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Strategic Budgeting

Why Excel is The Best and Worst Tool for Your Strategic Budgeting Process

Microsoft Excel is, by far, the most valued tool when it comes to strategic budgeting. Most companies, no matter the size, rely on it for their everyday budgeting and forecasting. CFOs know that the value inherent in it is undeniable. Excel is, without a doubt, a fantastic tool, really one of the only tools, for strategic budgeting. However, when it comes to relying solely on Excel spreadsheets, there are barriers. A heavy reliance on spreadsheets to support essential financial processes can be problematic for a number of reasons.

Firstly, we all know that spreadsheets are extremely vulnerable to human error. Just one incorrect number or formula can throw off an entire forecast, skewing the total numbers. Often the time given to team members to complete budgets, especially when done on an annual basis, often adds to the instances of manual input errors, and thus Excel becomes less reliable.

Another problem exists with regard to the time it takes for those numbers to get to where they need to be. To make the most effective decisions, you need to be able to access those numbers in real-time. Excel, for the most part, just doesn’t give you that ability.

So, what is the solution? If you can’t do away with Excel, what is the alternative?

Technology that makes Excel better.

A recent survey of CFOs done by Private Equity International (PEI) found that technology is a key component of CFOs’ plans for the future, especially with respect to budgeting. The survey found that 81% of CFOs feel that investing in data can help them replace spreadsheets, although many believe the complexity required for customization is a hindrance. However, even for those who’ve recognized the benefits, 79% of CFOs have not yet replaced spreadsheets because they are less costly and complex, and 58% have not done so because they feel that spreadsheets offer better flexibility.

You can read more about this study here:

We are not suggesting you use technology to replace those spreadsheets. Instead, we see a merging of technology to obtain the most viable business insights. Adopting or incorporating modern planning solutions means not only using spreadsheets to the best of their abilities, but also embracing the technology that allows for the familiarity but increases your opportunity for sophisticated modeling and analysis.

True Sky is the answer. We make the familiar interface of Excel more adaptable and flexible, giving you better visibility and less room for error. For more information, please get in touch today by calling 1 855 878 3759.