A lead schedule is a working paper that lists the detailed general ledger accounts comprising a line item in the financial statements. The total on a lead schedule should match the total for the corresponding line item in a client’s financial statements.
This schedule is typically constructed in a spreadsheet format, and contains cross-references to a series of underlying working papers that provide additional detail regarding each of the accounts stated in the schedule. A lead schedule is quite useful for giving structure to audit documentation, making it easier to read.
A set of working papers for an audit will likely have lead schedules for many balance sheet line items, such as cash, investments, receivables, prepaid expenses, fixed assets, payables, debt, and equity.