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Should my business continue using spreadsheets?

should my business continue using spreadsheets
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    As a business owner, you should be able to manage your business records efficiently. It is common for most business owners to use Excel or spreadsheets to keep their business records. However, as a business owner, you should measure the simplicity and the effectiveness of using excels or spreadsheets to manage business records.

    Excels or spreadsheets are useful when your business is starting up. When your business starts growing gradually, you will have to manage high volumes of information. Using spreadsheets, will be much harder to manage high volumes of business records, and this will be where human error will come in.

    Whether you’re a limited company or small business, eventually, you will be taking the wrong decisions with this information.

    If you were asked what the essence of a growing company is, the most probable answer would be that managing time, money and other resources efficiently will be the essence of a growing company.

    The current business world has reached its new era of going digital and streamlining business processes. You’ll know this if you’ve transitioned to “Making Tax Digital“.

    So, if you are still using Excel or spreadsheets manually would suggest that your company will be on the losing side very soon.

    In the current business environment, many AI-powered tools have been introduced to replace manual procedures and save a lot of management time focusing on key business areas rather than spending most of the time managing to book-keep and accounts functions manually.

    These powerful software tools can complete the similar task that excel or spreadsheet would do in a few seconds with no human errors. Further, these AI-powered software tools have machine-learning power to identify repetitive tasks and complete them with no human engagement.

    Reasons why you need to say goodbye to spreadsheets or Excels

    Lets go through the reasons why using spreadsheets or excels isn’t so good for your business…

    1. Duplication of work

    When using Excel or spreadsheets, you will have to manually update all the relevant sheets. Further, you might use multiple excels or spreadsheets for each task.

    However, when you have to consolidate these sheets, you will have to update one spreadsheet by referring to all other sheets manually. If you have to collaborate across various geographical areas and functions of your business, you may have already come across duplication of work.

    2.No standardised process and limited access to data

    It is very important for a business to have a standardised process. This is a critical success factor for any organisation. When getting input information from different geographical areas, you will have to face this issue.

    Excels and spreadsheets cannot provide consistency when you have multiple sources of data providers. This may lead to errors. Most importantly, you will have to spend a significant amount of time fixing these issues.

    3. No business insights due to poor usage of data

    Data is the most valuable component of any business. Hence, the data needs to be accurately collected, stored, compiled and interpreted to transfer them to valuable information which will give business insights.

    If you are a business that relies on Excel or spreadsheets, you do not have access to seamless interpretation of data. You will have to spend your valuable management time gathering, storing, compiling and interpreting these data to gain access to business insights.

    4. Lack of Privacy & data security.

    With the introduction of GDPR regulations, it is a must that data should be handled carefully. Any misuse of data will be considered a criminal offence. With all of these regulations, imagine a business situation in which data is managed manually through Excel or spreadsheets.

    For instance, imagine you have been given access to multiple data source providers. You have shared all the relevant data of your business, and any of them can easily manipulate your business records or take unethical advantage by using your business information.

    You might think that you can restrict some of the areas of the spreadsheet with different data source providers.

    However, this will result in gathering insufficient and inaccurate data for your business.

    5. No Access to business reporting

    Business reporting is an important part of the business. Have you ever thought of extracting a report from the business report from your excel or spreadsheet?

    Yes, you can. But the visualisation tool for Microsoft excel is very basic. You will miss the quality data visualisations for you to make productive business decisions.

    It also can be misleading as these excel reports are formulas based, and human error can make data awful. 

    Benefits of accounting software

    • Accuracy – No human errors as the software does all the calculations to extract reports
    • Immediacy – When you keep the software up to date with the data, you can have a comprehensive view of your business at any given time.
    • Mobility – The accounting software can be accessed from any geographical location using any authorised device
    • Data Security – Most Accounting software are cloud-based. Therefore, your valuable information is always safe as long as you are following the required protocols.

    How to move from Excel to accounting software

    Tips for business owners to switch from Excel to accounting software:

    Prepare the data

    If you are planning to switch from Excel to accounting software, you must review and clean your current records. There is a higher chance of duplicating data when transferring it to the software.

    Contact us to get advice from our professional accountants before you transfer the data, as they can help you for a smooth transition.

    Pick the suitable time

    The most obvious time would be the end of the financial year to do the transition. However, you can still consider the quarter-end or month-end to do the transition. It is important to select a less busy time period.

    Do a pilot run

    If you do not have the expertise to run the software, it is advisable to operate your current spreadsheet method along with the software.

    Yes, it would duplicate your tasks. However, this will help you to identify how you should manage the software and leave the spreadsheet. Once you are familiar with the software, you can switch permanently.


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