Excel is a great tool for ad hoc analysis, storage of small data sets and creating simple models, but it is not designed for managing business processes, data sharing and collaboration.
It is easy to start your business with Excel. It is an inexpensive and easy tool to use and allows you to gradually adapt. However, there is a point when your business needs outgrows Excel.
1. Risk of human error
One of the biggest dangers of using Excel is that there is always going to be a risk of human error. The flexibility you first so embraced with Excel becomes a trap. Suddenly your spreadsheet causes more confusion than clarification. You start to question, “Is this information correct?” From accidental deletes to misplaced numbers can lead to more errors. As a result your company could lose money and reputation because of it.
2. Performance issues
Being an older piece of software, many users run into performance issues. There will be ever increasing need to work with large amounts of data, combine lots of worksheets or include scripts. The limitation in Excel is not the amount of data you can store. It is that eventually all of your data will no longer make sense because there is simply too much information.
3. It doesn’t integrate with other business applications
Excel just doesn’t integrate with other small business applications that can help you run your business. Automated web-based software solutions can help you that, like ERP. It integrates and connects with other apps that do for example time sheeting and invoicing management. Addition to that, it can handle data in a scale that Excel can never do.
4. Not designed for collaborative work
Most people are simply not aware of the limitations of spreadsheets in regards to collaboration and sharing. Planning, forecasting, budgeting and reporting are all collaborative activities. They typically require information from different individuals and the final documents are a result of multiple exchanges of data, ideas and files. The risk of overwriting values and formulas unintentionally is extremely high. The effects of using spreadsheets for data sharing with large groups or other tasks they are not designed for can be more damaging than you realise.
The time is right to leave Excel behind
Excel has probably been your loyal companion for many years. Excel can be a wise choice for basic calculations and reports. But, it is important to realise that there is a point when Excel is not enough. If you can’t recognise or validate the numbers yourself, you’ve outgrown Excel and need a system that can detect errors for you.
An ever increasing number of organisations are seeking automated solutions that create processes that are accurate and highly efficient. PlanMill ERP is an example of such a solution. It enables your organization to streamline business processes and improve control of your customers, personnel, projects and finance. What’s more, you can use it any device, anywhere and anytime. It’s also scalable and customizable to meet your company needs.
8 reasons why web-based automated solutions are better:
- Always up-to-date
- Syncs with other business applications
- Access to data anywhere and anytime
- Possible to integrate to other business applications
- Support for multiple devices such as PC, Mac, tablet and smartphone
Visit our website to learn how PlanMill can improve your productivity.
Read also article: 4 ways to save time and money with PlanMill.