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10 signs you have outgrown your Excel planning spreadsheets

Excel is a fantastic business tool. It is great for all sorts of applications: financial modelling, building a marketing plan, sales forecasting, reporting etc. However, that very versatility is also a weakness – just because it can be used for so many different things, that doesn’t necessarily mean it should be. In particular, whilst it might be fine for planning a small business, there comes a time for many successful companies when they have really outgrown it. You know you’ve outgrown Excel when…

  1. Your heart sinks two months before budget time comes around and you find a lot of pressing tasks that need to be completed first

  2. You catch yourself whispering the “please open properly” prayer when loading your spreadsheet

  3. You start to schedule meal times and coffee breaks around when the spreadsheet needs to recalculate (or simply to open)

  4. You spend longer trying to remind yourself of the file structure than actually thinking about next year’s business

  5. You realise that you are avoiding making necessary changes to the business because the spreadsheet doesn’t support them and the person who originally developed it has left

  6. You find you have mysteriously lost half of your sales forecast when someone accidentally overwrites a crucial formula with a number

  7. You start to dream of spreadsheets filled entirely with cells displaying #VALUE! and go into work to find this is true, because someone has ‘tidied up’ a vital linked spreadsheet or saved it with a different version of Excel

  8. Half way through the financial year you realise that finance and marketing have been working off different versions of the budget all year

  9. You vow that you will never go through this hell again and really will invest in a proper planning tool once the budget is finished, but find you don’t dare because ‘everyone knows it’ and ‘it would be too difficult to replace it’ and so…

  10. Your heart sinks when budget time comes around again…

In case you are wondering, the solution to this conundrum is Compas – an integrated planning and reporting tool based on a robust multidimensional database. Contact us now to arrange a demonstration.

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