Should We Forget about Spreadsheets?

Monday June 25th, 2018

Since office automation came to business management, the spreadsheets have been allied not only for the Finance Department, but for all those departments where planning and financial budgeting management, such as Marketing, Sales or Human Resources, must be handled.

Nobody doubts the great advance that has been the spreadsheets for business management. However, it has made clear the many deficits that it presents so that it can be considered as a “perfect solution”. Through various studies, we have evidence that about 1 in 5 corporations have had to endure direct financial losses, as a result of the use of bad spreadsheets. In addition, a third of the companies acknowledge having made bad decisions, based on the errors of their spreadsheets.


Where do spreadsheet errors come from?

To make a control over the budgets of the company, finance creates templates that it distributes among the departments. The problem arises when users decide to modify them to adapt them to their real needs. When templates return to finance they are a wide range of diversity. The task of its consolidation becomes an almost impossible mission and that is where many errors can arise.


Lost work hours

One of the biggest advantages of spreadsheets is, in turn, your biggest problem. They allow easy customization by any user. What for the user can be easily interpreted data and calculations, for finances can represent indecipherable enigmas.

In the Department of Finance, hundreds, and even thousands, of individual spreadsheets from the different departments are received annually, which means complete workdays are wasted in their interpretation and consolidation.


Should we forget the spreadsheets?

Despite the difficulties and disadvantages discussed, the overwhelming answer is NO. The problem, as we have seen, is not in the spreadsheets themselves, but in the use that we make of them. We must seek solutions that avoid the enormous difficulty and the errors that are made as consequence, when the Department of Finance collects, supervises, consolidates and verifies hundreds of spreadsheets.


Hugo Amann, General Director of arin technology company, does not comment: “Due to its popularization, spreadsheets are a friendly environment for employees of any department. For this reason, we must maintain them. However, if we take the Management of business Financial Planning and Budgeting to the cloud we will avoid mistakes, the direct economic losses derived from those errors, and wasted work hours. A solution such as Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud is the answer to achieve efficiency in the use and management of spreadsheets. According to Oracle’s study, the financial teams that used Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud stated that they used 38% less time in the forecasting process, 23% less time collecting data and, moreover, having 35% more time to analyze the data, than his colleagues who used disconnected spreadsheets “.




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