Spreadsheets are great, sometimes indispensable… To an extent. Many companies have relied on spreadsheets and manual financial processes since their inception. Why not? They’re easy to set up, people are familiar with them, and they work for basic functions.
This is fine for small organizations, but as an organization grows, the effectiveness and accuracy of spreadsheet use for financial management takes an unhealthy turn. This is what we would like to call crossing into the “Spreadsheet Danger Zone.”
At some point within the operations of an organization, the risks of using spreadsheets well outweigh the perceived cost savings of using spreadsheets. Whether it be in the error-prone processes (35% of companies studied by Ventana Research had data errors in spreadsheets, 26% had formula errors) or an ever-increasing amount of time spent each month, the spreadsheet danger zone is an inevitable point in a growing company.
The Business Case against Spreadsheets in Finance
So, why should you find an alternative to spreadsheets in finance? We’d like to share with you a business case for the reduction of spreadsheet use and the increase in an automated solution.
Spreadsheets are Error Prone
Again, to reiterate the points mentioned above, 35% of businesses had some kind of data error in financial spreadsheets. This means that 35% of businesses aren’t realizing the true revenue they are making, either understating or more dangerous, overstating the financials of their organization.
These mistakes can either go dangerously unrecognized, or lead to the following drain on your finance department.
Spreadsheets are Manual and Waste Time
Spreadsheet maintenance is a burden, especially in 91% of organizations (Ventana) looking to have their finance departments play a strategic role in their operations. For companies that use spreadsheets extensively, the closing of books takes much longer than their automated process using counterparts.
This could result in multiple hours spent each week just trying to balance books, reducing visibility and draining the wills of finance professionals.
Feel the Need, the Need for Speed
If you want your organization to be firing on all cylinders, operating more efficiently and accurately, one word comes to mind: Automation. Automation will take the human error out of finance, allowing your finance professionals to focus on the long term goals of the organization and provide more value to the growth.
You’re going to outgrow your manual, error-prone processes, why not make 2015 the year you seek out a scalable solution to fuel your growth for years, if not decades to come.
We welcome you to start by downloading the Ventana Research study, Eliminating the Risks of Spreadsheets in Finance, and learn more getting out of the spreadsheet danger zone