Accounting professionals have relied on spreadsheets since the mid-1980s when Microsoft Excel was first introduced, but the dawning of a new era in technology leaves many businesses questioning if their accounting departments are relying too heavily on spreadsheets.
Spreadsheet manipulation is often based on manual processes without proper checks and balances in place. Reliance on these imperfect systems leads to organization-wide decreases in productivity, questionable or inaccurate data, and poor organization—which ultimately affects your bottom line.
Spreadsheet reliance lends itself to decreases in productivity
Spreadsheets are notorious for bogging down accounting processes. While Microsoft Excel is a household name that most professionals have reasonable familiarity with, relying on it for financial purposes can be extremely time consuming. The time waste comes mostly in the form of consolidating data, modifying data, and finding and correcting small errors. Employee time is then spent correcting or consolidating data rather than analyzing it—where cloud-based accounting software could catch these errors and consolidate with ease.
Spreadsheet data accuracy can be questionable
Data can be inaccurate in traditional spreadsheets. Spreadsheets simply lack the sophistication that cloud-based accounting software has. This is because the spreadsheet document owner writes formulas to handle equations, and the spreadsheet will do exactly what the formula is written for–even if the formula you’re using to solve X actually solves for Y. Further, even if two spreadsheets access the same data from a centralized place (for example, an enterprise management system), the two spreadsheets may still result in mismatched data if the data is collected at different times.
Spreadsheets are poorly organized
Spreadsheets are not the cleanest way to view, sort, and analyze data. It is difficult to share data between sheets, and more difficult still to integrate data with other business software—or share data across departments. While cloud-based accounting solutions offer current data in real time to users, spreadsheets are not necessarily updated in real time, leading to dissemination of conflicting data.
Moving forward in a post-spreadsheet age
Cloud-based solutions are increasingly popular in finance, providing reliable, affordable software that accomplishes everything a spreadsheet can—but faster and more accurately.
Cloud-based systems like those offered by Flexi provide the most accurate and most current data, and data can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. Laboring over spreadsheets to correct data and close the books can be a thing of the past with cloud-based solutions.