If you're currently using Excel spreadsheets to handle your company's revenue recognition tracking and processes, you'll want to see this video!
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During my time here at Tensoft, I’ve learned a great deal about how companies run their businesses and one of the most interesting things that I’ve noticed, especially related to how companies handle revenue recognition tracking, is that Excel spreadsheets seem to be something of a paradox.
Here is what I mean by that: on the one hand, all of our customers and internal users just love Excel, it’s easy to learn and it’s a real workhorse for business reporting. But, on the other hand, most users are also aware that there can be substantial issues with over-dependence on Excel, especially for transaction processing. I did a little research on these issues and some of what I found may surprise you.
The Problem with Duplicate Data:
One of the issues firms face while using Excel spreadsheets is the problem of having duplicate data. Multiple departments and multiple people have different spreadsheets with different numbers on them. And no one really knows which data is accurate, which one is correct, and which one is the most reliable. 44% of the survey respondents said they have this problem.
Another issue firms face while using Excel spreadsheets for their critical processes is the fact that they spend a lot of valuable time editing or modifying their data. That generally happens either because there are errors in terms of the formulas they use, errors in the data entry, or just formatting issues in general. According to the survey respondents, approximately 12 hours a month is wasted on editing or modifying Excel spreadsheets.
Errors, Errors, Everywhere!
Another problem firms face is that their Excel spreadsheets are error-prone. A lot of mistakes can happen during data entry, while opening and closing files, and adding formulas into your spreadsheet. According to survey respondents, approximately 35% of people report that they're aware of mistakes in the spreadsheets that they're using for critical processes at their company. To make matters worse, spreadsheets contribute to inefficient processes. According to the survey respondents, 54% of them said it takes seven days or more for them to perform their month-end close using spreadsheets.
Don’t get me wrong: Excel spreadsheets will always be a part of business. Many professionals live and die by their spreadsheets. We use them extensively ourselves! But, please don't be blind to their limitations, and to some of the common errors that can occur when you are using Excel spreadsheets.
Applications Like Tensoft RCM Can Help
This is just a small sample of what I found, but I’m sure that you get the idea. The bottom line is that Excel is a great tool for reporting. The problems arise when we depend on it for complex transaction processing, such as managing and tracking revenue recognition. Complex transaction processing is better handled by an application.