Excel spreadsheets are to Finance staffers what trucks are to, well, truck drivers. But an increasing number of CFOs are looking at the possibility of life without Excel.
The numbers are undeniable. Currently, 87% of Finance chiefs use Excel for their financial close, budgeting and reporting, according to a 2011 by tax advisory firm WeiserMazars.
However, as Business Intelligence (BI), Business Analysis (BA) and Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) software continues to evolve, more CFOs are taking note — and it’s not just the finance chiefs of huge firms, either.
While Excel will likely remain the preferred tool of choice for CFOs for years to come, newer software programs are making some headway. One example: A recent study found that the BA market will hit $40 billion this year, which is an 8% bump from last year’s number.
One of the major advantages these programs tout is convenience and accuracy. While the advantages of Excel are many, critics are quick to point out a number of flaws: the time it takes to manually input data into spreadsheets, making sure the right people have the right versions and the likelihood of errors.
CFO Magazine has an interesting story on this topic that includes details about a small business that enlisted the help of an outside vendor to provide it with an alternative to Excel, which can be found here.