For the last 20 years, spreadsheets have remained the most ubiquitous and highly leveraged application within any organization worldwide. Companies continue to use spreadsheets and other end-user computing applications (EUCAs), such as access databases as a fundamental part of their business operations. However, EUCAs, and spreadsheets in particular, are typically poorly governed. As a result, key data and information held in the EUCA can expose companies to financial, regulatory and operational risks. Best practice mandates the development, implementation and maintenance of a control framework that aligns the policy and monitoring process with EUCA discovery and risk assessment. This allows for the implementation of integrity controls, accurate tracking and version control and the ability to enforce change management workflow to the highest risk spreadsheets and EUCAs, which provides company-wide policy and procedure compliance for not just spreadsheets but a growing number of other types of EUCAs as well.
Apparity is the only Spreadsheet Governance and Controls platform that can deliver Active Management across all mission critical spreadsheets, seamlessly scaling from a single regional server to the multi-server, synchronized global enterprise, ensuring adherence to local regulatory frameworks such as IFRS 7, SOX, FINRA, Dodd Frank as well as compliance with unique nation state data protection laws.
The Apparity platform is a bespoke technology that is configured to meet the demands of the largest institution in terms of spreadsheet governance. Beginning with Discovery, Risk Assessment, Registration and Inventory Management and augmented where necessary with the most accurate file tracking, version and change management workflow and controls available in the marketplace.
Optimal Spreadsheet Management
The Apparity platform allows companies to securely monitor and report on all the significant change events that occur within the life cycle of all high-risk spreadsheets without interfering with the user experience, spreadsheet content or existing office operations. The change management capabilities are supported by a review and approval workflow process that leverages existing organizational management structures and provides governance teams with a real time view into what significant changes have and have not been approved.
End User Benefits
Apparity goes beyond a basic compliance tool intended to satisfy the needs of regulators and auditors by providing its end users with their own set of handy tools. This toolkit allows end users to maintain complex spreadsheets with ease and confidence. Keep reading to find out more about Apparity's end user benefits:
- Version History
Whenever the end user is working with an Apparity managed file, Apparity presents the file's modification history in an easily accessible manner. This allows the end user to easily view the modification history in chronological order along with custom comments entered by the modifier. Version History also includes review and approval statuses of a file.
- Rollback Feature
When the end user would like to discard all changes and go back to a clean slate as in the past, the Apparity rollback feature allows them to revert their working copy to a previous version. End users can make modifications knowing that they don't have to manually create temporary copies of files. This reduces the amount of redundant files and any confusion finding the right version of a file.
- Historical Version Export
Apparity functions as a time machine for spreadsheet that allows the end user to export a historical version of the file for use at any time without explicitly having to store a copy of the file.
- Change Tracking
Apparity allows and end user to view content differences across the various versions or copies of a file. Apparity’s change comparison tool is built to show changes side by side or in a redline format that allows users to understand in context how the file was modified. The in-session compare feature allows users to easily look at changes they have made during that particular edit session.
- Automated Workflow
End users do not have rely on email exchanges to collaborate on files and review them. Apparity’s review and approval system allows both the submitter and reviewer to examine the changes using the same view and record their approval. Built in email notifications makes the workflow easy to manage. In addition, review requests and approvals are recorded in the Version History for any user to refer to approved versions of the file.
- Error Identification
Excel spreadsheets are complicated applications and mistakes that are not identified early can be costly to fix. Apparity’s Integrity Check feature allows end users to use a tool to check for common calculation and data errors in a file at any time. The Integrity Check tool can be used in all stages of the spreadsheet life cycle from design to maintenance.
Optimal spreadsheet management is not just a function of smart technology. An effective, accurate and user-friendly spreadsheet management solution must be first designed, configured and deployed, while working within the unique demands, constraints and goals of the organization. Before the Apparity platform and its three key modules of Discovery and Inventory, Registration and Active Management are implemented, the Apparity Professional Services team will deliver a series of best practice workshops to the customer’s key stakeholders that reviews the current state, understands the future state and provides advice and guidance, based on industry best practice to ensure the most effective and rapid transition from the old to the new.