PraxIS Oct. 2009

09-10 Contents: Fraud, Security, XLTest 1.09 released

ISSN 1649-2374 This issue online at   [Previous] [Index]  [Next]

Systems Modelling Ltd.: Managing reality in Information Systems - strategies for success


1) Risk
      Fraud check list
      "What am I supposed to do with this security prompt?"

2) Spreadsheets
     Guidelines for Spreadsheet Development
     Excel User Conference UK Oct 7,8

3) XLTEST Spreadsheet Checking Add-In
     Version 1.09 released

5 Web links in this newsletter
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Welcome to PraxIS

This month, XLTest 1.09 is released! It assists Excel  users and developers to check the quality of their work.

Patrick O'Beirne


1)  IT Risk

Fraud Check list

Seven Steps to Tackle Fraud Using Data Analytics
Dustin Lewis, CISA, Senior Technical Consultant, ACL Services Ltd.
With data analysis, you can identify and monitor business risks to ensure you are auditing today's risks, not yesterday's. Consider these:

Revenue by location, division or product line
Revenue backlogs - by value and age
Personnel changes in key positions (legal, controller, R&D)
Volume of manual JEs or credit notes
Aging A/R balances or Inventory levels
Vendor management (# vendors, volume of transactions)
PCard vs. PO procurement
Average days for customer payment 

"What am I supposed to do with this security prompt?"

The latest edition of ENISA Quarterly Review, 3rd Quarter 2009, is available online. It includes an article "AWARENESS AND END-USER ISSUES; End-user Security: Misused and Misunderstood?". The author is Prof. Steven Furnell who leads the Centre for Security, Communications & Network Research at the University of Plymouth, UK.
He says that "users are often asked to accept the existence of threats that they cannot see and to protect against risks that they do not really understand. ... evidence suggests that users are frequently ill-equipped to deal with security events, particularly when handling them requires a decision to be made. In one study, almost 90 system-initiated events were recorded and in 16% of cases users reported being ‘totally unclear’ on what had happened and/or what they were supposed to do, with a further 23% reporting that the event was ‘mostly unclear’. From almost 30 user-initiated events, the situation was even worse, with 31% ‘totally unclear’ and 21% ‘mostly clear’, and users being able to complete their intended action in only 62% of cases. A University of Plymouth survey of 259 home-users reported 



2) Spreadsheets

Guidelines for Spreadsheet Development

 Stephen Aldridge of Numeritas posted to the LinkedIn group a set of guidelines, cutely entitled SCILS to rhyme with "skills".
"Trying to apply a set of principles for any spreadsheet use is difficult, given the diversity of use, however for financial modelling, we have established a set of guiding principles to keep things orderly and minimise error." These are:

Excel User Conference UK Oct 7,8

Bob, Charles, Simon, Andy, Roger and Nick are presenting another free series of courses at Microsoft’s Office in Cardinal Place, London for 2 days on October 7th/8th. "This is a repeat of the hugely oversubscribed event in April where we had over 120 reserves who places couldn’t be found for. So far we have around 100 attending so places left for around another 20 on either or both days. If you fancy coming along to this great FREE event (except accommodation and evening entertainment) then drop a line to bookings at excelusergroup dot org. "


3) XLTEST 1.09 released

XLTest: Spreadsheet testing and quality check add-in

XLTest helps you to test the integrity of your spreadsheets far more quickly than tedious cell-by-cell inspection.

Buy XLTest for Excel 2003 via Paypal. This also works in the Add-In tab of Excel 2007

If you own the book "Spreadsheet Check and Control" you get back the cost of the book - save 30 euro! Simply enter into the discount code box below the first word on the top left of page 131.

If you own the spreadsheet inventory/assessment workbook  ScanXLS you can save 60 euro! Simply enter into the discount code box below your license number.

Sorry, there is no combined discount! This offer is available for only a limited period.

To learn more, download the 19-page set of screenshots (1MB PDF) showing you what it does.

XLTest will be sent by email in a zip file with documentation and sample workbooks. If your email system blocks zip files, please contact us to agree an alternative method of delivery.

Discount Offers
(*) Enter code for discount

Formulas coloured map

Book: Spreadsheet Check and Control: 47 best practices to detect and prevent errors



Simply send your comments to FEEDBACK (at) SYSMOD (dot) COM

Thank you! Patrick O'Beirne, Editor


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