The issue is almost universal: all (or at least most) of your employees are using spreadsheets for budgeting. Different departments have their own variations, with unique calculations. When this goes up to the manager level, how many different versions do these managers have to work with? When it comes time to review and merge them all, how do you make sense of it all?
Perhaps it is as simple as creating a company-wide policy regarding Excel template standardization. However, when you consider the countless variations across the various departments, this can be – and usually is – a serious challenge. So, as a result, you keep with status quo and each budgeting and forecasting period you deal with the process issues of making the staggering number of budgeting spreadsheets/versions work with your budgeting timeline. Yes, we called it a dilemma – that’s pretty undeniable.
An improvement of the information consolidation and merge process of the needs to happen.
Let’s take a step back. The challenge exists with the proliferation of different spreadsheet versions and formats among the various departments, operations and locations. With Excel, when an employee inputs data it is recorded in their spreadsheet, which is saved locally and sent to the appropriate manager, who then saves it again, reviews it and merges it with spreadsheets received from other staff, and has to save it again before forwarding a consolidation of that data to you, the CFO.
We are all familiar with this process, and at its core, it works. But it doesn’t always work effectively. It is time consuming, error prone with all the manual reviews and revisions, and is costly especially when the real time value is lost in the shuffle.
Could it be time to switch up your approach? Why not automate the complete process? This may surprise you but you don’t have to abandon the familiar Excel interface that your users like, just consolidate your data in a central database, not in the local spreadsheets. With a solution that automatically extracts the data from the local user Excel templates, the learning curve for your staff is negligible. In the end, your focus is not on changing your staff work habits – it is leveraging a secure automated process and having the time at the CFO level to analyze accurate data in real time and make timely strategic decisions.
So, if the approach to spreadsheets is the problem, change up the approach.
With the True Sky corporate performance management system, we take the spreadsheet dilemma and turn it to your advantage – giving you the ability to improve your budgeting and forecasting process by up to 50% and spend your time using your data rather than processing it. Find out more by calling 1 855 878 3759.