Mitigating Excel Risk via an Enterprise Risk Management Solution

Freer Consulting White Paper Erik Test August 31, 2016

Using enterprise risk management (ERM) software to mitigate risks in Excel

Many corporations using Microsoft Excel to process data without considering how much of a risk-laden practice it is. Excel is prone to errors, is not designed for collaboration, its spreadsheets are difficult to standardizes, and it lacks in-depth data visualization tools. An ERM web-based software can offer custom solutions to address these issues and can help organizations avoid costly errors while maximizing performance and quality assurance.

This white paper is 5 pages in length addressing four key areas in which risks are increased when using Excel and how ERM software can resolve each issue. If you would like to know how Freer Consulting can help your organization with ERM, please contact us.

What are the key risk areas when using Excel for data processing?

There are four key risk areas:

  • End User Programming – Without proper training or knowledge, users can create errors in spreadsheets by manipulating cells in spreadsheets incorrectly or by altering data in a linked spreadsheet without all workbooks being open.
  • Standardization – An organization does not have complete control over how all spreadsheets are formatted or what information goes into them making good data governance nonexistent for standard spreadsheets.
  • Quality Control – The limited accessibility of simultaneous collaboration means users can be working on out-of-date versions and the lack of a corrective action trail means individuals are not held accountable for any errors.
  • Business Intelligence and Reports – The features in Excel can display data in limited charts, graphs, and tables. Further manipulating data to report on a core issue is time consuming and requires thoughtful consideration.

How can ERM software limit risks in these key areas?

ERM software can populated with algorithms that can immediately and safely calculate data; can be customized to input necessary data that will be formatted to an organization’s stated process flow and core measurement benchmarks; can maintain a much higher level of internal quality control; and can provide real-time views of various data sets and display the most critical data with customizable dashboards.