In today’s business climate there is a burgeoning requirement for operational scalability, efficiency and resource optimization. When looking at critical financial processes such as budgeting, planning, forecasting and reporting, an astounding number of firms continue to depend on spreadsheets to perform these fundamental functions.However, this is the wrong type of process.
Here are seven reasons why spreadsheets can be detrimental to your workflow. 1. They are costly and resource heavy.For the most part, spreadsheets require a lot of manual effort in order to distribute, compare, and consolidate the information they hold.
They are not subject to automated processes that are used in business budgeting software such as auto signature, approval, and the production of reports. In addition, they oftentimes cannot be integrated with other business systems (e.g.
ERP, HR, and CRM), which leads to a waste of time, energy and resources when the same information needs to be updated or processed in multiple systems. 2. They make the budgeting process difficult.
When using spreadsheets, the focus will be on administrating the data rather than on how your firm should be optimizing its budgeting process. Not utilizing a cloud-based business solution makes it difficult to create a unique template for different departments and gather data from multiple functions. Throughout this process, comments and budget notes also get overlooked. 3. They promote ineffective collaboration. Just think for a minute — when your data is recorded in hundreds and hundreds of spreadsheets (which is not uncommon for even small-sized firms), it is immensely problematic for the various teams and departments to work together to allocate resources.
A silo mentality and approach impair collaboration during budget development, and makes it challenging to integrate the budget into the overall company strategy especially when the track is difficult to access. 4. They are the opposite of a multi-user solution. One of the most significant benefits of having some kind of cloud-based business budgeting software is the fact that it allows multiple sections of your firm to be a part of the budgeting process. On the other hand, spreadsheets are not a multi-user solution.
They provide significant challenges to accesses, control, and security. 5. They lack a database structure and a comment function. For the most efficient business budgeting software, you must have a process that includes multidimensional data. Spreadsheets lack multidimensional data, which means that they don’t have a database structure, merely a flat template. With this kind of data, it is not possible to add notes or comments (e.g.
line item level) that automatically add to the financial and management reports. 6. They have little to no security, and you have little to no control. Let’s be honest, how often do you have problems with your version control and local file storage? We all have had those moments when some technical glitch has occurred, and then there is suddenly no history of the changes that users have made, meaning hours of work are wasted. Spreadsheets also pose a far higher risk of human error (e.g.
destroying links or rode in a formula) than any kind of business budgeting software.7. They have an imprecise overview. While using spreadsheets, there is no comprehensive overview of the budget, and multiple versions of the truth about the financial performance get presented. In other words, they lack any real perspective so that management and stakeholders will have a tendency to question the reports and your firm’s budgeting process.
In the past, most businesses have deployed packaged ERP applications for financial reporting/analysis on premises. But many are now finding that this approach can be time-consuming and costly, especially for small and mid-sized organizations. The best ERP systems for small businesses are cloud-based.
Cloud-based solutions offer the same capabilities as on-premises solutions. In addition, they also provide a number of advantages over on-premises solutions such as:Speed of deploymentReduced reliance on ITFaster innovationNo hardware or software to set up or maintain and upgrade over timeReduced upfront costs and lower ongoing cost of ownershipBetter security