list and click on [Edit]. The system will load the Graph definition dialog displaying the information that is currently held in respect of the definition. You are free to edit any of the information on the header or data pages, apart from the code of the graph which cannot be changed once the graph has been created.

When you have finished making the amendments required, click on [Save] to update the records and close the User defined graphs dialog. Alternatively, if you do not wish to change the definition, click on [Cancel].

Note that changing the Series style after the graph has been displayed will have no effect unless you restore the defaults for the graph.

Deleting a graph

If you wish to remove a graph definition from the system, highlight the graph in the list and click on [Delete]. The system will ask you to confirm that you wish to delete the highlighted entry. If you indicate that you do, it will be removed from the list. Alternatively, clicking on [No] will return you to the Client graphs dialog without deleting the item.

Viewing and changing the graph

To view the graph, highlight it in the list and click on [Show], alternatively double click on the name of the graph in the list. The system will draw the graph and present it in the Client graphs dialog.


The above screen shot shows the default format that the graph will take based on the definition entered above for our example of plotting gross profit against sales.

There are a number of features available to allow you to change the way in which the graph is presented and you also have the facility to print the graphs from this dialog, two graphs are printed per page.

Edit chart

To change the look of the graph, click on [Edit chart] and the Editing chart dialog will be displayed.


This dialog provides you with complete control over the way that the information is presented, the formatting of axis, backgrounds, etc. and whether or not a legend should be included. In addition, you can select the Series tab to change the colours and patterns used, together with control over the legends, etc. As you will see, there are a significant number of options within this dialog and we recommend that you experiment with these if you wish to change the presentation of the graph. As an example of how this edit dialog would be used, consider the example shown in the display. You may prefer to show the gross profit as points rather than as a line. To change this, highlight the entry for gross profit in the series list and click on [Change]. The system will display a dialog showing available series types, from which you can select the one you wish to use.


Selecting Point will change the look of the graph as shown below.


The other options available from the Client graphs dialog are as follows:

3D graph This will be ticked when the graph is first displayed and the graph will appear in 3D. If you click on the check box to remove the tick, the display will switch to a two-dimensional representation of the data.
3D percentage When the graph is displayed in 3D mode, you can vary the amount of the graphs rotation using this option. Click on the [Up] button to increase the 3D effect and on the [Down] to reduce it. You may also type a figure in the entry box, from 1 to 100.

The [Copy] button, situated to the left of the [Toggle Y minimum] button, will copy the graph to the Windows clipboard as a metafile. This is a very useful tool as you can then paste the graph into any Windows application, including our own internal word processor.

Note: As indicated, the graph is copied to the clipboard as a Windows metafile. This is a standard Windows object allowing its use in any application, however, there are a number of known problems with metafiles which are documented by Microsoft. These problems can result in incorrect shading and cropping, especially where you have used the option to change the Y axis so its origin is not zero. To overcome these problems, it is possible to instruct the system to copy the chart as a bitmap rather than a metafile. This option is included in the Audit Automation system settings and once selected, will be activated for all instances where a graph is inserted. Although this option will remove the problems associated with metafiles the quality of the graphs produced will be reduced and the amount of storage space will increase considerably as the size of each graph will increase from a few thousand bites to approximately half a megabyte.

[Toggle Y minimum] When a graph is first produced, the Y axis will have an origin of zero. In certain circumstances, where the figures are large and there is little variation from one point to another, this can produce a graph with a lot of tall bars, or empty space, with small variations in each. To overcome this, you can vary the origin of the Y axis by clicking on [Toggle Y minimum]. The system will automatically calculate the lowest point to be plotted and set this as the origin of the Y axis, thereby reducing the scale of the Y axis and increasing the variation from point to point. You can also set the Y origin manually using the [Edit chart] button.

The print options included in this dialog are described below. When you have finished viewing and amending the layout of the chart, click on [Close] to save the changes you have made. The specific settings you have entered will be stored with the chart and it will therefore be presented in exactly the same format on the next occasion that it is viewed, or embedded in a report.

Printing graphs

The system allows you to print graphs from the Client graphs dialog, 2 to a page.

To print a graph, proceed as set out above to view the graph in question and click on the [Print] button. The standard Windows Print dialog will be displayed to allow you to accept the printer currently in use, or select another. Select the printer to which the graph should be directed, click on [OK] and the graph will be spooled for printing, followed by a confirmatory message. The Client graph dialog will be removed from the screen and focus will be returned to the User defined graphs dialog. You may now select further graphs for printing following the same procedure. Continue selecting the graphs to be produced, and clicking on the [Print] button. When all the graphs have been selected and printed, click on [Close] from the User defined graphs dialog. When the dialog is closed, the system will display the message:

Sending graphs to printer

whilst the graphs are de-spooled. Once the system has closed the connection to the printer the dialog will be removed from the screen.

Reset to default settings

As indicated above, as you view each graph, you can amend various settings relating to the way in which the graph is presented. These are saved with the graph definition and will be reused each time the graph is viewed. If, after making changes to the way in which the graph is produced, you decide that you do not wish to retain the changes you have made, you can use the [Reset to default settings] button from the User defined graphs dialog to discard the changes you have made. Simply highlight the graph in the list and click on the button and the system will ask you to confirm that you wish to reset the highlighted entry before proceeding to delete the settings you have made.

Once you have finished defining, viewing and editing graphs, click on the [Close] button from the User defined graphs dialog to remove the dialog from the screen.


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