Why Excel is Costing you time
What will your finance team look like six months from now? Or a year from now? How many people will you add? What new tools, systems, and data will you need?
There are a lot of potential questions you can ponder about the future of your business but there is one certainty you'll be dealing with more. More complex problems, more budgeting, more data, more process, more reporting, more forecasting and repeat.
As your team and business scale and the world is full of uncertainty, it’s important to incorporate financial planning software into your day to day processes. You’ll want to use tools that make your daily processes easier, faster and more agile. Financial planning software is time-saving, will streamline and automate processes as well as give finance teams important insight into the business.
Get your time back
Software is used by finance professionals to ultimately manage their accounting - cash, assets, people and projects. These days, especially in the current climate, CFO’s and finance departments also need to understand business performance and have the ability to budget and forecast quickly. Using software allows them to gain a deeper understanding of business finances, control their cash flow, monitor assets and track projects so they can get insights into the impacts on their business.
In brief, finance professionals use financial planning software to make their jobs easier and to save time.
The problem with Excel
There are lots of different tools to choose from when choosing software to manage your financial planning, the main one being Excel.
Many of us love our spreadsheets. And we’ve gotten good at Excel. It is free and usually comes as standard on your computer. You can get started straight away, it is the same program you used ten years ago, it hasn’t changed.
And that’s the problem, as a result, we rely on large cumbersome spreadsheets which are too large to be easily shared, difficult, and long-winded to update with only one user able to edit and update at a time. Then there is trusting and hoping other users will not accidentally delete your columns or formulas.
Excel is error-prone, plain and simple. Entering one wrong number can mess up a week's worth of work. Finding the error can also take you a huge amount of time, time which could be spent better elsewhere.
The report functions in Excel are limited, you can put some basic reports together but that’s pretty much it.
Without agile planning, and reporting - reforcasting is a time-sucking process. By the end of the third quarter, data is static and stale and your planning veers off course.
Modern finance is more than a spreadsheet
Whereas Excel was great in 1985, software has come a long way since then. Financial planning software of the 21st Century will allow you to plan better, budget faster and forecast smarter. It should help improve business performance, give you better insights and save you time.
If you have a cloud-based application it will allow for multiple users to be logged on at the same time. You can share your budgets and forecasts with members of your team quickly. It will allow for updates in real-time and have a changelog to track amends.
Modern financial planning software will easily let you run reports, when you log in most will have a dashboard view with an overview of your business that you can customise that’ll allow you to view your financial operations.
When using specialist financial planning software you will be able to change and update your budget forecasting quickly which is useful in the current ongoing world crisis. Month-to-month scenario forecasting would be difficult with Excel, but with the agility of programs like Workday Adaptive Planning you can turn this around fast.
Aim for a user-friendly, time-saving package
The reality is that there is no out-of-the-box method that will help you prepare for more. Your company is unique, and your perfect finance model is not going to look exactly like anyone else's. This is the time for choosing the right tools for you and your team, setting them up in a way that your future team can use and understand.
There are a lot of options out there — so don't settle for less than what you need. At the end of the day, you need to choose a system that's easy for your team to pick up and use, but still has the power and flexibility you need to get things done.
With all of the tools available these days, there is no need to use clunky, complex, and time-consuming legacy software - your future team will thank you.