Improving Spreadsheet Audits in Six Steps
Efficient and cost-effective, spreadsheets are everywhere in today's business world. Many managers, for instance, rely on spreadsheets to track workflow processes and report financial data, while at the executive level, spreadsheets can offer instant and concise organization snapshots that often drive critical business decisions. However, the primary advantages of spreadsheets — their simplicity and ease of use — also pose the greatest risks. For example, in many organizations spreadsheets act as small, stand-alone applications that lack systemwide controls. Therefore, employees are able to create, access, manipulate and distribute spreadsheet data, as well as introduce critical errors, as they manually enter new information or configure existing formulas.
In this article, authored by Tim Burdick, senior manager, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and featured in IT Audit magazine, learn how internal auditors can help organizations detect these and other risks by creating a spreadsheet inventory and developing spreadsheet baselines, among other steps.
Originally published in IT Audit, Vol. 11, March 10, 2008, published by The Institute of Internal Auditors Inc., www.theiia.org/itaudit.