We’ve long been warned that the use of Excel spreadsheets throughout the enterprise line of business seriously hampers many compliance and auditing efforts. The lack of controls and change management makes the spreadsheets problematic at best and disastrous at worst. But in the real world, work must be completed and Excel spreadsheets are created and modified every single day.
Interestingly, those working in a compliance and/or auditing capacity can face the same challenges. That is, they find themselves performing their auditing duties within Excel. Explains Dan Zitting, vice president of product management and design for ACL:
“I know from personal experience that regardless of whether or not an organization has invested in good audit and compliance technology, auditors and compliance professionals often end up working in Excel. Our role in the industry is to offer the best possible solutions and we recognize the need for a cost-free option that is superior to the high-priced products currently available.”
For compliance teams that either do not have access to alternate auditing tools, or use those tools in conjunction with Excel, ACL has released a free downloadable tool, “ACL Add-In for Excel.” The tool, ACL hopes, will help compliance teams increase productivity and eliminate some of the risks that come with working in shared spreadsheets.
With ACL Add-In for Excel, it is possible to:
- Quickly select samples for testing or investigation.
- Create read-only versions of information, formulas, and cells to avoid errors.
- Tick-mark in order to document results and capture sign-offs.
- Summarize and filter, stratify, and age information in Excel.
For those who are working with ACL’s other governance, risk and compliance (GRC) software, the Excel Add-In integrates with ACL GRC and ACL Analytics Exchange. Those who are not currently using ACL auditing tools will, ACL suggests, “learn the full power of ACL’s industry-standard data analysis and continuous monitoring by getting started using the tool you’re most familiar with.”
Auditing work in Excel, with the new Add-In, says Zitting, can now actually be “awesome.”