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Spreadsheet Alternative: How to bust out of spreadsheet prison

Is there a spreadsheet alternative that can help your SMB?

What are the biggest expenses at your SMB? The first items that come to mind are probably your various insurances and taxes, as well as employee salaries. But there are other major costs that are more subtle, yet every bit as important – such as which financial software tools you use.

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The Excel prison: How the spreadsheet app holds back accounting teams

Many organizations still rely on Microsoft Excel for numerous tasks, including customer relationship management, basic accounting, and reporting. This approach has both limitations and risks:

  • According to a study by Raymond Panko of the University of Hawaii, nearly 90 percent of all spreadsheets with more than 150 rows contain errors. These mistakes include everything from overstatements of an investment's value, to miscalculations that alter the amount of tax owed.
  • Another study from F1F9 revealed that 16 percent of firms in Britain reported discovering spreadsheet errors more than 10 times in 2014. One-third of financial decision-makers who used spreadsheets stated that they did not receive any specific training.
  • Major businesses such as JPMorgan Chase and Enron have lost millions of dollars thanks to Excel miscues. In the case of Enron, the mistakes even contributed to the company's eventual collapse by exposing its creative accounting practices. SMBs have even less margin for error than these giants.

The fundamental constraint of Excel is that, even with its formulas and add-ins, it requires extensive manual input. Such repetitive data entry is time-consuming and error-prone. Teams may have to scramble to put their reports together in time, and even then the documents may not be 100-percent accurate.

spreadsheet.jpgExcel puts a lot of constraints on its users.

With these shortcomings in mind, why do so many SMBs remain in the so-called Excel prison? Inertia is one explanation: Excel is an old and well-known quantity. At the same time, many teams have not fully explored the potential of cloud financial software such as Intacct, which automates and streamlines essential tasks including revenue recognition and reporting.

Breaking free from spreadsheets with the help of cloud accounting software

Switching to a cloud-based financial solution can save upward of 70 percent of your workers' time by enabling them to ditch operations such as manual consolidations, inter-entity transactions, and data entries. These savings translate into more accurate reports and greater confidence in the organization's overall direction.

"Within just a few months, the new cloud software can pay for itself."

Within just a few months, the new cloud software can pay for itself. It can dramatically reduce accounts payable workloads and close times, while also increasing multidimensional visibility into your key performance indicators like monthly revenue and customer churn. As more SMBs shift to subscription-based business models and comply with evolving regulations, it will be critical to have a platform such as Intacct to rely on.

How can your company escape from Excel jail? Getting help from an experienced partner such as RKL is a good place to start. RKL will ensure that you create a practical roadmap for setting up, maintaining, and integrating your cloud solution. Find out more about the steps to project success with RKL today.

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Tagged With: QuickBooks Alternative

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