Plans help companies set out, communicate and track the achievement of their strategies. And yet it
is peculiar that in today’s advanced technology world, many large organisations including FTSE100s
and public sector bodies are still using Microsoft Excel as their main tool for planning, budgeting
The story from one of our clients summarises the pain:
“We have started with a simple planning spreadsheet, but over time it has developed into a
solution with complex formulas linking multiple spreadsheets. The spreadsheet is so complex
only Douglas from group FP&A understands how it works. Poor guy, he needs to plan his
carefully so that it does not coincide with our annual budgeting, monthly forecasting, and
reporting cycles. Not to mention the amount of work when there is a new boss or an
It feels like we spend more time adjusting formulas and copying and pasting data than doing
work. And there is always an issue with the numbers - this month there was a problem with
calculation, last month it was our cash flow. Are we ever going to go through a forecasting
But how come companies allowed this to happen? Excel is more than a powerful tool with a great
Availability - it is already on every machine.
Freedom – business can build in Excel with not involvement from IT.
Flexibility – users can easily change graphs, tables, pivot tables, filters, data analyses,
Convenience – Excel is the tool of choice of accountants and finance professionals and they
are used to it.
Integration - it is also easy to integrate with other Microsoft Office tools such as Power