Why NOT To Use Excel In Your Business
Microsoft Excel has become ubiquitous in the business world. When first released, it revolutionized data processing and analysis and it’s been a fixture of financial departments ever since. Yet as businesses grow and develop, relying on Excel can actually do more harm than good.
Excel was not designed for tasks like accounting and AP. When relied on too heavily, Excel yields error-ridden data and chews up employee time, all without providing a proper audit trail or tight security. To avoid these problems, you want to enter data into a system, not a spreadsheet. NextProcess’ software solutions work in conjunction with ERPs, allowing users to bypass Excel and utilize custom business reporting that is actually useful.
Excel Has Limited Application
Excel is a program designed to create spreadsheets, and it does that perfectly. The problems arise when you start using Excel for financial processes that it wasn’t designed to handle. It is not a good choice for accounting, AP, procurement, or most financial management tasks. Excel also does not offer the ability to encrypt critical information such as bank numbers, credit cards, and Social Security numbers.
In today’s business world, Excel is most useful for ad hoc analysis, storing small data sets, creating simple models, and formatting. When management wants to see charts and grafts it’s easy to generate those with Excel. But for day-to-day financial management, Excel simply isn’t the best tool for the job.
Spreadsheets Are Error-Riddled
Excel does not contain a system to check for errors automatically, and it’s not easy to manually check for errors in Excel. Many spreadsheet errors go unnoticed even after a professional audit. In fact, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers estimate that 90% of corporate spreadsheets contain material errors. These errors are often accidental, but Excel also has no way of preventing fraud. The numbers in a spreadsheet are easy to change without leaving an audit trail.
Since Excel appears so easy to use, it’s also easy for people who don’t really understand the nuances of Excel to generate reports that contain flaws. Even when reports are generated properly, you can still come up against the problem of dueling spreadsheets when multiple people generate different versions of a report or download data at different times.
Excel Consumes Time
While easy to set-up, spreadsheets become harder and harder to manage effectively the longer you use them. Ventana research shows that 54% of companies characterized as “substantial spreadsheet users” take at least a week longer to close monthly than companies that rely more on automated processes.
Excel also drains time throughout the month. Surveys show that employees spend an average of 12 hours every month consolidating and checking shared spreadsheets. Even with all that time invested, errors slip through at an alarming rate and cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
Finding An Effective Solution
When you use software from Next Process, information is processed by a system designed to handle your company’s specific financial needs. The software is flexible, specialized, and works seamlessly with ERPs. When you implement Next Process financial solutions, you’ll see an immediate reduction in errors and costs. The automated features also cut-back on the amount of time employees have to spend checking and double-checking data. Contact us today to set up a demonstration and see for yourself how Next Process can revolutionize your business.