EXCEL Spreadsheet F/S Reporting - Problem?? 829

  • In order to prepare our quarterly and annual reporting (10Q, 10K - non accellerated filer ) we download our trial balance from a legacy mainframe gl package to an EXCEL spread sheet with 12 worksheets that are formula driven. After entering post closing, cut off and adjusting entries to specific cells in one of the worksheets - the financial statement package and supporting schedules and analytics are ready for review. After review and corrections or adjustments the package is used to prepare the F/S. All of our reporting, taxes and analytics are a produced by these spread sheet files.
    The file is maintained by the assistant controller with oversite and review by the controller. this would be considered a complex EXCEL file since there are many formulas. Within the spread sheet is a error chck list which cross checks key totals/balances and displays an error message if the cross check balances are incorrect.
    What is the best way to approch SOX compliance for EXCEL spread sheet financial statement reporting. We have a very small financial reporting department. :?:

  • Here is a good white paper about managing spreadsheets. Hopefully, it is helpful to you.

  • Go to the following website and download PwC’s whitepaper related to spreadsheet controls. Here’s the URL:
    If you are unfortunate enough to be a PwC client, then prepare yourselves for placing controls around your spreadsheets. Basically, they require change control, segregation of duties (developer versus user), input controls, output controls, management review and monitoring, security, etc. The engagement team assigned to my company (a fortune 200, NYSE registrant, 12/31 year end) required us to implement these controls on all spreadsheets that were associated with key control activities. They issued their whitepaper in July, told us about it in August, asked us how we were going to adhere to it in September and reviewed all of our work the day before our year-end Audit Committee meeting (early February 2005). It was a wild ride, and one that we miraculously emerged from without incident - more lucky than good in my opinion. PwC is by far the most conservative and fearful of the Big Four. It was a miracle that my company did not hang me from the flagpole for forcing the accounting department to walk on water to comply.
    None of the other Big Four are touching spreadsheets, and my friends at companies serviced by any of the other three firms laugh at the hoops PwC made us jump through. From the sound of your situation, I would consider some of these controls even if there were no such thing as Sarbanes-Oxley. I think you would feel more comfortable if your important spreadsheet was password protected, continually backed up, reviewed upon each change to the structure or logic, with logic/formula cells and fields locked to prevent manual overrides of formula/logic.

  • None of the other Big Four are touching spreadsheets
    Would disagree with that. I’ve seen it from both E-and-Y and KPMG.

  • D-and-T will also touch it, but not on the same level as PwC

  • It may also be that some firms have come later to the party than others. IMO PwC and E-and-Y are by far the best two firms in this space and I pay A LOT more attention to their technical materials, white papers, etc.
    And no I don’t work for either of them :roll:

Log in to reply