Budgeting, Planning & Forecasting using Excel remains one of the most commonly used methods by FP&A professionals. As we mentioned in our first blog post on Planning in Excel, 80% of organizations reported in a recent survey* that they are still reliant on the tool. The demands on the Office of Finance to increase value across the organization continue to grow due to the impact of digital transformation. Can the Excel environment be enhanced and offer improved data integration, collaboration across teams, and increased overall functionality?

Let’s take a closer look at three core areas where organizations of all sizes and industries can enhance their Excel experience and propel their budgeting, planning and forecasting into the future:

From data discrepancy to data integrity

Planning obstacles created from lack of data integration are more common than you think. 75% of organizations reported that non-integrated systems present a challenge. When a single data point is updated by any colleague in the organization, it must then be updated in all working drafts and versions. How do you ensure the final budget has no discrepancies without spending days, even weeks?

From distributed tasks to complete collaboration

Collaboration happening offline for budgeting, planning, and forecasting is an immensely time-consuming task. When data is copied and shared numerous times, process control gets lost. In the age of digital transformation, FP&A professionals don’t have time for lengthy, ineffective processes that will impact the bottom line. 80% of organizations use Excel for scenario modeling, which means 80% end up duplicating dozens of spreadsheets just to create a single scenario, and 24% are not getting forecasts right the first time. Let that sink in for a minute: Nearly a quarter of organizations admit they aren’t getting their forecasts correct the first time with the tools they have in place right now.

Fill in missing pieces and enhance functionality

Protecting sensitive data is paramount for organizations of all sizes, and they usually go to great lengths to do so. In spite of this, 64% of organizations experienced leakage of data offline into local files. When lacking a fully integrated solution that protects your data and provides customized permissions, how will your organization prevent this issue?

With the availability of highly advanced digital tools, executive management’s expectations for finance have shifted to expect digital solutions.

New Infographic: Enhance Your Excel Experience

Check out our new infographic on the Excel Experience of modern finance professionals and download a copy for yourself:

Infographic Enhance Excel

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Read the complete whitepaper on Planning and Budgeting in Excel and get the full list of the 8 most common challenges Excel users face and how to solve them. How are you helping your organization move forward and increase value in the digital world?

*2018 Jedox & ACCA Survey