Auditing is not the whole story Print

Spreadsheet auditing is an important responsibility but is a detailed, time-consuming and expensive task usually carried out by acknowledged experts. However without access to the history of changes to a workbook an auditor must repeat their analysis from scratch each time the workbook is audited.

By contrast, with access to a history of the changes to a workbook an auditor is able to focus on those areas of a workbook which may no longer be correct and is able to work by reference to the last version known to be correct. This can save time, reduce cost and improve outcomes. It also allows changes to be rolled back if they are incorrect or otherwise not needed.

Auditing spreadsheets to ensure the models implement what is expected is an important task but is not sufficient on its own. The old adage that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes and it applies equally well to the audit process. ComplyXL can captures changes automatically and can provides a comprehensive version history for unlimited numbers of workbooks. It also allows auditors to identify changes made allowing them to focus on assessing the impact and suitability of those changes.

Manual version control

A common way version control is implemented today is for users to make copies of workbook. However this relies on the constant diligence of user which may not always be reliable and rely on user apply a consistent naming convention.

SharePoint is limited

Another way is to use SharePoint which allows an administrator to enable versions. However using SharePoint is a big decision as Excel documents must be moved to the web site, any link between workbooks users must updated and tested and users must be retrained. It’s also a fairly significant installation issue and, anyway, doesn’t allow an auditor to see the changes users have made.

Use ComplyXL

ComplyXL is able to capture changes to workbooks on local PCs or file servers automatically to ensure a robust spreadsheet version history is available to auditors and reviewers. ComplyXL also provides the ability to identify changes made to a workbook so an auditor has the information needed to focus on just those aspect of a workbook which have been updated and which may lead to erroneous reports.

For more information read this article about ComplyXL version control.