For over three decades Microsoft Excel has been an essential piece of business software, with around 86% of businesses using it for planning and budgeting.
That’s no surprise! It’s intuitive enough to be quickly learned, powerful and flexible enough to fulfill countless business needs, from managing customer lists, to business planning to financial record keeping.
However, Excel is a double-edged sword.
Due to severe limitations its millions of users face limitations that have led to billions in losses, missed opportunities and even accidental violations of civil liberties.
Need Examples of Excel’s Failings?
- Financial services behemoth, Fidelity, suffered a USD 2.6 billion accounting error when an in-house accountant at multi-billion dollar fund Magellan forgot a minus sign on Excel.
- An Excel error was partly to blame for the so-called “London Whale” debacle, when U.S investment bank JP Morgan Chase lost USD 6.2 billion in trading.
- MI5, the UK’s domestic intelligence service, wrongly bugged more than 1,000 phones based on a spreadsheet error.
- Canadian energy company TransAlta lost USD 24 million on contract bids in New York because somebody misaligned rows when they were cutting-and-pasting information on a spreadsheet.
The New Statesman even asked whether Excel is “the most dangerous piece of software in the world?”
Whether you believe Excel is dangerous or not, you will be well aware of its shortcomings:
Manual data input waste time, causes errors
One survey of global treasury teams called Excel the biggest time waster in their office, highlighting that nearly 5,000 hours a year is wasted on manual manipulation of spreadsheets in their accounting operations. While wasted hours are expensive, the opportunity costs may be even greater because personnel across organizations are often bound up in Excel manipulation, instead of revenue generating activities.
Laborious and repetitive tasks are often a root cause of mistakes. Several of the multimillion dollar disasters cited above were caused by simple human errors and another report suggests that almost 90% of spreadsheets have errors in them.
EXON solves the problems of wasted time and human error by employing the state of Intelligent Automation that eliminates a majority of manual data input.
Discover what EXON has to offer here.
Unverified master documents
Excel work is often plagued by uncertainty regarding master documents.
Because Excel was not created in an online environment it’s not optimized for online collaboration. Because files are often saved offline, employees are rarely sure if master documents they are using are up to date. Multiple versions of files are inevitable and tracking updates quickly becomes very difficult.
EXON features highly effective sharing that removes master document confusion.
Outdated data leads to bad decisions
Even when spreadsheets are error-free, it can take weeks to compile final reports. This means that reports are often out-of-date by the time they reach decision makers. As a result, “it is nearly impossible to engage in the rapid-fire decision making to keep up in a dynamic marketplace.” Mike Grant, Why spreadsheet reporting is killing your business.
Because EXON tracks and organizes data updates in real time, Excel users always have the most up to date data and can create accurate reports faster.
Suboptimal collaborative environment harms efficiency
Trying to collaborate in Excel is a well-known “nightmare.”
“Co-authoring” sought to dampen ‘nightmare’, but there are still severe limitations and the feature fails when spreadsheets are opened with incompatible versions of Excel – other users are locked out.
In most cases separate spreadsheets are created, shared via email, then compiled – an archaic workflow that results in delays, frustration and mistakes, especially if many files are being passed around.
Meet Cherry EXON – Excel, Without the Pain
Cherry EXON not only leverages all of Excel’s power, ubiquity and ease of use while mitigating its glaring shortcomings, it is specifically designed to work with Excel.
EXON connects Excel with a ‘database’ that can span a near infinite number of data sources and locations. Based on pre-programmed commands EXON works in the background collecting data, extracting relevant data and analyzing it automatically and in real time. Advanced document sharing features make truly effective collaboration possible. Data from EXON is displayed in your preferred Excel format.
In short, EXON automatically and instantly executes the most time consuming and potentially ‘dangerous’ Excel tasks. It reduces delays and mistakes and makes better, faster decision making possible. It reduces topline cost and allows business teams to allocate more time to revenue generation.
A major global chemical company with over 20,000 employees used to take two weeks to collate data into a single report. Thanks to Cherry EXON, those reports are created automatically and in real time.
Why not join that chemical company and improve your bottom line?