Spreadsheets have become a common tool used by departments to organize and communicate data within an organization. At periodic intervals, the organization’s finance managers receive all spreadsheets involving finances and resource allocation. It is their job to review and analyze them thoroughly, gather insights, and create reports. This can be a very tricky task as the amount of data involved is massive.
However, there is something most finance managers won’t tell you: They hate working with spreadsheets for three main reasons:
- Spreadsheets may be the most popular intra-organization communication tool, but they are also one of the least secure methods of doing so. It is very easy for hackers to obtain sensitive information. Beyond that, the encryption that could be found on a manager’s desktop or laptop isn’t always available to all employees. Thus, if any unauthorized person gets access to this information like it did in the case of Sony, it could lead to massive losses.
- Whether offline or in the cloud, it is very difficult to securely share spreadsheets with multiple employees. This is a major issue as many people generally require spreadsheets across multiple departments. Additionally, keeping them updated can be a troublesome task. In most cases, they need to be updated in the chronology of the events, which becomes hard with so many people having access to use and edit the information.
- The most important reason why finance managers hate spreadsheets is that at the end of the day, “finance gets blamed.” Many employees have the habit of not going through instructions to make edits to a spreadsheet. Therefore, they make formula or syntax errors, or they completely ignore the preset template and start adding rows and columns. At the end of the day, when the final template gets back to the finance managers, they are forced to sit for hours and edit it. Otherwise, they are blamed for the sloppiness.
As with anything else, spreadsheets can be both popular and challenging, but try doing without them and you may end up losing revenue and employees.
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