Spreadsheets have become a pervasive villain in the financial world - they are guilty of huge error rates and cataclysmic mistakes, and are a major source of heartburn and heartache when it comes to audit and compliance concerns.Nonetheless, Excel is ubiquitous and is arguably central to the financial operations of many companies. There is no other tool that has contributed so enormously to productivity in the arena of business performance management.

So is Excel villain or hero? This article sorts out both sides of the argument, and proposes some pragmatic approaches to mitigating risk and maximizing return on Excel utilization in BPM applications.

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