Wang was a high official at the court of the Later Zhou dynasty 後周 (951-960) and also served the Song dynasty in a high position. He was author of Zhou Shizong shilu 周世宗實錄, the veritable records of Emperor Shizong 後周世宗 (r. 954-959) of the Later Zhou, the Tang huiyao 唐會要, and also wrote numerous literary works.
The Wudai huiyao is arranged in 279 topics which are each dealt with chronologically through each one of the Five Dynasties. The general composition is the same as in the Tang huiyao. The book was finished in 963 and is the oldest treatise on the institutional history of that period. It is, furthermore, much more detailed than the two official histories of the Five Dynasties, the Jiu Wudaishi 舊五代史 and Xin Wudaishi 新五代史. The main reason for this strength of the book was that Wang Pu, as a central government official of the Later Zhou, had access to archival documents and made extensive use of them.
The book was stored in the Historiographic Institute (shiguan 史館). The first print was published in 1046, a second one in 1171. A moveable letter print was produced during the 18th century. In 1886 the Jiangsu Press 江蘇書局 carried out an excellent print of the book on which the edition by the Zhonghua Shuju Press 中華書局 from 1978 is based.