Posted: April 24th, 2023 10:10am +00:00

Are you using spreadsheets for your risk management? 


Have you begun your risk management journey using spreadsheets?  

You understand that risk management is important for the overall health of your business. Ensuring your strategic business objectives are met and that any opportunities are taken advantage of remains high on your agenda. As organisations embark on this journey, many find that to begin with using spreadsheets is sufficient. 

Risk Identification 

Your organisation need to identify risks as an important first step. You should consider political, economic, technological, social, legal, and environmental factors that may have an impact on your ability to deliver, sell and maintain your product or service. The results of a brainstorming session will create a list of risks. 

Risk analysis 

The next step is to categorise the list of risks into levels of criticality and give them a score. What is the impact and likelihood of these risks happening? Prioritising risks and setting appropriate levels of mitigations to be made to those with the highest level of impact and likelihood comes next.

Risk mitigation 

Putting mitigations in place to try and reduce the possibility of a risk occuring as well as reducing its impact is the next important stage. Managing risks at an appropriate level is an ongoing process. Embarking on risk management proactively can save you time and money. 

When risk management matures within your business, you will find that using spreadsheets is no longer suitable. Managing multiple spreadsheets with a multitude of data can become complex to manage. 

There are many downsides to using Excel including: 

Lack of collaboration 

  • Version control is difficult when multiple people need to access and update a spreadsheet. Additionally, effective risk management is a collaborative effort. For risk management to be understood company-wide a more easily accessible system is often required. 

Working in silos 

  • It is very easy for an individual to take responsibility and ownership of a spreadsheet and save it on a desktop and for it not to be accessible to others. This creates problems when multiple people need to access and update the spreadsheet and there will be potential the spreadsheet may not be accessible or found and all the hard work will be lost. 


  • Excel spreadsheets are not as robust as using a risk management system. Data or complete worksheets even can easily be deleted by accident. Conversely, Risk management software allows an audit trail of changes. This also aids compliance for auditing purposes too.  

Corruption of Excel 

Unfortunately, there are many causes for Excel to corrupt.  

  • Sudden Computer Shutdown 
  • Corrupt hard disk 
  • Large file size – with links and formulas 
  • Bugs in Excel 
  • Network Server and Synchronisation Issues 

Using spreadsheets for risk management reporting

  • Reporting in Excel requires a proficient level of expertise to get out valuable information in effective reporting formats. Reporting can be completed in just a few clicks when using a purpose built risk management software. 

As you can see, Excel is good for your first foray into risk management, but your requirements are likely to grow when you hit a certain level of maturity. At this point you may wish to look for a risk management software. 

Risk management software 

JCAD is proud to offer a web-based, off the shelf risk management solution that offers the perfect next step from Excel. With unlimited view only access, the whole organisation will be encouraged to take part in risk management. Consequently, there will be no more working in silos. This will make your risk management effort instantly more robust. With APIs that integrate with Power BI tools, reporting is easy and immensely powerful. Being able to access risk management from your smartphone encourages more frequent use. 

If you are looking at upgrading from Excel and would like a demo of our risk management software, CORE, please email or Claims handling software – Risk management solution – Demo request – JCAD 

News you might like
Has your organisation considered the risks of AI?

While AI offers numerous benefits for businesses, it also comes with potential risks that need careful consideration. Here are some…

Read more
What strategies are being employed by the higher education sector to respond to emerging risks?

Emerging threats pose unique challenges for higher education institutions, but some promising strategies are being implemented to navigate them: Climate…

Read more
Emerging risks for higher education

Higher education institutions are facing a complex landscape of risks, some of which are longstanding challenges, while others are emerging…

Read more

JCAD will subscribe you to our newsletter . Please see our updated privacy policy for more information regarding the use of your data. You can unsubscribe whenever you like through the preferences option on the newsletter.