As a company grows it keeps hold of legacy systems. When entrepreneurs start out, they build a business using Excel – and for small companies, it can work.
After a while, however, it’s time to consider specialist financial planning software. Excel works fine for a small business that’s just starting out, but as financial transactions become more complex, it’s important to keep up with the ability to manage processes efficiently and error-free.
Here are three reasons why you should make the transition from Excel to financial planning software…
1. Be more productive in less time
Excel works well for simple formulas. A master can even set up complex spreadsheets with lots of autofill rules.
However, that all takes time. More importantly, it relies on someone knowing exactly how to make the most out of Excel.
As your business grows and you take on more staff, more suppliers, and more customers, the data you’re required to handle becomes simply too big.
Cross-referencing spreadsheets is time-consuming. Advanced financial planning software helps you to quickly and easily access any data you seek.
In addition, financial planning software can run advanced analytics for quick and visual reporting. This can save significant time for financial management meetings, and also provides a clear at-a-glance overview of a company’s financial status at any time.
2. Prevent costly human errors
Spreadsheets are often saved to a desktop as a new version, or errors are saved into a master sheet with no audit trail to recover the original.
A simple additional ‘0’ here and there can significantly change the outcome of an Excel spreadsheet, and all it takes is human error. It’s easy to miss small things when you’ve been looking at spreadsheets all day, but the information handled in Excel is too important to risk.
Financial planning software retains version control and keeps everything in one place. There’s no possibility of different versions of spreadsheets: it’s all in the same document.
Set algorithms will also highlight significant errors caused by manual input, so your financial information is protected from human error.
3. Be audit-ready at any time
As companies grow it is inevitable they will undergo an audit. This could be a government audit for tax reasons, or a supplier request to ensure quality and transparency.
Audits with Excel typically take huge amounts of time to compile, taking hours away from core business duties for all staff involved.
An audit with financial planning software, however, can be done in a very short amount of time. Fast reporting and clear record change tracking enable anybody to trace transactions or budget forecasts with ease.
4. Increase security with financial planning software
The security of an Excel spreadsheet is very low. Even password-protection won’t prevent someone from copying the files or giving the password to someone who shouldn’t have it.
Financial planning software is ideal for maintaining the confidentiality of business transactions, employee files, and supplier contracts. Tiered access means staff can only see what they’re authorised to see, and yet everyone can still operate from within the software at any time, unlike a spreadsheet which allows just one user.
For more information on how the right financial planning and analysis software can help your business grow, contact our helpful team of experts today.