Spreadsheets: The bane of CFOs’ existenceSyah Ismail
Spreadsheets have become an important tool in business. When constructed elegantly enough, it can be used to communicate sophisticated ideas to audiences who wouldn’t otherwise be receptive to details. CFOs couldn’t agree more with this statement.
According to NetSuite’s “State of the CFO Role,” 166 CFOs respondents said they spend an average of 2.24 hours in spreadsheets every day. That’s more time in spreadsheets than any other software in their toolkits. In some ways, that’s never going to change. CFOs just love the ability to export and manipulate data with the wide-ranging flexibility of spreadsheets.
The data also pointed out that finance departments are a lot less automated than many of us would expect. The top five priorities for reporting CFOs in the next two years are:
The key to making most of these priorities happen will be a commitment to moving away from spreadsheets. Many of the reasons CFOs turn to spreadsheets go away with more robust solutions. CFOs know this but it can still be a perilous transition.
To cut down on the spreadsheet time-suck, CFOs should target the type of work that lands them in spreadsheets in the first place. For many, it’s having a flexible data set that they can use to create meaningful charts and graphs. CFOs are so accustomed to having limited options when it comes to data manipulation in financial software that the spreadsheet export is second nature.
Reporting capabilities in accounting platforms like NetSuite have matured dramatically in recent years. Building a report will only need just a few clicks on NetSuite. You no longer have to dump the data into Excel and manipulate it. Your entire organisation gains a modern financial reporting experience that delivers real-time financial analysis and modelling across every dimension of your business for detailed insights into corporate performance and improved business decision making.
Another key driver is data visibility across the organisation which is incredibly difficult to provide when you’re tying together disparate data sources in spreadsheets. When you have all your data on one powerful platform, it is easy to keep track of everything that is going on in your organisation. NetSuite provides the power of built-in, real-time dashboards, reporting and analysis across all the integrated processes within the software suite. Realising true value-added insights, business users gain real-time visibility to identify issues, trends and opportunities and instantly drill down to the underlying transaction to take action.
Even just the move to new financial software will reduce spreadsheet usage with opportunities to automate tasks and connect mission-critical platforms, like CRM and inventory management systems. Almost 40% of CFOs surveyed indicate that automated invoicing will support their efforts to improve cash flow. NetSuite’s unified billing framework supports transaction, subscription, usage-based and any hybrid model thereof, all while managing revenue accurately and in accordance with the latest revenue recognition standards.