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The use of Excel within the financial world and the associated risks of Excel is nowadays a hot topic in the media. Many financial institutions are using Excel for a variety of calculations and analysis, even business critical decisions are taken from the output of Excel.

Excel is a very popular, user-friendly tool, easy to learn and very powerful with many possibilities for advanced users. Unfortunately, the ease of use also makes Excel a risky tool to use!

Why can the use of Excel be risky?

Models and data created in Excel can be changed or tampered with easily, even after approval. In many situations, multiple models are used decentralised – and as Excel does not support a controlled, auditable workflow process, there’s a big risk of an (accidental) error entering the calculations unnoticed. This also means that once a mistake has been made, it’s extremely difficult to trace it back to its source and correct it and all the subsequent calculations.

Some facts taken from recent publications:

“Falsely-linked spreadsheets permitted fraud totalling $700 million at Allied Irish Bank/Allfirst”

“A cut-and-paste error cost TransAlta $24 million when it underbid an electricity-supply contract”
The Register

The dilemma

Many organisations using Excel have spent a lot of effort, knowledge and money on their models. Excel also offers flexibility and usability. Moving away from Excel means losing the investments in time, money and knowledge, as well as the flexibility that Excel offers.

One option is to invest in a new system. This, however will inevitably lead to major costs, the need for re-education, potential severe business process changes and a possible vendor lock-in.

There is a better way to solve this dilemma: Enhance Excel – use eFrame!

What is eFrame?

eFrame is a web based application framework that enhances Excel and will use the existing models and data structure. Enhancing Excel means that you can still use your Excel models and files in a controlled and server-based environment.

eFrame adds compliancy sign-off, controlled access, version control and backup functionality. It will automate the workflow and is configurable to your business needs. eFrame will make the entire process auditable. Finally, the distribution process of data and reports will be automated.

For more information please contact us on eframe@secondfloor.nl or call +31 20 6589725 or +49 69 6607 6745 (for German speaking countries).