Governance, Risk & Compliance

Governance, Risk & Compliance

Share
May 11, 2012

The Proper Insight into Spreadsheets Can Save Money and Headaches



Businesses are forever trying to minimize the financial risks they face. Whether that is through inventory control, better hiring practices or financial assessments, any company will jump at the chance to save a little money. Therefore, companies that rely heavily on spreadsheets should take a closer look at their processes and procedures because, chances are, they can save significant money and minimize risk as well.

In 2010, Raymond Panko and Salvatore Aurigemma of the University of Hawaii conducted a study concerning different types of spreadsheet errors. The pair found that there are a multitude of different types of errors that spreadsheet users can make. For example, one type of error is a qualitative mistake, such of hardcoding or poorly designed instruments. Qualitative errors,   which can result in incorrect final values, can consist of mechanical errors, logic errors, or omission errors, which can stem from a requirement that is not included on a spreadsheet. With so many different opportunities to make mistakes, it is no wonder that companies reliant on spreadsheets are at risk for major errors.

A second study from the twosome considered whether human detection is as effective as auditing software. The study noted that humans are only 50 to 80 percent successful when attempting to detect if there is an error in a spreadsheet cell. Human methods, such as testing or inspecting are fraught with potential to make further errors, and can be inefficient and costly.

Luckily, there are solutions available that can analyze spreadsheet errors quickly and efficiently, helping to mitigate this risk and, considering that most businesses are unlikely to move away from spreadsheets completely, these solutions provide the best options for data integrity.




Edited by Jamie Epstein
Share


blog comments powered by Disqus