The Problem With Spreadsheets

Aberdeen’s 2014 Financial, Planning and Forecasting and Enterprise Performance Management Benchmark Survey found that 91% of organizations use spreadsheets in one form or another during financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting.  However, just because so many organizations are using spreadsheets to perform these tasks, doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best tool. Spreadsheets are attractive tools for organizations to use because they are relatively intuitive and easy to use, employees are familiar with them, and they are cheap to acquire and as a result, the majority of organizations use them in some way.  The flip side of this is that they are not necessarily the best tool for effective planning, budgeting, and forecasting.

As laid out in their report, top performing organizations are adopting a “beyond spreadsheets” approach to this process by utilizing more robust functionality that removes the negative effects of using spreadsheets while retaining their benefits.   A “beyond spreadsheets” approach to financial planning, budgeting and forecasting include the implementation of a variety of technologies that include query and reporting tools, dashboards and scorecard tools, financial reporting and consolidation applications- and more.

Why adopt a “beyond spreadsheets” approach?

As stated in Aberdeen’s 2014 Survey, organizations using this approach are over twice as likely to have real-time updates to financial metrics, enabling quick decisions and the ability to reforecast.  Additionally, 83% of those that take a “beyond spreadsheet” approach are able to track performance against budget on an ongoing basis.

Capitalize can help you implement a “beyond spreadsheets” approach to financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting.  We can show you how to have better access to your data, perform “what if” analysis, establish collaboration across departments, make quicker decisions, and create more accurate forecasts. Request a meeting and we can show you how!