Why Spreadsheets Won’t Save You From Finance Errors


Finance Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Finance pros

Monday, December 19, 2016

Spreadsheets can be very useful tools, but they aren't always the perfect option for accounting services.

Article 2 Minutes
Why Excel won’t Save you From Finance Errors

Businesses rely on many pieces of software to ensure the company runs as smoothly as possible, and this is especially important within the accountancy department.

Although there are many benefits to using spreadsheets, they won't save your business from making financial errors, and here's why:

Risk of human error

One of the biggest dangers of using spreadsheet software is that there is always going to be a risk of human error. Anyone that has spent more than a few hours inputting data into a spreadsheet knows how easy it is to make a small mistake. In finance, this tiny error can have disastrous consequences and can lead to a massive headache for many people.

Other software makes it possible for data to be automatically pulled from its source, reducing the risk of human error.


It is often difficult to share spreadsheets. Many of the older pieces of software require each person downloading the sheet, emailing it over and then waiting for the next person to look through it. If you have multiple people who need to review the information, this can be incredibly time consuming and makes it easy for errors to be made and missed. More modern cloud-based software allows a number of people to review it at the same time, and leave comments if there are any queries. It can then instantly be shared with others without needing to download it.

Tracking changes is difficult

With accounting software, it's helpful to see whether any changes have been made to the data. You need to be able to look through the sheets manually to see if anything had been altered - by mistake or not. This makes it difficult and time consuming to spot errors.

In short, spreadsheets are popular pieces of software for businesses, many of which benefit from the ability to easily track financial information. This is incredibly useful as people with even a limited amount of technical savvy can understand what's being entered and easily input their own details if necessary. However, it's important that spreadsheets aren't the sole tool used for financial matters as your business may benefit from looking at other software or consulting specialists.

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