Acuity Risk Management

5 reasons to stop using spreadsheets for risk management

Below is a summary of the five reasons (hover the buttons to view):


Spreadsheets’ method of inputs makes it difficult to clearly visualize risk and responsibilities.


Because spreadsheets are manually intensive, those with risk management responsibilities are inclined to merely acknowledge their awareness of – rather than manage – the risks.


Because spreadsheets require extensive manual work for as little as minor changes, updating information can be quite time-wasting.


The same issues limit spreadsheets’ ability to serve as a useful source for increasingly important and demanded risk modelling and quantitative risk assessments.


Development of spreadsheet applications for risk management require advanced skills and are often reliant on the availability of the original developer for updates.

“Doing risk assessments in the same way, globally, across partners and suppliers has helped us not only save time and resources, but also move away from largely paper-based and over-complicated systems and processes with the confidence of a comprehensive, easy-to-understand view of risk”.

– Philip Jeffs, Group Compliance Officer

Spreadsheets to software

All of the limitations of spreadsheets in risk management are fully addressed with a risk management platform like STREAM. A centralised, easy-to-use platform is designed so that there’s only one copy, continually updated by everyone with a risk management role, rather than multiple versions that may or may not be fully updated.

Also, beware of GRC or Integrated Risk Management platforms that simply automate spreadsheets. These do not have the capabilities to address the new risks to business for the 2020s, as they can not adapt to the changing risk environment or have the required flexibility. Cyber, privacy and vendor risks require specific attention but the Board wants an overall consolidated view of risk status across all material enterprise risks so that it can prioritise and allocate resources accordingly – this is not only possible, but also automated in STREAM.

Ready to move on from spreadsheets?

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