Microsoft Excel has been the industry standard for spreadsheets since the 1990s. It’s a tool that over 750 million people and organizations rely on. Excel is used to input and systemize information for everything from finances and HR data to sales and supply chain analytics.
Excel has its perks. Think low maintenance cost, relatively universal familiarity, and 400+ preloaded formulae. Yet, spreadsheets are incredibly prone to blunders – some that could be costing your business.
The risks of using spreadsheets is so great that dedicated groups – such as the European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group (EuSpRIG) – have sprouted with the mission of educating industries on the “dangers” of spreadsheet errors and how to avoid them with best practices.
EuSpRIG has stated that:
“Research has repeatedly shown that an alarming proportion of corporate spreadsheet models are not tested for controlled to the extent necessary to meet those obligations. Uncontrolled and untested spreadsheet models pose significant business risks, including:
– Lost Revenue, Profits, Cash, Assets & Tax
– Mispricing and poor decision making due to prevalent but undetected errors
– Fraud due to malicious tampering
– Systemic financial failure, due to overdependence”
If that’s not enough to get you off the Excel bandwagon, check out some of these infamous spreadsheet infractions.
“Global aerospace firm Boeing … sent a notification to Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, as required by law, about a company employee who mistakenly emailed a spreadsheet full of employee personal data to his spouse in November, 2016.
“The spreadsheet, sent to provide the employee’s spouse with a formatting template, contained the personal information of roughly 36,000 other Boeing employees, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth, in hidden columns.”
From The Register
“Fannie Mae, which finances home mortgages, stated in a news release of third-quarter financials that it had discovered a $1.136 billion error in total shareholder equity. Jayne Shontell, Fannie Mae senior vice president for investor relations, explained in a written statement, “There were honest mistakes made in a spreadsheet used in the implementation of a new accounting standard.”
From PC World
Excel isn’t going away anytime soon. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t search for a better solution to bring to your organization. Visit our follow-up post, [How to Move Beyond Spreadsheets]https://supplierwiki.supplypike.com/articles/how-to-move-beyond-spreadsheets), where we’ll walk you through the process of moving beyond spreadsheets for your retail analytics needs.
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