June 2, 2015 9:47AM

Automated Spreadsheets: It's Time to Excel at Excel

For decades, Excel has remained the spreadsheet king, and for good reason: it makes complex calculations easy, uses pivot tables to consolidate and present information, makes presentation-quality outputs a cinch, can produce ad hoc reports and projections, and is incredibly user-friendly.

But if your spreadsheets are living an independent, static life, wholly separate from your database, you are not only maximizing the potential for error, but you’re wasting valuable employees’ time—not to mention company money.

Static Spreadsheets: The Headache You Can No Longer Afford

How many times have you been asked—by upper management, or an investor—for an ad hoc report that they need ASAP? As if such an on-the-fly report could be produced with a click of a mouse, rather than through a few frantic hours—or days—spent duplicating information pulled from a database. In the worst case, all that frenzied manual entry work, usually culled from one of a dozen (or more!) versions of the spreadsheet, may result in outdated, inaccurate figures. Such a disjointed process is likely to lead to errors, which, over time, can damage your reputation, and take a chunk out of your bottom line in the process.

If static spreadsheet purgatory gives you headaches, consider a software solution like Spreadsheet Server your ibuprofen.

Go from Static to Dynamic

Once your spreadsheets are automated—pulling real-time information right from MRI, Yardi, or other ERP systems —you can say sayonara to that last minute scurry for up-to-date data and pilfering through a dozen versions of the same spreadsheet. When you’re working with reliably accurate information, you save serious time: some clients have reported shaving more than two days off of their closing cycle.

Integrating your data source into your spreadsheets is easier than you may think, too, and may not even necessarily involve the IT department. There’s no convoluted, messy system overhaul, just a straightforward software solution that seamlessly integrates with Excel. Technology-weary employees who may dread change don’t have to learn a whole new system; instead, they can keep using the Excel interface that they know and love, only now, Excel can become even more reliable and more powerful, with a capability to drill down to transaction level detail, ready to report on any parameters requested by the time-strapped investor or executive.

Beyond Data Accuracy

Automating Excel means more than simply plugging it into your data source. There are several other notable software solutions that can leverage and enhance Excel’s functionality that can save your team bundles of time. From report delivery to budget preparation, workflows can be streamlined, accuracy can be enhanced, and analysis sharpened, which makes investors, clients, bosses—and you—happier.

To learn more about Excel analytics software solutions, contact us or find us at the Realcomm conference in San Antonio, TX, 6/9 – 6/10.

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