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Spreadsheet Assurance by Tom Olzak on 12/05/06

According to Dr. Raymond Panko, most spreadsheets contain errors (2005). Statistically, spreadsheets with large numbers of calculations have an error rate approaching that of application source codeóabout 5%. The actual error rate in your spreadsheets depends primarily on the level of expertise of the individuals developing them and the complexity of the spreadsheets.

To date, auditors have not looked too closely at spreadsheets that support financial management. However, itís just a matter of time until they begin to investigate all tools used to manage financial information.

SOX isnít the only regulation affecting spreadsheet users. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates the confidentiality and availability of Protected Health Information (PHI). Since businesses donít centrally manage user spreadsheets, healthcare companies might find that protecting PHI in spreadsheets is a massive task.

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