And the problem only gets worse if you use a spreadsheet. For example:
- Personalising sheets. To collect a financial budget you’ll want to give users their current actual and forecast results, which means customizing each sheet. For multiple users this can be a lot of effort.
- Controlling submissions. When you’ve sent them their spreadsheet, you have no idea if they have opened it; whether any data submitted is complete; or if they made changes to their version that were not sent back to you.
- Consolidating data. To report data collected, these different sheets will need to be collated through the use of cell rules or macros. You will also want to load actual results from the ledger. Assuming that you can get all this to work correctly, it will then be a challenge to report or analyze data in ways other than the layout used for collection.
- Maintenance. If you change what’s being collected, then you have to make sure that those changes don’t invalidate existing rules or reports, and that everyone now uses the latest version. Which of course you can’t.
The result of these issues is a loss of control over the process, and a constant debate as to the integrity of what is being reported. Instead of using their business acumen to assess whether budgets are aligned with strategy, or if forecasts are revealing some previously unforeseen trends, accountants become embroiled in manipulating files, loading or transferring data between systems, chasing up users whose submissions are either late or incomplete, and checking answers to see if the data entered actually made it into the consolidated result.
Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be this way.
Transform your budgeting and reporting process
Financial Driver is a modern performance management solution that eliminates the issues caused by spreadsheets. Its simple approach and flexible capabilities means that accountants can transform their financial planning, budget management and reporting processes from a nightmare into a valuable management tool. But without the issues.
To see for yourself how our financial management solutions could help your organisation, attend one of our free online seminars; come on one of our face-to-face workshops or request a free trial where you can try out the application for free.