|Title||Spreadsheet risk - a new direction for HMRC?|
Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) was born out of the need to create a UK tax authority by merging both the Inland Revenue and HM Customs & Excise into one department. HMRC encounters spreadsheets in tax-payers’ systems on a very regular basis as well as being a heavy user of spreadsheets internally.
The approach to spreadsheet risk assessment and spreadsheet audit is by the use of trained computer auditors and data handlers. This, by definition, limits the use of our specialist spreadsheet audit tool to such trained staff.
In order to tackle the growing use of spreadsheets, a new way of approaching the problem has been piloted. The aim is to issue all staff who come across spreadsheets with a simple to use analysis and risk assessment tool, based on the departmental software SpACE (Spreadsheet Audit & Compliance Examination).
The survey, sent to SpACE equipped staff, captured facts and figures relating to our spreadsheet audit work, to ensure that SpACE is being used consistently and to disclose any figures relating to errors found and revenue affected.
Over the last three years, on average users spent over 30 hours per audit and 14% of audits produced additional revenue.