May 28, 2020

Back to the Future: GRC Software vs. Excel, Which Is Better and Why

What would be a great alternative to "everyone-knows-how-to-use-it" Excel Spreadsheets for compliance management? GRC solutions grant a new experience to people responsible for the compliance, as they have proven to be more productive, user-friendly, and reliable.
GRC software benefits

The modern regulatory environment is becoming more demanding and overwhelming with standards, regulations, updates, and more. Companies are facing ever-changing regulations and standards that they should adhere to. What is more, it is a must to stay up-to-date with all the amendments and manage all available data efficiently and effectively, as well as build a comprehensive ISMS, QMS, and, of course, get necessary certifications.

ISMS is nothing new to most companies today. Yet, many of them are still using Excel to handle their around-compliance operations because it is available and familiar. There were no alternatives to spreadsheets before. Today this option doesn’t offer sufficient functionality, such as traceability or accurate audit trail for content entry, and may often lead to a mishmash of large volumes of information. In turn, modern technologies allow companies to gain more effectiveness in compliance management.

Let’s compare the past and the future! We will analyze the benefits of switching from Excel to a GRC solution.

Some Shortcomings of Using Excel Spreadsheets for Compliance

Admit that Excel is the comfort zone. It is perceived as a free tool, partially easy to work with, and allows users to sort, filter data, etc. But is this solution smart enough for your business in 2020?

Excel is pervasive and understandable for most people, while modern GRC solutions have much more to offer.

Let’s take a closer look at WHY Spreadsheets for compliance should be left in the past.

#1. No automation – Too much manual work

You have to make every single change, make every update, correction, or new entry manually. Spreadsheets don’t automate the process of data entry. Whenever you receive compliance evidence from all the channels, you should register it manually. Reports are also generated manually, and only then, you can share your compliance status with your team.

#2. Multiple user access and data management challenges

Data management in Excel is not convenient for multiple users, as it lacks a specific access model. If several people are simultaneously working with the Spreadsheet, you are more likely to end up with errors, and it will be impossible to track changes.

#3. No “real-time monitoring” option

Excel requires a human to enter the data; you can’t track your actual status on the completed work in real-time. You can see outdated snapshots that may be days or weeks old. Thus with Excel, you cannot know which people to follow up with.

#4. High risks of missing out essential info

With spreadsheets, you may experience problems with evidence submission, as it is usually arriving through multiple channels and may slip through. What is more, it takes time to sort through it and update your spreadsheets.

#5. Too many errors

Almost 90% of all spreadsheets have errors. Macros are easily corrupted. Besides, you may miss the moment when a macro gets changed or deleted.

#6. No error tracking

If you find a mistake in your Excel document, there’s no way you can track where it occurred and who entered the wrong data. Spreadsheets are constantly changing when you enter new data, create macros, and more.

#7. Poor security

You can easily share Excel sheets with your colleagues, but the security measures for Spreadsheets are not reliable.

How Compliance Solution is Better than Excel

Compliance tools have proven transparency, efficiency, and accountability. They can significantly assist you in the ever-changing world of compliance. GRC tools are efficient; they reduce time and resource consumption on around-compliance operations.

Most companies need a customizable solution that can be easily implemented with the tools they already use and smoothly integrated into their existing environment. The GRC software boosts automation by reducing data entry and eliminates the effort of filling in and printing countless spreadsheets. It should deliver consolidated reports, be efficient, and collect all the compliance monitoring operations and activities in a single integrated system.

With an appropriate GRC solution, you shouldn’t worry about managing your regulatory requirements and will have more time to think about improving your business processes.

12 Advantages of using a GRC tool like Infopulse SCM

  • A holistic and systematic approach to building an effective multi-standard compliance strategy applicable to your specific business.
  • Automated compliance workflow – increasing productivity and eliminating manual work and human errors.
  • Standardized inventory, compliance, and risk management processes with a high possibility of individualization via analytical grids, custom fields, and custom views.
  • Step-by-step guidance – onboarding webinars, detailed tutorials, and trainings on how to start your compliance journey.
  • Efficient data management – of all compliance aspects and its consolidation and maintenance of information in one place.
  • Integration possibilities with CMDBs, ServiceNow, SAP, Matrix42 SASM, and FNT Command – breaking down the silos, providing users with an unified interface for managing all your compliance data.
  • Collaboration platform for all parties involved in the compliance processes, including individual employees, departments, and C-level staff.
  • Task management – planning, execution, tracking, and reporting with the possibility to assign responsible people, track compliance activities, and set deadlines.
  • Comprehensive monitoring and reporting – real-time dashboards, and a set of pre-defined reports, providing excellent support for users during the audit and compliance processes.
  • Data security and safety – by heart, with state of the art user access management, encrypted data storage and secure data transfer.
  • Simplification of operational compliance routine with the SCM Bot – streamlining business operations by automating daily activities, like preparing and delivering reports, sending email notifications about tasks, its schedule, and;
  • Regular updates of the used standards with every new release.

Final Word

With the increasing changes in the rapid global trend, many companies have concluded that spreadsheets are more likely to pose problems than being an efficient solution for handling compliance processes. To keep up with the global compliance trends, more and more organizations are switching to dedicated GRC solutions.

If you consider Infopulse SCM as a tool for your compliance management, please request a trial.

Request a trial


Benefit of free usage of the Infopulse SCM for 3 months to find out how the solution can optimize and streamline your compliance management. Please fill out this form, choose the standards and features you are most interested in. Our consultants will be glad to deliver a personalized webinar for you explaining step by step all the benefits of the SCM adoption.