Time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. The hours spent manipulating spreadsheets to run your business could be used more efficiently. Explore spreadsheet alternatives because Excel, while a great personal productivity tool, is a decades-old solution not built to handle the complexities of modern, fast-paced businesses. Here are three reasons why Excel-based processes might be hindering—not helping—you, and why best-in-class budgeting software like Adaptive Insights is an excellent spreadsheet alternative.
- You can’t effectively audit a spreadsheet over time. Relying on spreadsheets to support critical financial processes can cause a number of serious problems. In the first place, spreadsheets are extremely error-prone. Just one incorrect number or formula can bring your professional credibility into question. And because you can’t audit spreadsheets, you might not even know when the formula changed, who changed it, or how long it’s been broken. In addition, spreadsheets require manual entry, which means they’re just not scalable—and you don’t have time to waste on manual tasks.
- Instead, you need a quick and accurate process through which you can provide real-time information to business decision-makers. Thanks to cloud technology, you have access to budgeting software that can provide a single source of truth for actuals, budgets, and forecasts that complement their spreadsheets. This allows for stronger, smoother, and smarter processes. The end result? More time for analysis and strategizing.
- A spreadsheet-based system is a cumbersome method for rolling forecasts. For modern finance leaders, rolling forecast software is the one and only way to run their fast-based business. Traditional financial budgeting processes don’t provide the real-time information and actionable insights needed to help drive your business forward. Budgets are often outdated at the start of the year, whereas rolling forecasts adjust to what’s actually happening with your business and market. A growing company needs budgeting software that enables leaders to quickly identify performance trends and needed course corrections. Rolling forecasts allow businesses to extend beyond the annual planning wall and proactively manage the future.
- Incorporating dashboards into your management reporting packages is a tedious process using Excel. Most managers can look at a bar or pie chart and make an accurate assessment of the data and trends. That’s hard to do when you’re trying understand the numbers in large and unwieldy spreadsheets. However, telling the story behind the numbers is critical to informing predictable forecasts that drive change. That’s where visual analytics dashboards come in.
- Not every department is as inherently number-oriented as finance. The dashboards in cloud-based budgeting software provide an intuitive, visual representation that helps non-finance managers make decisions based on accurate accounts of historical performance and projected trends. You can customize the information to reflect the most relevant drivers to each cross-functional department. Now departmental managers are empowered to analyze the information and make better, faster decisions within their area—which are ultimately reflected within the bottom line.