If you’re like most assessment firms, you’re tracking your activities, submissions, and status updates in a massive, complex spreadsheet. And if you’re like most firms, your tracking sheets are creating problems that make your engagements more chaotic — not less.

Your tracking sheets are supposed to make life easier for you, but they’re actually introducing inefficiencies, busting your budget, and creating confusion.

What’s wrong with building your compliance assessment process around spreadsheets? Let’s take a look.

Spreadsheets Weren’t Built for Compliance

Spreadsheets and word processing programs were never intended to manage anything nearly as complex as a compliance engagement. Word documents are great for business letters, articles and short reports. After just a few pages, they become progressively more unwieldy and onerous to deal with.

Same goes for spreadsheets. They’re designed for bookkeeping and accounting, and they can handle basic record-keeping tasks. They were never built for the heavy lifting that’s required to track and manage your client’s compliance engagement. The elegance of a simple spreadsheet quickly becomes an ugly Frankenstein monster.

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As a result, these basic office tools become difficult to use, and they’re less reliable. With all that data you’re manually entering and continually updating, it’s incredibly easy to make mistakes, miss details and corrupt your records.

You Need More Tools

Spreadsheets can only take you so far. You need a whole set of other tools to run your engagement for tasks, such as:

  • Communication
  • Client instructions and requirement explanations
  • Evidence submissions
  • File storage
  • Report generation

Most assessment firms have a suite of tools they use to track and manage their compliance engagements. Several organizations even tout their own tools as a selling point of a competitive advantage over rival firms.

In fact, multiple compliance tools is a liability, not an asset.

When you’re constantly bouncing around from one tool to another, you’re the lone common denominator between them. Remove yourself from the equation, and you have completely disparate applications that don’t reliably share information or work in tandem with each other. Your entire engagement hangs squarely on your shoulders, and it’s on you to make all the pieces work.

Feels a bit like pulling your own plow, doesn’t it?

Case Study: Assessment Firm Breezes Through Client Engagements

Information Slips Through the Gaps

Spreadsheets don’t manage information, they just keep it. If you have macros, they can pull data and calculate it. But a spreadsheet isn’t actually responsible for that data.

When you’re the glue that pulls all your various tools together, that makes you the authoritative source of information. If you’re like me, you can’t even trust yourself to remember the milk! Consider for a moment the risks you’re taking every day, in every engagement. Information is going to slip through the cracks, simply because you’re in charge of manually collecting it, transferring it, and accurately entering it in the right spot. Every time.

Inevitably, information will get lost, or corrupted, because your spreadsheets can’t do what you need them to do: manage data.

You’re Not Saving Time or Effort

Technology is supposed to save time and effort. That’s the driving purpose behind any tool you use. But every time the technology forces you to add extra steps or do extra work, you’re actually sinking deeper into the hole.

Related reading: Pack the Right Gear for a Low-drama Compliance Assessment

Spreadsheets create more work for you, not less: manual data entry is time-consuming and error-prone. Which means more work to fix those mistakes. Prep for a single client call can take hours — just to wrap your head around the status of the engagement in advance of the weekly status call.

There’s gotta be a better way, right?

Put Everything in One Platform

Doesn’t it make more sense to drive your entire compliance engagement through a software program designed specifically for compliance engagements? Imagine an automated compliance application that could track communications, manage assignments, collect and organize evidence, and display status in real time.

  • No more endless data entry
  • No more hunting down files
  • No more disparate systems that don’t get along
  • No more missing information or unknown status updates
  • No more software that can’t quite handle the load you’re giving it

TCT Portal takes all of that off your shoulders, so you can apply your expertise to do the work you love — and quit babysitting a system that has you pulling your own plow.

With TCT Portal, you can even transition licensing of the TCT Portal from your assessment firm back to the client. So, if your client is one of those organizations that switches firms every two years, you could transition licensing to them, and two years from now, the TCT Portal will help provide continuity.

Tired of spending your engagement budgets on time-sucking activities? Get a personalized demo of TCT Portal today.


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