For many years, spreadsheets have been a staple in both professional and personal circles for organising, calculating and presenting data. Spreadsheets have been a universally functional tool for a variety of applications, such as keeping tabs on company financials and managing inventory. Nevertheless, there are five good reasons to stop using spreadsheets.
If you are a fan of spreadsheets or do not know any different, the thought of abandoning them is presumably a daunting notion. However, here are the real reasons why you should limit your reliance on spreadsheets and look to utilise modern financial software:
1. They don’t facilitate all processes
You can perform basic tasks with spreadsheets like record money going in and out, sums and even create graphs and reports if you have the time and the know-how. But, to facilitate all financial processes readily and effectively, your organisation needs more.
When a finance team relies on spreadsheets, you still need to create and send invoices, follow up on late payments and manage expenses. However, an automated finance system saves you time, money and stress as the software actively does the admin for you. The advanced functionalities mean the can system send and chase invoices, record expenses, track time spent, build financial reports and even create tax returns.
2. Tasks are time-consuming
Time at work is precious and manually entering data into a spreadsheet is a big time-waster. As a finance professional, your skills could undoubtedly add more value to the organisation elsewhere.
An automated finance system not only relieves you from endless hours of inputting data into spreadsheets but can also send invoice reminders, import bank transactions, automate online payments from customers and report on the financial state of your business at the click of a button. With a mobile app, you can even scan paper receipts into the system where it will process expenses automatically.
3. Humans make mistakes
If your finance team is inputting all the data into spreadsheets, somebody is bound to make a mistake – we’re only human. However, human error can have serious consequences for organisations.
In fact, human error in spreadsheets has been responsible for some notable mistakes. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase incurred a £6 billion trading loss due to a blunder related to using the wrong formula. Also, organisers for the London 2012 Games oversold a swimming event by 10,000 tickets due to a single keystroke error. The booking system showed that there were 20,000 tickets available when the venue could only accommodate half that number.
Mistakes in spreadsheets are easy to make, but hard to catch. It is not worth taking the risk when it comes to your organisation’s finances.
4. It’s easy to lose data
If you are saving spreadsheets locally on a PC or laptop, and your machine stops working, you might never retrieve that data. Or, if you’re sharing different versions of a spreadsheet back and forth with a colleague, you can easily use the wrong version – final-final-v2.xlsx look familiar? Ultimately, losing financial information is undeniably detrimental to an organisation.
By using cloud-based finance software rather than spreadsheets, you avoid the risk of losing vital information. When all the financial information exists in one place, that being the cloud, there is nothing to download, update, or install. Furthermore, you can access your financials at any time, anywhere, from any web-enabled device, so the numbers are always accessible.
5. Tax returns are painful
When it comes to tax returns, searching through spreadsheets and a plastic bag full of receipts is time-consuming and repetitive.
However, by using an automated finance software that imports banking data and manages invoices and expenses regularly, your data is already there in the system. Cloud-based finance systems can even integrate with your bank and HMRC, meaning the software will submit VAT to HMRC directly, so your tax return process is as painless as possible.
With the advancements in finance technology, relying on Excel spreadsheets should be a thing of the past. Utilising the powers of automated, cloud-based finance software will ultimately pay dividends to your finance team and wider organisation for many years to come.
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