Finance leaders don't spend their time on spreadsheets

4 reasons why finance leaders spend 75% of their time analyzing data.

A study by PWC (Finance Effectiveness Benchmark Study 2019) confirms that finance leaders today play a more prominent role than ever in making strategic decisions – both financial and operational. Indeed, top finance leaders today spend up to 75% of their time analyzing data and the resulting “actionable insights.”

That’s a big difference from two years ago. At that time, the study showed that financial profiles were barely 25% engaged in analysis, and another 40 to 50% in collecting data. A clear shift for finance towards business thinking, which provides more added value for the company.

The report also shows that 30 to 40% time savings are generated from the automation of finance tasks. The biggest gain here is in the automation of routine tasks, such as management reporting.

Or would this finance top be spending 75% of their time with their nose in spreadsheets after all?

 

4 reasons why finance leaders don’t spend their time on spreadsheets

1. Spreadsheets are not very intuitive to use.

An average user can build basic formulas, create charts and also pivot. But for other functions, the majority quickly turns to the “advanced spreadsheet hero” of the company who does the magic. Not only not very user-friendly, but also not very insightful.

A reporting platform such as BrightAnalytics is intuitive to use for everyone, financially trained or not. Management reports are built up from your business strategy: clear and comprehensible for everyone.

2. Spreadsheets and human errors go hand in hand.

One small typo, error in the formula or wrong selection of data can quickly produce a waterfall of incorrect results. Who wants to make strategic decisions based on numbers that are hard to trust? Either you don’t even notice the error, or you spend hours troubleshooting to find the needle in the haystack.

In a reporting tool, all data that is automatically retrieved from e.g. accounting, ERP or CRM systems is systematically subjected to health checks. Top notch reliability.

3. Crash-proof spreadsheets have not yet been invented.

The more you grow, the larger the volume of data becomes and the more complex the formulas. As a result, the spreadsheets react more and more slowly. To avoid crashes, historical figures are often removed, but this also causes historical benchmarks to be lost.

Flexible the spreadsheet is, but agile for growth is not a feature of it. The more ambitious your growth plans and the more diverse your organizational structure becomes, the more you will benefit from a management reporting platform. BrightAnalytics displays both historical data and the results of many a complex structure in an organized and clear manner, overarching across the entire organization or filtered by entities, business units, provinces and more.

4. Spreadsheets are soon dinosaurs.

Finally, we touch on data collection. Keeping reports up to date in spreadsheets is often a time-consuming, manual process, relying on various departments to get recent numbers. By the time you have obtained all the data, the numbers are history. So you keep updating your reports last-minute from FinalReport and FinalReport_v1 to Final Report_v10-update and even FinalReport-v11-finalB.

 

BrightAnalytics offers a solution:

BrightAnalytics gives everyone who needs it one correct, up-to-date version of the truth in one click. The same reliable figures for everyone that:

  • Actionable insights, on which you can make your management decisions. Just like Codit: they use BrightAnalytics as a steering mechanism in management meetings.
  • Leading to savings in the short term. Cigar manufacturer J. Cortes, for example, spotted a gigantic water leak almost immediately, due to a striking increase in costs.
  • Even boost your sales. At Serax, sales representatives on the road analyze the entire history of a retailer in just ten minutes. So all the valuable information is always at hand!

Save time with automation

As a finance leader, in order to free up more time for those tasks that bring the most value to your organization, the automation of finance tasks is an obvious choice. Don’t think of the start of this as being too grand, though. Start small, grow big.

Replace your manual, xls-based management reporting with the automated and highly reliable approach of a reporting platform like BrightAnalytics. It helps you to quickly get to the right insights, which you can also easily share with all stakeholders via a very user-friendly reporting platform with clear reports and dashboards.

Want to know more? Find out how our platform works.