FP&A in spreadsheets: When ‘that’s how it’s always been done’ doesn’t cut it anymore

Spreadsheets are incredible canvases for financial modeling. For finance teams facing a never-ending barrage of “what-if” questions, they offer a familiar and low cost way to get answers. These qualities are why spreadsheets have survived despite the dozens of FP&A tools on the market today – why fix what isn’t broken? That’s how it’s always been done, after all.

But spreadsheets on their own are indeed broken – or at the very least, they add to the likelihood that something will eventually break. Try as we might to ignore their shortcomings, without fail we’re confronted with the limitations of spreadsheets on a regular basis. And at a certain point, the burden of managing and maintaining spreadsheets outweighs the mild benefits of sticking with the status quo.

Here are a few signs that it’s time to move away from traditional spreadsheets:

You need answers on the fly

Finance leaders are the closest thing most companies have to a crystal ball, and that means you need to provide answers to hard questions about as quickly as a Magic 8 Ball serves up wisdom.

Spreadsheets are a hindrance to gathering speedy insights because the second you hit “save,” the spreadsheet is outdated. Spreadsheets are static, and in order for any real analysis to happen, you first have to make sure the data is current and correct. With lots of questions come lots of scenarios, meaning you’re juggling multiple spreadsheets that can fall out of sync faster than you can say, “Outlook is not so good.”

Your team needs
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