Sometimes, when you’ve spent months on your planning, budgeting and forecasting and corporate performance management, only to have a week-long break and start at it once again, canning Excel altogether and looking for something better often seems like a fruitful endeavour. After all, there has to be something better out there, right? When Excel just can’t seem to get the work done, as with any other employee, just let it go and hire someone else. Well, what if we told you Excel isn’t the problem?
Think about it this way – the good, the bad, and the ugly with Excel-based budgeting:
- The Good: Excel is a great tool – everyone is familiar with it and it works (yes, it does work)!
- The Bad: Excel is not the problem – control, or the lack thereof, is the problem.
- The Ugly: Excel, as a process, sometimes doesn’t work quite so well – everyone is familiar with that too! Often a lack of control in an enterprise environment seems like the biggest roadblock. For example, there are often mistakes when users have to manually merge the spreadsheets.
Excel is the preferred system for most companies for a reason. It provides employees with a familiar platform from which to work, it is user-friendly and can be changed to suit each individual user’s needs. The problem exists when you attempt to take these individual worksheets and try to merge all the data to create an accurate financial forecast. For example, think about the implications that exist when users merge spreadsheets manually. There are potential errors and it takes a lot of time. Sometimes the user will even change the formulas which makes the merging process even more difficult. This is the reason Excel is often seen as the root problem.
Fortunately, that isn’t the case. While getting rid of Excel may seem expedient, in reality this has the potential to create an intense back-log as a result of the complete overhaul required to implement something new.
So what’s the answer? Stick with the system that seems to be working okay? Rework the entire system? We think a merging of the two is much more suitable.
With a corporate performance management system built on the foundation of Excel, using all of the things that are great about the program and adding the flexibility that it currently lacks, you draw on the best of both worlds. An automated system that creates a database of all of the data contained within those individual spreadsheets, accessible in real time, makes analysis and financial forecasting far simpler. If there’s more flexibility and control with automatic merging, then the CFO can spend more time analyzing and strategizing. No surprises!
At True Sky, we take the good with the bad and make something far more attractive. Our corporate performance management system uses everything that’s great with Excel and makes it even better. Want to find out more? Contact us today at 1 855 878 3759.