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A Modern Solution to Eliminating Spreadsheet Errors
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August 11, 2021 Blog

 

In an era of digital developments, technology has revolutionised many business processes, making them faster and more accurate. Yet, statistics show that more than half of large and midsized companies still utilise spreadsheets to manage and plan their budgets.

Spreadsheets have been a long-used tool for finance departments everywhere to manage and present data in a way that is easy to interpret. Although they may have been the best in financial management in years past, depending solely on spreadsheets is no longer a viable option for growing businesses. No matter how meticulous departments are with maintaining their spreadsheets, errors are bound to be made, costing companies large sums of money. Errors can come in many forms but the three most common errors are mechanical, logic and omission errors.

Even the simplest of errors, such as a typo, can cause organisations significant problems in the future. For example, the blunder that occurred during the 2012 London Olympics that had 10,000 non-existent tickets sold due to staff mistakenly inputting 20,000 instead of the available 10,000 seats, costing the organising committee money to upgrade ticket holders.

Where spreadsheets have succeeded in the past, they now fail to provide accuracy, agility, and the ability to scale for companies. The accuracy of company spreadsheets is essential as they rely on numbers to make well-informed decisions regarding their business. Using spreadsheets hinders collaborations and undermines the quality and integrity of company data.

The business world is moving fast and players within the ecosystem need to ensure their businesses are agile enough to stay one step ahead of their competitors. When departments solely depend on spreadsheets, they are losing out on aspects such as speed and standardisation. The process of consolidating multiple spreadsheets is a long and tedious one that can lead to errors.

As businesses grow, so does the amount of data that they have to record and process. It is harder to achieve that when companies depend on spreadsheets, as large files lead to slower programs. Problems with granularity are also bound to occur as the limited number of cells available cannot fit all the granular data necessary for companies to analyse and plan appropriately. Once a point is reached, system freezes are inevitable as spreadsheets cannot handle the amount of data they hold.

Having been presented with the problems of using spreadsheets, companies should not look at solutions that would replace them but instead find solutions that upgrade their spreadsheet using experience. Using IBM Planning Analytics, companies can leverage modern analytical solutions without giving up using their beloved Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

IBM Planning Analytics is a solution that allows businesses to directly upload their spreadsheets into Planning Analytics or opt for the IBM Planning Analytics for Microsoft Excel interface. The solution enables the creation of accurate and reliable budgets and plans. Giving the proper personnel access to data in real-time and the ability to collaborate with change tracking functionalities to create a single version of the truth.

No longer will companies have to worry about conflicting data and false inputs by unauthorised personnel as users can assign administrators that can make changes to the file that will then be available to all members of the business. Reducing errors and saving time for companies.

For companies looking to employ IBM Planning Analytics, Adept Enterprise Solutions, a leading financial performance management and analytics solutions consulting firm specialising in IBM Analytics software leverages IBM Planning Analytics and other IBM solutions, creating a customisable solution known as Adept Corporate Performance Management (APM) solution. APM consists of components for financial consolidation, business analytics and budgeting planning and forecasting. This highly integrated and customisable solution gives companies the ability to make accurate and informed decisions to bring corporate performance to a higher level.

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