Business Systems: Excel to Cloud - Ascendis Solutions

Business Systems: Excel to Cloud

How I see financial management as a CFO
How I see Financial Management as a CFO
10 January 2020
Knowledge and Experience. It Is Available.
Knowledge and Experience. It is Available
22 January 2020
Business Systems - Excel to Cloud

For years now we've seen businesses managed using Excel. Even last week we've been introduced to one with some 900 staff yet many aspects of the business are still run and organised using Excel spreadsheets.

It's understand that many begin with spreadsheets. They're easily accessed, most of us have some level of skill with them, they're cost-effective... at the start.

How do you know Excel is no longer the right tool?

Usually you'll feel one or more of these:

  • it's sluggish;
  • processes around it become time consuming;
  • people double up on entries or the flow of data isn't there;
  • people can't always access it when they need it;
  • more functionality and automation are needed;
  • it's risky without controls and permissions; or
  • need concurrent and remote users (people using it at the same time from anywhere)

Sometimes Excel isn't the best tool for the job

Now Excel is a great, powerful tool and in the hands of most people but that doesn't mean it is the best tool for managing operations. It's ideal for crunching numbers, analysing data but less so for managing large quantities of related data. It's not the best tool for running business processes.

Once you start to manage larger datasets, more information and of different types, a database system becomes a better choice. That combined with the cloud and custom programming can suddenly give you much more powerful tools and levels of automation you won't have seen before.

Benefits of a Database and the Cloud

Whilst you can still use Excel where it's best suited, crunching and analysing information, you'll see significant benefits with moving to a database and running in the Cloud (online). These benefits include:

  • Smoother data management;
  • Greater data controls, validation and alerts;
  • Structured and flexible workflow and business processes;
  • Automation - scheduled and triggered tasks, automatic emails or SMS, Software integration;
  • Greater accessibility - Anywhere, Anytime with desktops, laptops, tablets and phones... plus Windows and Mac;
  • Improved data capture;
  • Presents clearer input forms and information;
  • Output options - on screen, detailed reports, Excel integration;
  • Greater extendability and scalability;
  • User control and permissions; and
  • Audit trail - know who's done what and when.

Big, Small, Costly?

There certainly is an upfront cost and work involved in bringing your systems from spreadsheets to the cloud. There's also an often greater ongoing costs by not doing it. Sticking with your current spreadsheet systems means:

  • Higher ongoing staff and processing costs;
  • Less efficient operation - slower and lower levels of service;
  • Greater human error and data risks;
  • Missed opportunities and fewer competitive advantages;
  • Less security and chance data or systems go elsewhere;

In the clients we've worked with, the costs of planning and building an online system has be recovered very quickly. Beyond just the immediate financial benefit are the opportunities and advantages they've seen. Customers experience a faster service with fewer mistakes. They often also have better access to information as more flexible permissions may provide secure access to their relevant information. This leaves the customers feeling better support and in more control of their service.

The extent we provide our clients with solutions depends on the client, their needs and where the benefit will be seen. Big or small, it depends and may even be done in more affordable and manageable stages. We start the process with a discussion around your operation and recommend a review of the current processes and outline of the options and benefits. You know the options you have available to take advantage of running a database drive system in the Cloud.

As business management consultants with our development team in support, we have a deep understanding of better and innovative business practices, and communicate in plain English.

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