Concur Technologies helps companies automate the processes by which they manage employee travel and entertainment spending, but some of its own processes aren't fully automated. "We're like everyone," says Terry DePolo, Concur's director of accounting. "We're trying to minimize the number of spreadsheets we rely on. We're currently on the Oracle 11i system, and it's just not flexible enough for us to migrate completely off of spreadsheets–and we probably never will."

As a result, finance staffers have to spend time checking that all monthly tasks on spreadsheets have been completed and signed off by a manager. And it wasn't always clear where spreadsheets were. "We had a hard time locating them for audit," DePolo says.

Concur isn't alone. In fact, experts say there isn't a company out there that isn't using spreadsheets–either for core operations or to fill gaps left by enterprise software platforms and centralized databases. These spreadsheets pose operational, financial and compliance risks for companies. But an array of new software tools aim to help companies locate, manage and audit these documents.

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