The usage of Microsoft Excel is a phenomenon many financial institutions already embrace. The program is easy to use, can be configured for the unique business needs of the user, it is user friendly and most importantly everybody has it available as part of Microsoft Office.
Although Excel has a lot to offer for financials, the program also leaves some loopholes in the business processes that can make the use of Excel risky. For example the audit ability of the program is problematic; Excel does not support mandatory processes. Data or model changes are not centrally stored, there is no version control and decentralized usage leads to a lot of manual labor. The disadvantages of Excel can lead to a significant impact on companies in the financial industry.
A simple cut and paste error in Excel has cost TransAlta 24 million US Dollars and incorrect links in spreadsheets have cost Allied Irish bank 700 million US Dollars on Fraud.
These are just two of more than 300 recorded examples of fatal issues caused by the use of unaudited Excel spreadsheets.
SecondFloor has developed eFrame, a web based application framework that enhances Excel and will use the existing models and data structure. This means that users can still use their Excel models and files in a controlled and server-based environment.
eFrame adds compliancy sign-off, controlled access, version control, backup functionality and full audit ability. It will automate the workflow and is configurable to your business needs. Finally, the distribution process of data and reports will be automated.