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Is Excel the Right Tool for Corporate Budgeting?

Is your budgeting process an orderly, streamlined exercise, or is it bogged down due to the use of Excel spreadsheets and email for collecting and consolidating budget data?

Many organizations start out using Excel spreadsheets for budgeting and planning, especially when their businesses are fairly simple and there’s a small number of users involved in the process.  Businesses, particularly startups, may not have huge volumes of data to analyze or complex corporate structures with multiple strategic business units and departments. Spreadsheets are easy to set up, flexible, and are familiar to many users. Nearly everyone has some experience with Excel. They can help organizations implement budgeting and financial planning easily and cost effectively.

\However, as organizations grow in size and complexity, Excel can become a handicap.   For mid to large-sized companies or organizations that have grown significantly, the disadvantages may start to outweigh the advantages when it comes to budgeting with Excel spreadsheets.  You may even find yourself drowning in spreadsheets!

If you fall within this category, congratulations on your business acumen and success to grow your business to this point! However, you will likely be familiar with some of the pain that can come from relying on spreadsheets for your planning needs. If so, it may be time for you and your organization to use Excel for what it’s good at, as a personal productivity tool, and a front-end to a more scalable system that does the heavy lifting and provides the control and accuracy needed to streamline the budgeting process.

Planful’ partner CrossCountry Consulting, recently published a white paper on this topic.  In this white paper, they provide an overview of budgeting, and outline the importance of financial planning and performance management for your business. They highlight why Excel spreadsheets are an insufficient tool for this critical process, and how cloud-based EPM systems that use Excel as a front-end, can help your business streamline your budgeting practice, keep your sensitive data secure and reduce potential mistakes from human error.

 

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