Escape Spreadsheet Purgatory

GECKO Governance
4 min readApr 21, 2021

Following the regulatory crisis 2008, ever-increasing regulation is the most common disruptor to the Financial Services industry, building trust in technology is another and not to mention the most recent pandemic that turned our world upside down in 2020. Many firms have learnt that planning can be the silver bullet in responding to such uncertain events.

Our existing clients who have used the GECKO system prior to the pandemic, meant they were on top of digitisation with GECKO being central to their success. Realising the benefits of GECKO and its impact for their overall business practises and processes meant tasks and activities could efficiently be executed remotely and on a secure system. As digitisation is accelerating, it is evident the market is moving toward platforms in general, away from legacy systems such as excel, so that firms can connect internal resources and strengthen the back/middle office.

Let’s take a look at some of the daily struggles management teams and employees face when it comes to working with Excel spreadsheets and how smart technology can help increase business productivity by freeing up resources.

Spreadsheet Struggles

  1. Information: There is no getting away from human error when discussing Excel. Because spreadsheets are loosely structured, it is easy for someone to introduce an error, either accidentally or intentionally, by entering information in the wrong place or expressing dependencies among cells incorrectly.
  2. Controls: In such a repetitive, manual environment, especially at peak periods, there is a lot of “Paper Pushing” for teams and when working with spreadsheets it can be difficult to ensure you have the most up-to-date version at hand. Spreadsheets also provide little-to-no protection against data corruption, no data validation or error checking and with many files being sent forward and back, version control is difficult to achieve and maintain.
  3. Execution: When you think of companies who maintain a lot of Excel data on distributed servers or even on local computers, valuable time is wasted searching for documentation and it is labour intensive when consolidating and analysing data. In the case of financial institutions, they typically have multiple branches or subsidiaries, and all of them use Excel files for reporting, which can be very challenging when trying to compile all of that data into one spreadsheet. As a result Excel is costly, both financially and operationally.
Spreadsheets VS GECKO Governance

Smart Technology — GECKO Governance

  1. Information: Significant value-add through provision of strategic analytics — GECKO aggregates data, provides automated workflows with a centralised dashboard alongside a bespoke report generator — making audit time easier and hassle free. The power of being able to extract the value of the data and flag down problems with technology can easily be done with a top down business led strategy, toning from the top, the right technology platform, equipping staff with the right tools and technologies to enable people to extract the value.
  2. Controls: GECKO allows for a ‘Proactive’ approach in a more controlled environment where all inputs are documented and available with the click of a button. As all teams will be engaging via our centralised platform, your firm will have a single ‘source of truth’ when it comes to your data. The ability to manage and track all activities with a real time stamped audit trail demonstrates the steps taken to provide clear accountability and it provides reliability for document version control.
  3. Execution: When completing tasks more efficiently in an automated environment, other areas that are heavily manual can be streamlined from one centralised platform. Smart technology like GECKO automates notifications, schedules warnings, allows for calendarised internal obligations in order to speed up processes and overall reviewing of day-to-day tasks.

Next steps:

As remote working becomes the norm, firms must be open to that change and anticipate what can be achieved -

  1. Prioritise employees and their digital up-skill. Hugely important that we focus on the future of our firm and its digital health. Before the process even starts its vital firms reassess their way of thinking by being more articulated, challenge processes and colleagues, helping to shape digitisation enabling teams to be user focused, nimble, agile and happier.
  2. Don’t fear change, embrace it. Along with other FinTechs and RegTechs we are here to collaborate with you and help you work smarter as we work with clients to add value, time and unlock resources for their business. Our flexible, value-driven services and client-focused approach are what makes our partnership model.
  3. Manage data well enough to extract the value. A more digitised approach of embedding the right technology ensures teams are connected and not siloed with understandable data so users can extract the value and really demonstrate where they execute controls with a full audit trail of this.

Contact us to learn how GECKO Governance can allow your firm to digitally transform seamlessly —

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GECKO Governance

Providing much needed Transparency, Compliance & Accountability To The Financial Services Industry