This week two high quality reports sponsored by Oracle have been brought to my attention. Each confirms that despite large amounts of money being spent on both corporate financial reporting systems and banking management information systems, the majority of both environments are still heavily populated with spreadsheets. The full reports are available on links below the relevant quotes (free registration may be required).
The overt suggestion of both reports is that organisations should spend yet more large amounts of money trying to eradicate spreadsheet usage. Perhaps the more pragmatic interpretation should be that if eradication has not been achieved after all this money and time then a better goal would be to manage spreadsheets alongside systems. As our case studies show, ClusterSeven is used both to control spreadsheets in isolation but also and, more importantly, to enable spreadsheets to become a reliable part of your information infrastructure. Now you can get the best of both worlds.
The Challenges of Corporate Financial Reporting May 2012 (Oracle, Accenture)
“....67 percent of companies still use spreadsheets and 8 percent use spreadsheets and nothing else to assist with tasks in financial close, reporting and filing. Interestingly, while more people with three separate solutions [for close, reporting and filing] use spreadsheets (73 percent), a significant 59 percent of people with a single solution also use them.”
Management Information Systems Survey 2011 (The Association of Foreign Banks, Oracle, Cambridge Corporate Management)
“...for measuring and reporting risk, the use of spreadsheets was widespread, particularly in the areas of liquidity and operational risk where over half the respondents used spreadsheets ‘somewhat, significantly’ or as the ‘primary mechanism’.
Of even greater concern was the manipulation of data from core systems; 26 respondents used spreadsheets ‘significantly’ and 15 ‘somewhat’.
Similarly, although perhaps of less concern, there was much spreadsheet use in compiling financial MI, where most reported ‘somewhat’ or greater use in all the areas investigated.”