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Centage vs Excel: End Your Spreadsheet Dread

December 21, 2023
FP&A Software
Formula-free FP&A

Eliminate human error, increase confidence, and shave hours (or more) off your FP&A process.

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“Excel had become extremely painful whenever I needed to layer on another acquisition or modify my projections.”
Russell Taylor, Controller, Mountain View Hospital

Centage saves our users hours (if not days) in budget and forecast creation, thanks in large part to our unique formula-free FP&A™ design.

Many of our users create their annual budget twice as fast in Centage as they were able to in Excel – some of them save even more time on this hairy annual process.

Other users find more dramatic time savings in repetitive, manual processes like rolling up multiple P&Ls, creating reports for multiple locations or entities, and modeling what-if scenarios on the fly.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how Centage compares with Excel for the time spent on common FP&A tasks:

TaskTime in ExcelTime in CentageTime saved
Month-end GL trial balance & data validation1 working day / month30 minutes / month12 working days / year
Monthly P&L roll-ups2 working days / monthMinutes24 working days / year
Combined cost reports for multiple entitiesHalf a day per report30 minutes per report3.5 hours for every report
On-the-fly what-if scenarios2-3 days per modelModel major changes in hours>2 days for every what-if scenario

"Prior to Centage I’d have a spreadsheet with 20 tabs, all of which were linked to a GAAP-based P&L on the first tab. I’d spend hours pulling all the information to it, and once I did, I’d spend more hours ensuring it proofed out.”
Shelly Golly, Controller, Price Family Vineyards  
Supercharge your forecasting with dedicated FP&A software

Not only does Centage add time back to your schedule – it gives you the tools to put that time to use for strategic, value-added work.

Centage unlocks capabilities to perform flexible, granular reporting that are simply impossible in Excel without dedicating an unreasonable amount of resources to the task:

  • Quarterly (or monthly) reforecasting
  • Budget contributors from across departments access a centralized database, not a file that’s shared around
  • Real-time scenario planning and what-if models created in minutes

These gains in operational efficiency trickle down to meaningful overhead savings. Some of our customers chose Centage because performing the type of granular forecasting and reporting that the CFO or other leadership required would have required hiring additional accounting staff just to perform manual calculations and inevitably find & fix Excel formula errors.

“My first year here the budget was a chaotic collection of Excel spreadsheets that were emailed around, and lost version control with each hop. The budgets themselves had two different charts of accounts, ledgers, and revenue recognition methods. It became very evident that we needed one source of truth for all things budgeting and forecasting.”
Peter Welch, CFO, Heartland

The choice between Centage and Excel depends on the specific objectives, scale, and complexity of your FP&A process. Here’s a detailed comparison chart outlining the key differences in functionality between Centage and Excel:

Formula managementFormula-free approach; eliminates the need for manual formula entryRelies heavily on manual formula entry; prone to errors
Ease of useFormula-free design for effortless budgeting and planningRequires error-prone manual formula entry for complex calculations
IntegrationSeamless integration with all major GL/ERP softwareLimited integration capabilities; manual data handling
Error reductionBuilt-in accounting rules and business logic reduce errorsProne to formula errors; manual data entry risks
AutomationAutomated mapping of new data sources to existing modelsLimited automation; manual updates often required
ScalabilityScales efficiently as businesses grow, minimizing complexitiesLimited scalability; challenges in managing large datasets
CollaborationFacilitates collaboration with stakeholders; transparent processCollaboration often involves sharing files, leading to versioning issues
Scenario planningStreamlines what-if scenario planning; enables on-the-fly adjustmentsPossible but can be time-consuming with multiple spreadsheets
PermissionsBuilt-in role-based controls for secure access and data modificationLimited permission features; password-based access, not role-based
ReportingComprehensive reporting capabilities; real-time financial reportingLimited reporting capabilities
Data securityReduced vulnerabilities; automated model managementLimited security features; susceptibility to fraud
Version controlCentralized platform ensures version control and data consistencyMultiple versions can circulate, leading to confusion and errors
Historical data storageEfficient storage of historical data; automated updatesManual entry risks loss of historical data in updates
Multi-user functionalitySupports multiple stakeholders collaborating on financialsCollaboration involves sharing files, leading to inefficiencies
FlexibilityFlexible financial models; adapts to evolving business needsLimited flexibility; challenges in adapting to changes
CustomizationPurpose-built for common FP&A processes; easy customizationCustom templates can be created, but customization is manual
Support and updatesRegular updates and reliable support; dedicated in-house customer service teamUpdates depend on Microsoft releases; community support
CostSubscription-based pricing; scalable plansOne-time purchase or subscription; one-size-fits-all plan

Book a demo to see how switching from Excel to Centage for your budgeting, planning, and forecasting can redirect your time from manual error-hunting to strategic work.

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