How to create an effective Spreadsheet Control Policy.

Creating an effective spreadsheet control policy is an important part of effective spreadsheet management. The Spreadsheet Policy document is where the spreadsheet policies are documented.

It goes without saying that they need to be clear and comprehensible.  The documents and the policy must be flexible and able to adapt to changing circumstances.   We recommend that you have several spreadsheet control documents.  The main policy document should be independent of specific implementation details, but in sufficient detail that the objectives and intended outcomes are clear.  That way the core policy can be approved by the risk committee or equivalent, whilst it is still possible to modify the implementation details without having to get approval from senior management for every detail.

Here is a suggested organisation

Item Detail
Policy document This defines the organisations policy. Ideally it should be independent of specific implementation details, but in sufficient detail that the objectives and intended outcomes are clear.
Process documentation This defines the specific details of processes that people are expected to follow and may be specific to particular departments and software tools.
Training documentation A major barrier to successful spreadsheet control is a lack of training in operation, testing and controls around spreadsheets – have suitable training in place is a useful best practice – this should include development and operational best practices.

 

For more detail download the “Finsbury Spreadsheet Control Policy Checklist” by simply filling in the form on this right side of this page.