The office of finance is evolving and needs to work at an increasingly fast pace. Real-time reporting and the pressure to become a value-added business unit is driving finance to look beyond Excel and embrace a suite of new technologies to meet their needs and utilise the vast reserves of the business data now available to them.
The problems with excel managed process.
Finance is burdened by legions of Excel templates needing constant management and maintenance. The manual collection, checking and validating of data to update these worksheets is time-consuming. In addition, there is a lack of control and governance when using spreadsheets and sending versions back and forth between different departments and entities can lead to errors when the wrong version is used.
How do systems help
Adopting software that focuses on digitisation, process automation, and data analytics can reduce Excel dependency, and you can automate your finance and reporting systems in under 40 days. This means less time is spent on maintaining templates, forms, and reports. Automated reports can filter to represent different entities, products, and departments, and these can be rolled forward at the end of each cycle, eliminating risks with version control.
Financial systems are designed to make reporting easier and better. Results are more robust with all data stored centrally and subject to version controls. Often finance teams have too many reports, particularly with the increasing amount of non-financial and operational data making its way into performance reporting. The software can incorporate all these reporting requirements, and packs can be automated, giving considerable time savings.
What does an automated system look like in a typical cloud platform:
What is vital is a single-source-of-truth tool with the advanced functionality of Excel that’s transparent and easily audited, that users can access in real-time with viewing and editing restrictions appropriate to their role in the transaction, from any device and location.
Your plan to eliminate Excel
As Excel’s importance of being a key component in business processes continues to diminish, finance wants to know how to replace it and mitigate the design constraints, technical limitations, and operational risks of using Excel.
The elimination of Excel to a unified finance platform should follow two stages, first comes the automation of processes which will eliminate manual effort and make processes more efficient giving finance staff more time to focus on the second stage, which involves quality improvements, and improved reporting and developing better business insights.
Moving away from Excel and adopting new software is a unique opportunity to implement any process improvements to finance. By reviewing the entire finance cycle and documenting processes and protocols, efficiencies might emerge.
First – What’s the Benefits Case?
Once you have been through this stage, you can understand what your savings will be and what overall benefits you can make.
Evaluation is the final stage and encompasses the software selection process. It is important that the organisation doesn’t just look at today’s needs but looks ahead to see what else you can gain from your move away from Excel.
As the complexity of business increases, finance takes a massive amount of data from different sources, aggregating, processing, and standardising it before it can report. Despite this expanding role for finance, it is still possible to achieve real-time reporting and provide value-added information by deploying software tools.
You can get rid of Excel and automate entire processes in a shorter timeframe – bringing much more efficiency and control and opening the door to a new way of working with modern finance software.
If you are interested in understanding what your journey away from excel will look like, you can contact us for a variety of webinars and workshops to help you visualise what software could do for your enterprise and to help you keep informed and up to date. Alternatively, join us on LinkedIn to keep up to date with future webinars.