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Use of Spreadsheets in Business and Technology

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Submitted By Texaswoman
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Use of Spreadsheets in Business and Technology
Marty Montgomery
August 25, 2013

Many corporations depend on spreadsheets as a fundamental (Institute of Corporate Auditors, 2006) device in their financial reporting and operational processes. As a result, the use of spreadsheets is an essential part of the information and decision-making structure for these organizations. In developing and using spreadsheets, organizations need to balance their ease and flexibility against the value of reliable information for management’s application.
As users of spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel® or Lotus 1-2-3® have become more sophisticated, so have spreadsheets. Once used to support simple functions such as logging, tracking and totaling information, spreadsheets with enhanced formulas and built-in advanced features are now used to support such business functions as complex valuation models. The use of macros and multiple spreadsheets which are linked together allows users to build very complicated—and sometimes convoluted—models and other business functions with minimal or no documentation. In addition, these complex spreadsheets are not usually supported by the same control environment as formally-developed, purchased applications. For example, the developers and users of spreadsheets are usually not trained in structured programming, testing, version control or systems development life cycles, and spreadsheets are rarely restricted from unauthorized access by security controls. (Smith, 2013)
How Are Companies Using Spreadsheets * Operational: Spreadsheets used to facilitate tracking and monitoring of work flow to support operational processes, such as a listing of open claims, unpaid invoices and other information that previously would have been retained in manual, paper file folders. These may be used to monitor and control that financial transactions

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