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Best Practices

Spreadsheets for Vendor Management Just Don’t Cut It Anymore

Nov 19, 2019 by Branan Cooper

Using tools like Excel, Access or Word for your vendor management can make the data cumbersome for you to manage and difficult for your examiner to read. So, why are you still using those archaic options?

It's time to move on! Yes, I know it may be uncomfortable to switch up the way you do things, but it really is necessary. With more regulatory standards and expectations today, it’s simply impossible to design an Excel spreadsheet that can do it all...key word here being “all”. Yes, you can probably design a spreadsheet that works okay in certain areas; however, you want something that works for all of your third party risk management.

Excel Is Overwhelming and Inefficient for Vendor Management

To make an Excel sheet that encompasses everything, you would need to create one that has:

  • One sheet for every third party
  • Tracking of their due diligence
  • A tab for their third parties
  • A tab for the risk assessment and supporting documentation
  • A tab for the ongoing monitoring
  • A tab for the contract and all of its components

You can likely see where I’m going with this – even if you did create the magic unicorn of an Excel spreadsheet that can do all of this, how would you keep it updated across hundreds to thousands of potential third parties? Worse yet, what if you find something you need to add… you’d be breaking open every page, every vendor, one at a time. 

Put Simply – Find a Different Tool

There are lots of software solutions out there, ranging from the basic platform to the incredibly complex. With a vast array of features and a team supporting the work, the solutions available can help with the following:

  • Automation
  • Streamlining processes
  • Efficient tracking
  • Managing data
  • Setting reminders
  • Sending automated emails
  • Assessments
  • Improving your compliance with the ever-increasing regulatory environment.

So, dial back the Wayback machine to 1999, drop off the Excel spreadsheet and then come back to the future and enjoy the beauty of 21st century tools.

Investing in vendor management can result in a significant ROI. Download the eBook to find out more.


Branan Cooper

Written by Branan Cooper

Branan has nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry with a focus on the management of operational and regulatory processes and controls—most notably in the area of third party risk and operational compliance. Branan also serves as an industry thought leader. He's a member of InfraGard and the Professional Risk Management Industry Association (PRMIA). And, he was selected in 2018 as an advisor to the Center for Financial Professionals (CEFPro) and board member for the Global Sourcing Resource Network (GSRN).

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