For years, finance chiefs across the nation have been trying to get their teams to replace Microsoft Excel.
In response, employees have essentially said: “Nah, we’re good.”
Things may be changing now…
… because remote work is making Excel’s weaknesses more obvious, per The Wall Street Journal. CFOs point to 3 key issues:
- Teams are using Excel for tasks it isn’t suited for
- Manual data entry in Excel is time-consuming
- Remote work has caused more errors to go unnoticed (Note: data entry is much harder with Netflix in the background)
As a result, corporations are looking to platforms that automate data collection and analysis, including SAP, Oracle, Anaplan, and Workiva.
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Getting rid of Excel brings its own set of challenges
Levi Strauss & Co., which is replacing some Excel tasks with a new AI tool, expects the transition to take 2 years, with the 1st changes going into effect in early 2022, per WSJ.
Beyond the time it takes to implement a new solution, there’s the learning curve for employees. Most finance professionals grew up on Excel, which was founded in 1985.
And if that’s not enough, Excel’s dominance is growing…
… with Microsoft recently reporting monthly Excel usage is up ~30% YoY.
If the success of the Teams chat app has taught us anything, it’s the power of Microsoft Office. Not only is Excel embedded in user habits — it’s a pillar of the most prolific bundle in software history.
To replace Excel, finance chiefs have to be willing to fight the ultimate uphill battle.