Excel is spreadsheet technology created by Microsoft to accompany their Windows system. It features graphing tools, calculation, pivot tables and a macro programming language for pattern recognition and creation. Excel was developed by Microsoft, so it is more suited to computers and technology that is either made by or runs on Microsoft systems. However, Excel is compatible with Mac OS X and iOS.
Moving beyond Excel
When it comes to budgeting and planning, the software you choose is crucial. You want your business’ operations to run smoothly, so you need software that can facilitate the flow of information taken in and analyze it in real time. Excel can do this; however, there are other programs that are better equipped for budgeting and planning. You just need to know what to look for.
What makes for a good budgeting and planning software program?
Besides budget creation, there are various tasks that planning and budgeting software needs to undertake. When evaluating which software to choose for your company, look for the following:
- Cloud capabilities: Excel is meant to be used on a desktop. For smaller companies with 10 employees or less this may be ideal. However, if you are running an operation of a larger scale, you should use a software program with cloud capabilities. This allows for collaborations across departments letting different people work on the same spreadsheet at the same time.
- Ease of use: One of the things that does set Excel apart from other programs is how easy it is to use. When you’re looking for a budgeting and planning software, you want a program that requires little training and is easy to operate. If you have to spend most of your time learning how to use the system, it may not be worth it for your company.
- Forecasting: A planning and budgeting program needs to be able to forecast what will happen. Anticipating the future so you can plan for it is something that businesses of all sizes need. The budgeting and planning software that you choose should be able to do that through data analytics.
- Change management: In the same vein as forecasting, change management plays a vital role in business operations. Managing change is part of budgeting and planning so your software needs to be able to adapt and develop as your business does.
- Comprehensive reporting: Any budgeting and planning software worth using needs to be equipped with a reporting system. This reporting system should be customizable to your needs whether you require reports yearly, monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly. Furthermore, these reports needs to be easy to comprehend and unfortunately, not all budgeting and planning software is able to do that.
There are different planning and budgeting software programs available. Before purchasing, consult the evaluation criteria above and see which one is best suited for your business.
If you’re looking for more information on this topic, please consult with our team of specialists. You can contact us by phone or via the form on our website.