Is it time for the finance department to axe Excel?

By Sam Thomas | 31st July 2015 | 13 min read

Is it time for the finance department to axe Excel?

For all the progress that’s been made in technology innovation to improve efficiencies and reduce anomalies, the humble Excel spreadsheet still seems to be the centrepiece of many finance departments management tool kits.

Our recent research of 500 finance departments discovered that nearly half of those questioned (47 per cent) still rely on Excel to manage their day-to-day accounting needs

But whilst the use of technology was recognised as an enabler, question marks still remain around the integration of new systems, with a quarter (24 per cent) feeling it would be too difficult and 23 per cent considering new technology to be too expensive.

Security of new platforms is also considered a sticking point, with finance professionals remaining cautious of relinquishing their accounting systems to the cloud.

But whilst Excel seems to have stood the test of time and remains the program of choice, its lack of flexibility and integration with other business tools could hold finance departments back from remaining compliant and the business from staying competitive.

Whilst there is an appetite for technology change within the sector and no shortage of proof points to show how cloud services in particular can provide a more efficient and productive environment for the finance department, security, complexity and cost remain key barriers to change.

However, with the use of technology now a necessity for meeting regulatory compliance, those finance departments which fail to oust the Excel spreadsheet could find themselves out of favour with the wider business.

IRIS can help

In order to make the transition from Excel reliance easier, accountants can utilise software which provides full UK compliance for the new standards and satisfies compliance requirements.

The latest release of our IRIS Accountancy Suite v11.8 enables users to switch those spreadsheets for integrated, reliable software.