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Spreadsheet junkies should beware irate IT managers looking for ways to solve the Excel compliance nightmare. They may want to toss out Excel altogether. The more tolerant, however, are embracing software tools that provide data integrity and security to the otherwise undisciplined Excel.

Take, for example, Mike Hader, the IT manager at closely held Madison, Tenn.-based Odom’s Tennessee Pride Sausage Inc., a regional sausage maker with national ambitions. His co-workers in finance love spreadsheets, despite Excel’s worrisome Sarbanes-Oxley limitations. Much to their relief, Hader introduced them to e.Spreadsheet, a reporting software product from San Francisco-based Actuate Corp. “All the report tools that are on the marketplace allow you to export a report to an Excel file, but the problem is when you do that, you lose your formatting,” says Hader. “The more complicated the report, the worse the impact when you try to import it.”

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