If you’re assessing a client for compliance requirements, you’re probably using Excel spreadsheets as a data gathering tool. Many compliance assessors turn to spreadsheets to gather information, maintain checklists of documents, enter answers to questions and manage the overall engagement. But Excel was never intended to do all that, and that means you’re building your process around Excel, instead of inserting Excel into your process.

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

What’s Wrong with Excel?

Throughout your engagement, data and information exchange is coming at you in all kinds of different modes—emails, hard copies, your own notes, text messages, file shares—you name it. That gives you a multitude of disparate inputs that you have to map back to your spreadsheets. Some auditors go directly to the report and start filling it in, because it’s too much trouble to enter everything into the spreadsheet, then re-enter it in a Word doc. But someone has to be the gatekeeper for the spreadsheet.

So, you’re building your report while also maintaining your own complex spreadsheet that some poor soul has to maintain. Multiple members of your auditing team are interacting with multiple members of the client team, with all sorts of multiple inputs—and someone has to log all of it, put it together, and generate the report.

One of the biggest challenges in that whole continuum is tracking the status of every detail. Did the client provide this evidence or not? Where did it come from and where does it belong? Did the evidence meet requirements? Did you reject it? Did you have someone review it? You have to stay on top of manually updating every change in status, for every piece of evidence. Otherwise, you can’t be sure you’ve done your job.

There’s also the matter of updating your templates. If you make an update to the spreadsheet template that you give to clients, every customer already using the spreadsheet is now using an outdated version. At some point, you need to manually deliver a new version of that template to every single client.

Is that really the best process we can come up with?

We Need a Better Assessment Management Tool

Using Excel to run your client engagement is just plain goofy. Excel is great for accounting, budgeting and organizing basic sets of data. It’s not a project management tool. You have no automation, no audit trail, poor security and bad version control. Macros are easily overwritten or corrupted, and it’s incredibly easy to fat-finger your data entry without knowing it.

We need a better way to collect evidence and manage client engagements. TCT Portal provides that better way.

A Better Way to Do Client Engagements

TCT Portal handles all of the tasks that your spreadsheet system struggles to do. The platform was built specifically to make your client engagements as frictionless and efficient as possible. The system was designed and built from the ground up by a company in the compliance space, for people in the compliance space.

The compliance management system automatically organizes every piece of evidence and every file that you collect. Enter data or load files into the system, and it is mapped to the correct requirement and easily accessible. There’s no need to reorganize collected evidence and no need to worry about missed or duplicated work.

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TCT Portal also makes reporting a snap. Unlike spreadsheets, there’s no need to manually export data, reformat the information and update the report for your client. Instead, just click a button and the system automatically generates the report of compliance. You can generate a 500-page report in minutes!

Robust project management is a major component of TCT Portal. With just a glance, you’ll know exactly what evidence has been submitted, what its status is and what’s still missing (and from whom). Even better, automated notifications handle the nagging for you when someone has an outstanding task. And all the evidence is submitted to one place, eliminating the mess of collecting documentation from all over the place and logging it manually in Excel.

TCT makes template updates seamless. The minute you update your guidance on a line item in TCT Portal, instantly every one of your clients receives that update.

“With TCT, I can collaborate on an engagement with other team members with one tool that we’re all able to use simultaneously,” principal consultant from Online Business Systems, Sherri Collis said. “I can check the client status and know where we are in the process. Once you enter all the information, you click a button and you’ve got the report generated for you.”

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Get Started with TCT Portal

TCT Portal was specifically designed to make every aspect of compliance assessment easier to manage. Assessment firms that use the platform become more efficient, more profitable, and better equipped to work with clients.

Ready to see how TCT Portal can help your firm? Schedule a personalized demo today!


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