Spreadsheet versus Database
Advantages and Disadvantages of using a spreadsheet
Some of the budget spreadsheet solutions that we have reviewed have been excellent - well constructed, well managed, and with good budget detail. However, even the best spreadsheets reach their limitations.
Below are some of the reasons our clients mentioned for wanting to move away from spreadsheets to a database solution.
"I have a perfectly good spreadsheet budgeting process so why would I want to adopt Ramesys?"
Issues with spreadsheets in larger organizations
Spreadsheets Depend on one person
Spreadsheets are typically dependent on one person who constructed these and who updates them every year - if that person moves on the business is exposed. In fact, this dependence may be a factor preventing the owner from moving on.
Cost owners have no responsibility
Because the budget preparation is so well managed by the finance "expert", the operational cost owners do not take ownership of their costs - the budget is well prepared but managing actual cost against this is an uphill struggle.
Hard to change a Spreadsheet
Changes are difficult and time consuming in Spreadsheets. Adding in a new pit or any kind of organisational restructure needs much care and attention to ensure spreadsheet integrity is retained. In a database this is a quick and easy process.
Version Control is time consuming
Preparing budget iterations, versions or periodic forecasts in a Spreadsheet is very time consuming because all the effort is in the hands of a small number of people, which is necessary to ensure the integrity of the spreadsheet is maintained.
For the same reason, monthly forecasting is a virtual impossibility. (Which is where significant cost improvements can be gained.)
Generating reports is time consuming
Generation of reports is often time consuming in Spreadsheets, requiring cut and paste processes to create these each month. Setting up new reports to support cost owner needs is often not done simply because of the effort required.
Setting up a new report in a Ramesys database can be done by anyone in the organisation in a matter of minutes!
The levels of planning detail that exist in the budget spreadsheet are not readily available to the cost owners to whom this is important to make cost & process improvement decisions.