We see 4 aspects to managing the corporate spreadsheet resources.
- The actual control of the files on the network - Spreadsheet Resource Management
- Assessing and then dealing with, the risk in those spreadsheets - Spreadsheet Risk Management
- Ensuring new spreadsheets are reliable - Spreadsheet Development Management
- Implementing an effective on-going process - Spreadsheet Lifecycle Management
Spreadsheet Resource Management
With the advent of Sarbanes Oxley and Basel 2, managing spreadsheet resources is becoming more and more important. Those cavalier days of throwing a model together, getting the required answer then 'losing' the workings are over. In fact much of the legislation in this area has been there for a long time, the difference is that some pretty spectacular business collapses have brought the whole 'true and fair view' into the foreground.
|If your organisation uses spreadsheets for anything important then there needs to be some form of useful management of those resources. Management may cover protecting intellectual property that's embedded in a spreadsheet system, or protecting a model from unauthorised changes, or even just knowing 'what's out there'.
|Duplication is rife in spreadsheet use and that can lead to reconciliation nightmares. Effective management will seek to simplify systems to use common components wherever possible.
We can help manage spreadsheet resources in many ways, for example:
- Cataloging and documenting spreadsheet assets using various internal tools and manual processes.
- Implementing and supporting version control systems.
- Providing off-site 'Master' back up facilities.
- Robust automated spreadsheet updating.
- Design advice to reduce duplication and reduce complexity.
Contact us for more info.
Spreadsheet Risk Management
Up to 90% of commercial spreadsheets contain material errors.
Are yours in the top 10% worldwide?
Spreadsheet Risk Management is the art/science of:
- Identifying important spreadsheets.
- Identifying spreadsheets that are likely to have errors (most of them, according to the research).
- Reviewing those that fall into both camps, to assess which ones represent the largest value at risk.
- Auditing thoroughly those models that lead to the greatest exposure.
We can help at every stage, please contact us.
Spreadsheet Development Management
This is the process of ensuring new models are built to an acceptable quality standard.
A significant part of this will be the process the developer(s) followed, but in reality far and away the most important factor is the ability of the developer. A good developer not constrained by unrealistic timescales or expectations will deliver the systems the customers require. Less skilled or more pressured developers will be less able to satisfy quality and maintainability requirements.
Spreadsheet Lifecycle Management
This is the process of raising team awareness of the lifecycle that spreadsheets go through, and some areas where the current approach may be improved.
A common problem for example is the adaptation of a current model for a slightly different purpose. This can often lead to duplication, or worse apparent duplication, that is in fact subtly different. Such subtlety is often missed when the pressure is on, and perhaps the wrong version of a file will get used. Although the model may well be correct in itself, it's (mis)usage in a particular situation may be so inappropriate as to create material errors.
25 January 2012 - UK Excel Developer Conference - London
Products for sale:
New information about the missing FileSearch feature in Office 2007 and details of our pragmatic solution (Current price GBP 30.00)
Instant Excel worksheet protection remover and password recovery (Current price GBP 15.00)
Classic Ribbon Tab
Add Excel 97/2000/2002/2003 compatible menu structure to Excel 2007
(Current Price GBP 10.00)
Products coming soon:
(Find and control external links in Excel Workbooks)
Due by Q1 2111.
(Excel VBA based spreadsheet auditing tool)
Due before the end of 2111.