What is the Setup Audit Trail…and Why Should You Use it?
Albeit an older feature in Salesforce, the Setup Audit Trail is still a very useful tool for monitoring changes in your org. This refers to the tool you can use to view changes made by users in Setup in your Salesforce org. For a long time, many orgs had issues with changes being made, but no way to indicate who made those changes or when they occurred. Furthermore, if any official auditing were done in the Salesforce org by a regulatory agency or if evidence of compliance was ever needed to be provided, there wasn’t much in the way of offering that information. The Setup Audit Trail is a simple, yet effective tool in providing those insights.
This tool allows you to view changes from the past 180 days that were made in Setup. It allows you to export those changes as a .csv file to excel, so that you can keep that information stored, should you need it for an internal (or external) audit. This is a great resource for keeping track of changes when you have multiple administrators or developers, as well. It can be easy to lose track of who is doing what, and if you need to address changes for further follow up, the Setup Audit Trail can allow you to pinpoint the best person to discuss those changes with.
To navigate to the tool, go to Setup and search in the Quick Find for “Audit Trail” and select “View Setup Audit Trail”. Once on the page, you can see the most recent 20 entries available, but note that this list updates as other changes are made. Your best option is to select the link at the bottom of the page that reads “Download setup audit trail for last six months (Excel .csv file)”, as indicated by the arrow in our image. Keep in mind, “View Setup and Configuration” is required to view this, as well.
What can you see in the Setup Audit Trail?
The Setup Audit Trail allows you to see the Date and time stamp of an action, and the user login who performed that action. You can also see the Section, such as “Manage Users” or “Lightning Pages” to better help you sort once you are in Excel. There is also information for the Source Namespace, which is relevant to any managed packages you have installed. You can also see a field for Delegated User, which indicates if someone was logged in as another user when those changes were made. For example, if a Senior Admin was logged in as a Junior Admin to troubleshoot an issue with inline editing, the system would recognize the Junior Admin as the actual user, and the Senior Admin as the delegated user.
There are a whole host of changes that are tracked as actions in the Setup Audit Trail. Administrative changes, such as user information, record types, and email deliverability are tracked, along with Customization that may be done, such as page layout changes, validation rules, and custom buttons. It also tracks Security and Sharing changes such as sharing rules, password resets, and records deleted from the recycle bin. Data Management is tracked, such as mass delete, reporting snapshots and the Data Import Wizard. You can also find various development changes, setups such as Flows and Approval Processes, and how the application is used. This is just a sampling of what is tracked, so make sure you check out the knowledge article listed in the Resources section below.
What you will not see in Setup Audit Trail
It is important to remember that the Setup Audit Trail is not the same thing as Field History Tracking. Field History Tracking is enabled in the object to record changes to indicated fields and store that information on the Salesforce record itself. For example, if you changed an Opportunity Amount from $1,200 to $2,000, you would see that edit displayed with your name and the new value. Field History Tracking and other changes made to data records are not recorded in Setup Audit Trail.
Good Habits for Auditing
There are good habits you can put into place to get the most out of your Setup Audit Trail. It’s a great idea to have a team meeting and discuss usage of this tool before you begin. You don’t want to have team members feel they’re being monitored, and in bringing it up, you may expose this as a helpful way for your fellow team to use this for their benefit, also. You should also schedule manual exports of the data every so often, so you know you’re covered if you need it. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no native way to export the Setup Audit Trail with a scheduled job, but it does take a short amount of time and can be delegated to a specific person or specific day of the month to make remembering it a bit easier. Also make sure to store any exports securely.
The Setup Audit Trail is a great way to monitor your org from an internal standpoint, especially for your System Admins and other administrative users. It’s available at no cost and is included in almost every package, so you can start using it today!