Why is Excel-based budgeting still so incredibly popular?
Earlier in December we held a year-end closing event for both our Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL clients. 70 people attended the event.
Because there were too many people to have each person introduce themselves, I asked a series of questions to make people feel welcome and involved. One of my questions was “How many people use Excel to budget?” I was shocked. All but 3 of our largest clients raised their hands.
Why was this so surprising to me? I hear a lot of complaining from accountants around budget-time. Most don’t like Excel for budgeting.
Specifically, this is what I hear:
1.) There is no time to analyze numbers due to the fact it took us so long to get the numbers.
2.) Managers insert new lines for conferences but the travel account isn’t aware of these additions.
3.) Non-financial analysts don’t understand the formulas and break them.
4.) Security is lax.
5.) Roll-up capabilities are poor.
6.) Too many #REF!s when consolidating.
7.) Non-accountants add new products or categories but no COGS.
8.) Underlying assumptions exist offline in other worksheets that are hard to locate or understand.
What is the solution? A number of reliable products exist to help with this issue but some are quite expensive for the once-a-year user that has to pay for a whole license.
Does anyone have comments about other issues they have had in budgeting with Excel or using a budget-specific software product to help?