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Are you managing your spreadsheet risk?

Spreadsheets become more complex as they grow and develop within an organisation. One mistake can lead to catastrophic loss in both time, money, and trust with customers. For example, a cut and paste error cot a company $24 million when it underbid a contract. This article from CIMA Global examines the cause, dangers, and solutions of spreadsheet risk: As spreadsheets become more complex, they are more prone to error. As users are perceived to become more IT-literate, more spreadsheets are being used to support critical business processes. A combination of these two factors is significantly increasing the overall risk profile for many organisations. Spreadsheet risk has always been important but there are indications it is becoming more significant. The UK’s HM Customs & Excise, in its ‘Methodology for the audit of spreadsheet models’ (2001), said that “the complexity and functionality of spreadsheets has reached levels of sophistication that few could have imagined even five years ago. The consequent threat posed to businesses by such powerful ‘end-user’ applications, mainly in the hands of untrained users, is immense”. This observation has continued to hold true in the years since its publication. The article goes on to explain who should be involved in managing spreadsheets across the organisation, how IT should be involved, and how to begin setting up a repeatable process for introducing new spreadsheets into that system.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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