Spreadsheets are a wonderful tool and have served many a small business’ budgeting, forecasting and planning needs. But there comes a time when you need to look at moving across to specialised financial software that gives you more control over, and insight into, your financial information.
Here are 4 ways to know that time has come…
Your business is growing in size and complexity
Spreadsheets are perfectly fine for small simple companies; but as you start to grow and expand your services or gain employees and even potentially expand your focus, you need more input and have to start consolidating spreadsheets. Macros and formulas get increasingly complicated and can break and your spreadsheets become unusable.
There are currently few safeguards for data governance, or data quality, making spreadsheets a poor choice for organisations that need to share data or conduct complex analysis.
Specialised CPM software removes the need for sending spreadsheets back and forth, it gives everyone an accurate real-time view of the data within the database.
Multiple businesses under one company
Consolidating budgets and forecasts across multiple departments is difficult enough; trying to do so with multiple departments from multiple businesses in a spreadsheet is pure madness.
Different businesses have different reporting needs, they need different information to make the right decisions for their budgeting, forecasting and planning. And one error made in one department of one of the businesses can leave analysis of the bigger picture for the holding company impossible and completely skewed.
Specialised software provides you with the means to pull multiple versions of reports based on the information you need, and allows you to get the meaningful analysis you need to make your business decisions.
Too many cooks…
In a smaller business, there is usually one person who manages your finances – one person collecting data, inputting it and creating reports from it. Spreadsheets are created for this – calculating values and crunching numbers. The only weakness in this set up is that one person.
Once you start growing, you will start having more managers who have valuable information to contribute and have a need for pulling their own reports with data relevant to their own divisions or departments. If all of these people begin interacting with that spreadsheet, the weaknesses and room for error begin to multiply.
This is the time to look at a dedicated software solution that can offer more than the basics.
“User Friendly” is more than words
When you want to be able to get input and feedback from non-financial users in your business – the people who are on the front line, managing your business; you need your data to be accessible and understandable to everyone.
Spreadsheets and endless lists of data are extremely intimidating to people who are not financially inclined, leading to resistance and avoidance; delaying your budgeting process and causing undue stress for all involved.
There is dedicated financial software that is specially designed to be properly user friendly; making the budgeting and forecasting process simple and beneficial to financial and non-financial users.
With Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions becoming readily available in the Cloud there is no better time to look at making this change. Software-as-a-Service solutions like IDU Cloud are a cost-effective alternative for companies looking to adopt a world class specialist budgeting, forecasting and reporting solution without large capital expenditure outlays.