Where Excel Spreadsheets Fall Short

Spreadsheets were designed to save time by automating calculations. Yet, more time is spent reconciling spreadsheet data and troubleshooting formula errors that are difficult to identify. Here are some key indicators that it’s time to move off spreadsheets.

Functionality is limited.

Spreadsheets are too cumbersome for in-depth scenario planning, cash-flow analysis, or detail-level forecasting.

Numbers are static.

Historical data isn’t typically stored in spreadsheets. Once a budget is updated with new information, historical data and trends are lost. Real-time figures are also hard to share.

Insights are hidden.

Spreadsheets trap data within silos, so it’s difficult to track key performance indicators (KPIs) that reveal the health and trajectory of an organization.

There’s no automation.

Spreadsheets rely on manual entry and formatting of cells and require staff time and expertise to analyze data sets and create graphics to visualize data.

They can break.

Corrupted source files or broken links that are no longer attached to files or folders that were moved or deleted can cause you to lose valuable financial data.

They don’t scale

There are limits to how large spreadsheets can get, how much data they can handle, and how many users can work within them at one time.

 Planning Maestro Versus Spreadsheets

With Planning Maestro, you can escape mechanical errors, incorrect formulas, broken links, version control issues, sheets, cells, formulas – and everything else that comes with Excel and its addons – and gain a robust, intuitive, and easy-to-use cloud budgeting, forecasting, planning, and reporting solution. 

Planning MaestroSpreadsheetsOther FP&A Software
Easy to Usecheckmark-iconcheckmark-iconNo
Connected Financialscheckmark-iconNoNo
GAAP and IFRS Compliancecheckmark-iconNoNo

eBook – 6 Ways Spreadsheets Are Bad for Budgeting – and Worse for Business

6 Ways to Advance Budgeting and
Financial Planning with Planning Maestro

Centage eliminates the time-consuming and error-prone activities associated with using spreadsheets and delivers sophisticated financial intelligence that can be implemented quickly and at an affordable price to small and mid-sized companies.

Thereʼs nothing more frustrating than importing financial data in varied formats into different spreadsheets for analysis and planning. Siloed financial data can lead to false assumptions because insight isnʼt based on a complete picture. Cloud-based budgeting and financial planning tools integrate with popular general ledger, CRM, ERP, and other business systems to create a single source of truth without manual data transfer errors.

Thereʼs no business value in the time financial staff spends creating complex formulas and macros across spreadsheets, not to mention the time needed to find and fix errors. Cloud-based budgeting and financial planning tools have built-in accounting rules and business logic that eliminate the need for programming and formulas. This saves staff time and reduces errors, giving financial teams more time to act on information to move the business forward.

You can’t finalize a budget that doesn’t have complete stakeholder input. Yet, the workforce today is hybrid, with budget owners and collaborators working in different remote locations. Cloud-based budgeting and financial planning tools can be accessed by stakeholders from any device, at any time, from any location, with full confidence that they are viewing real-time financial data. This helps accelerate budget planning for virtual teams, so you can share critical information across the business.

Cloud-based budgeting and financial planning tools uncover financial wins, losses, and red flags. They provide the flexibility to anticipate problems by running multiple what-if scenarios and building driver-based financial models. Unlike spreadsheets, which reveal a single dimension of financial performance, these tools can create rolling forecasts and instantly show changes based on key business drivers or market conditions.

Cloud-based budgeting and financial planning tools put financial reporting data at the fingertips of stakeholders and budget owners. They can create analytics-based reports and dashboards that can be accessed in real time based on roles. They can also display revenue reports at a granular level, by product, sales, region, salesperson, customer type, and other metrics crucial to the business. Unlike spreadsheets, reports are easy to build with a few simple keystrokes.

Sensitive salary, revenue, and spending data isnʼt meant to be shared with everyone, and a leak of this type of sensitive data could expose your business to a lawsuit. Cloud-based budgeting and financial planning tools keep financial data in a secure cloud, instead of a device that can be lost or stolen. Data is protected by access control, so sensitive information can be granted to authorized users only.

See what our customers are saying

“I have used other budgeting software in the past and Planning Maestro is one of the most user-friendly ones out there.”

Lesley Delaney
CFO, Carroll County Memorial Hospital

“With Planning Maestro, I have access to so much more information than I had before to really show what’s going on.”

Jenny Barker
Senior Budget Manager, The Housing Authority of Snohomish County

“With Planning Maestro, I can change forecasts and get new information faster and without headaches. It used to take a week to do that.”

Joan Edelman
CFO, Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation

“We’re able to spend less time talking about the numbers and more time on how we’re going to get there. Our budget sessions are much more strategic.”

Scott Coleson
Controller, Four Star Freightliner

“We just finished our current year budget, so we are now starting year two of using Planning Maestro. Creating the budgets this year was a dream.”

Shelly Golly
Price Family Vineyards & Estates