Unless you have taken appropriate action (which we will discuss in this paper), spreadsheets are insecure, inaccurate and do not support compliance. All auditors, compliance officers, risk officers and security officers, not to mention CFOs, should be worried about the governance of spreadsheets, not to mention the line managers that are using error-prone spreadsheet data to help them make decisions.
In fact, it is well known that the widespread and uncontrolled use of spreadsheets can cause problems, whether because of errors, fraud, lack of compliance, or inappropriate use. On the other hand, spreadsheets, especially in the form of Microsoft Excel, are amongst the most popular tools on the planet. So, while some people would like to get rid of spreadsheets altogether, this isn’t going to happen, though that may be the case for some specific applications. However, here we are concerned with governance of spreadsheets on the assumption that you are continuing to use spreadsheets. The issue thus becomes how to apply governance to your spreadsheet environment to ensure that you are compliant with relevant regulations and that you minimise the risks (and potential costs) associated with using spreadsheets.