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Thread: Spreadsheet audit software
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    Board Regular Johnny C's Avatar
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    Default Spreadsheet audit software

    Our Internal Risk framework covers Excel models. At the moment, users classify the level of risk associated with each model themselves, as high, medium, low depending on the complexity of the models (e.g. if the owner got knocked down by a bus would someone else be able to maintain it) combined with the potential financial/reputational impact that a model going wonky might cause.

    This is very subjective, and at a meeting recently it turned out the one of our prominent investment teams that deals with structured debt derivatives classed ALL their models as Low risk. To understand structured debt derivatives you probably need a Ph.D in Maths from Cambridge, and their models are going to be absolute beasts, I know they use all sorts of VBA to pull in market data from Bloomberg, Reuters etc.

    The Risk person investigating has a limited knowledge of spreadsheets, so I suggested they get some software to audit models, to provide some hard information about complexity. For example, number of links to other sheets, information about calculations (e.g. identifying calculation bottlenecks). This would enable the Risk team to independently assess each model.

    I've written some VBA that goes through a workbook and audits links between sheets and maps it with shapes, but it's quite basic and written with my Excel techniques in mind, it does formulae, tables, pivots charts and current values for indirects, but I wouldn't feel comfortable about it being used on some of the statistical behemoths are out there and I don't have the time or remit to develop it to cope with them. Plus it's slow, I've mapped my biggest model (approx 100 sheets and 750k links) took about 2 days to run.

    I've seen some software in the past but forget what it was.

    Can anyone provide suggestions about such software? Given the potential beneficial impact, cost is unlikely to be an issue if it's a few £K.

    Cheers
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    Moderator mole999's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spreadsheet audit software

    have a look at > http://www.decisionmodels.com/fastexcel.htm you can try a demo of it, outside of my price range for infrequent use
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    Board Regular Johnny C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spreadsheet audit software

    I saw a reference to Inquire, a COM adding with XL2013. I tried it, it's what we need. A sample run generated an audit file that was too big to send on internal email, I've recommended Inquire and suggested to the Risk team that any model that generates an audit file too large to email is an automatic High risk. This was at 5pm on Friday, I'll investigate the audit more fully next week.

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