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Excel vs. Enterprise Software for Budgeting & Planning [Part 2 of 3]

October 2, 2015 |


In the first article in this series, we looked at the main topics, purpose and target audience of Enterprise Budgeting & Planning with Excel for Dummies, a new, free ebook written especially for CFOs, VPs of Finance, Finance Directors, Accountants and Controllers who want to improve their budgeting and planning processes without giving up their existing Excel investments and infrastructure.

In this article, we’ll look at the central challenge facing the vast majority of the book’s readers; how to strike a balance between the familiarity and widespread adoption of Excel, and the workflow, audit trail and other features of traditional enterprise solutions.


Excel still reigns, even with enterprise-level limitations

Starting with VisiCalc in the late 1970’s, spreadsheets have firmly established themselves as universally valuable business tools, in no area more so than Finance. Even with the proliferation of modern financial, ERP and corporate performance management (CPM) solutions available:

Still, with its popularity, flexibility and familiarity, Excel on its own lacks a number of important features essential to enterprise-level financial planning and analysis. These include a lack of:

It’s no wonder that most enterprises eventually find themselves outgrowing Excel…or so it would seem.

Traditional enterprise solutions are no replacement

When you’ve reached the point where you feel you’ve outgrown Excel, it’s easy to conclude you need to make the leap to a more complex, expensive and rigid ERP or CPM solution. With vendors ranging from SAP and Oracle to niche software vendors, there’s certainly no shortage of options available.

As tempting (and/or intimidating) as these offerings may be, it’s important that you understand the limitations of even the most sophisticated enterprise solutions, with implications that very well may outweigh those of Excel. Consider just a few of the costs and consequences:

An ongoing dilemma…with a solution

If weighing the pros and cons of spreadsheets vs. more complex enterprise software sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. At Vena, virtually every client we have – and some we don’t – have struggled with the same challenge.

Find out how to get the best of both worlds with your free copy of Enterprise Budgeting & Planning with Excel for Dummies.

Get your free copy of the book here.


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