A study estimated that 88% of all spreadsheets have errors in them, while also stating that 50% of spreadsheets currently used by large companies have defects that are leading to real risk of error.

While Excel is still the right and certainly ubiquitous tool for specific tasks, the effects of using spreadsheets for tasks they weren't designed to handle can be more damaging than finance executives realize.

The issue of duelling versions of spreadsheets

“Financial data needs to be controlled in order to remain accurate. It is recommended finance leaders establish a single, protected financial data source, which often means lessening dependence on spreadsheets in favor of dedicated financial management software.” – Robert Kugel

According to research, nearly half of enterprise-sized companies have experienced this problem, with 44% of survey respondents said they grapple with multiple, and inconsistent spreadsheets. Some companies could have upwards of 500 spreadsheets per month, making it near difficult to keep everything consistent.

Financial platforms have the power to leverage the very best of Excel while wrapping control, centralization and automation to increase the accuracy of data – which greatly reduce the time spent on reviewing spreadsheets.

Spreadsheets can eat away at valuable time

At the end of the day, it boils down to how much time is lost for businesses to analyze their performance and uncover opportunities while being stuck on this spreadsheet treadmill. There’s an otherwise noticeable impact on how long it takes to get work done, especially considering if it’s taking more than 7 business days to perform a monthly close. That time builds up and has a cumulative and negative effect on closing the books at months’ end.

Why do companies still struggle with Excel – and what can they do about it?

Excel is a powerful and necessary tool for companies to function, but common issues keep plaguing them. The key problem is that it’s become too complex and has a ripple effect on a company enterprise-wide. While Excel is still a ubiquitous function for corporate governance – there are ways to leverage its capabilities with financial management software.

The trick lies in taking advantage of its strengths, and covering up in the areas where Excel lags a bit. Financial management software helps maximize and harness the power of spreadsheets – rather than getting inundated and lost in a sea of them.

The benefits of having one financial platform are the ability to upload your spreadsheets and instantly identify variances, uncover growth opportunities and optimize business performance. You can effectively shift your time from consolidating spreadsheets to understanding your data.

Limelight provides a smart and fresh take on excel with a single, complete solution to financial management. Limelight allows you to view, build and publish budgets, forecasts and reports in one single web-based application.

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