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Mahmood Shubbak & Simon Thorne


Heavy use of spreadsheets by organisations bears many potential risks such as errors, ambiguity, data loss, duplication, and fraud. In this paper these risks are briefly outlined along with their available mitigation methods such as: documentation, centralisation, auditing and user training.

However, because of the large quantities of spreadsheets used in organisations, applying these methods on all spreadsheets is impossible. This fact is considered as a deficiency in these methods, a gap which is addressed in this paper.

In this paper a new software tool for managing spreadsheets and identifying the risk levels they include is proposed, developed and tested. As an add-in for Microsoft Excel application, "Risk Calculator" can automatically collect and record spreadsheet properties in an inventory database and assign risk scores based on their importance, use and complexity.

Consequently, auditing processes can be targeted to high risk spreadsheets. Such a method saves time, effort, and money.


Risk management policy flowchart
Risk management policy flowchart

This is a flowchart of the suggested spreadsheet risk management policy and the use of the software tool within it.


2015, EuSpRIG

Full article

Development and experimentation of a software tool for identifying high risk spreadsheets for auditing