10 areas where spreadsheets have no place to be
By David Parmenter
Excel has no place in a modern organisation in the following areas:
- Forecasting and planning – covered in this paper
- Month-end and year-end reporting – these should be in a robust reporting tool often part of the planning and forecasting tool which is uploaded with the actuals. Seldom now is reporting generated from the general ledger reporting suite.
- All forms of business analysis including treasury assessments of currency risk, forecast cash positions, wealth management portfolios – these spreadsheets get too large and are error prone
- People Management – all information about people, whether they are employees, customers, supporters, or training attendees should be kept in a modern HR system, a one stop shop
- Managing Operations – all quite complicated logistics such as Inventory flows should be run by a suitable cloud software, now linked to the accounting system
- Office Administration- used for supporting day-to-day tasks such as invoicing, paying bills, and recording contract details, including dates, milestones, deliverables and payments. it is a dangerous tool involving much rekeying of data.
- Project Management – where you have a nightmare of duplicate data whereas a purpose-built project management (PM) system can be one version of the truth
- Managing Programs – again requiring duplicate data entry and if used to allocate resources and keep track of progress requires a time recording system.
- Time recording system – often used to allocate overheads. A very costly way of doing something that should not be done in the first place
- Account Management – one of its daftest uses, where duplicate keying in and multiple views of the future reside.
The need for more robust systems in finance teams, particularly forecasting tools are further explored in three toolkits (Whitepaper + e-templates). These toolkits are on sale (over 40% discount).