RKL eSolutionsBlogs

Deader than disco: Why spreadsheets can't handle today's budgets

Disco was one of the weirdest (or grooviest, depending on your perspective) periods in popular music history. The genre pioneered the idea of "four on the floor," i.e. a simple 4/4 time signature that went on to be used in virtually every genre of electronic music, from trance to house. However, it also stirred up tremendous backlash, best seen in the events of "Disco Demolition Night" held at Chicago's Comiskey Park in the 1970s, when thousands of disco records were imploded on live TV.

Adaptive Insights Full Demo Webinar Arxis TechnologyListening to disco today instantly takes you back to a different time since it sounds so dated. A similar experience likely washes over the thousands of SMB finance teams that still rely on spreadsheets and QuickBooks to handle complex tasks such as revenue recognition. Both programs date back to the 1980s and predate the World Wide Web, but remain widely used. Why is this case, and what alternatives do SMBs have?

Doing your budget with manual processes can quickly become tedious.

A case of 'Excel Night Fever': Understanding the limits of spreadsheets

A spreadsheet is a coping mechanism: Its formats, formulas, and commands enable accountants to keep track of essential items such as customer churn and billable revenue. The process is far from efficient, though:

  • It is risky: A single mistake can throw the entire sheet off. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase's reported figure for its corporate Value at Risk was wildly inaccurate, due to an Excel error that divided by a sum instead of by an average.
  • It is hard to manage: Excel sheets tend to multiply, with multiple versions of the truth floating around the company. This complicates otherwise routine processes, such as putting together reports for boards of directors at the end of each month.
  • It is slow: Entering everything by hand takes time. You also have to account for redundant manual processes, which divert precious resources away from other tasks and make it difficult to keep up with new industry standards such as ASC 606/IFRS 15.

The manual, error-prone characteristics of Excel make it a poor fit for any modern organization with substantial accounting requirements. Fortunately, cloud financial software such as Intacct provides an excellent alternative.

"The manual, error-prone characteristics of Excel make it a poor fit for modern accounting."

A bright new cloud to replace the old Excel disco ball

Intacct provides the sophisticated project accounting capabilities that not-for-profit organizations, entertainment companies, and other firms fundamentally need. Included among Intacct's many capabilities are:

  • Support for global multi-entity consolidation
  • Diverse, flexible reporting options
  • Seamless integrations with applications such as Adaptive Insights and Salesforce.com
  • Comprehensive support for the transition period between rev rec standards
  • Straightforward currency conversions, local tax operations, and inter-entity transactions

An added benefit of replacing Excel and/or QuickBooks with Intacct is the expertise you can get from working with an Intacct Premier Partner such as Arxis. With Arxis, you get a personalized roadmap for support, implementation, and ongoing education. For specific workflows such as contract and revenue management, Arxis can ensure that you get the advice, tools, and processes you need to thrive in today's financial environment.

Questions? Need Support?
Get in Touch