MS Excel blog post

You're not the problem, Excel is.

François Lévesque 1

François Lévesque

Directeur technique chez Witify

Excel files are everywhere. Easy to use, they deliver enormous value, quickly.

However, victims of their widespread accessibility, they are often over- or misused, leading to costly errors and inefficiencies.

It's time to switch to alternative tools that offer greater reliability, change control and improved efficiency for your business.

In 2023, we're saying bye-bye to Excel files.

How did spreadsheets become a problem?

When it comes to learning how to structure and manipulate data and information, spreadsheets are often the go-to application at school or work. They are accessible, easy to use and flexible, making them an excellent tool for beginners.

For many businesses, especially those just starting out, spreadsheets are a one-stop shop for everything from invoicing and payroll to estimates and general project management. It's a great way to get started on a shoestring budget or if you're pressed for time. However, as useful as spreadsheets are, they have their limits.

At some point, for each of these tasks, spreadsheets will start to create more problems than they solve. That's why it's important to explore alternative solutions and consider investing in more sophisticated software capable of handling the management and analysis of complex data. By doing so, companies can avoid potential errors and ensure they make informed decisions based on accurate data.

Spreadsheets make an excellent starting point.

As companies begin to grow, they encounter unforeseen challenges. Managing more data can be a daunting task, and many entrepreneurs turn to Excel to help them keep track of it all. But what happens when the humble spreadsheet becomes a vital cog in the corporate machine, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars and containing critical information?

There's no accountability or change control, which can lead to disastrous consequences.

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common. Spreadsheets are frequently used by several people and updated in a haphazard way. There is no accountability or control over changes, which can have disastrous consequences.

The real danger lies in the fact that the original versions of spreadsheets may contain incorrect formulas and data. This can distort estimates, figures and trends, causing chaos and confusion throughout the organization.

To avoid these pitfalls, it's essential to establish clear guidelines for the use and maintenance of spreadsheets. By doing so, you can ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently, with no unpleasant surprises along the way.

When should you abandon the use of spreadsheets?

As businesses evolve, it's essential to recognize when it's time to move on from spreadsheets. But how do you know when that time has come? Alarm bells should ring if :

  • you regularly lose crucial information
  • you frequently make calculation errors
  • you spend hours duplicating cells in your spreadsheets
  • your guidelines are not sufficient to control file updates
  • certain information or tabs are not sufficiently visible to your team
  • several people regularly use and modify the same spreadsheet, leading to confusion and errors
  • third-party systems interact with the spreadsheet, creating synchronization problems that are difficult to detect.

The longer these problems are ignored, and the larger you grow, the more potentially devastating Excel's effects can be for your business. Spreadsheets are no longer enough, and they're holding back your performance.

That's when investing in a pay-per-use tool or customized software becomes essential. Depending on the size of your team, it's an investment that could potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Ask yourself, is Excel limiting your growth? If so, it may be time to say goodbye. With a more suitable tool, you'll take advantage of new opportunities and position your business for further growth.

Alternatives to spreadsheets:

When it comes to managing your business online, various tools and programs can replace the traditional spreadsheet and provide more efficient ways of working. Below are some of our recommended tools, each with its own unique advantages:

Customized/tailor-made software: If you need something tailored to your specific needs, customized software is the way to go. Whether you need to manage inventory, orders or projects. Custom software adapts 100% to your needs and business processes, and can grow with you.

Trello: This simple list-making tool is a great way to structure tasks and information. It's incredibly flexible because you can include text, images and annotations.

Harvest: This tool is perfect for keeping track of your timesheets, reports, invoices and expenses. You can easily manage your budgets and estimates, making it an all-in-one solution for financial management.

Toggl: If you want to increase your productivity, Toggl's time tracking tool is the solution. You can organize your time by projects or tags, making invoicing quick and easy.

QuickBooks: QuickBooks is excellent online accounting software for businesses that want to combine their accounting and payroll in one place. Easy to use, it connects to your bank accounts and offers a global view of your company's finances.

Google Apps for Work: For professional messaging, shared calendars, video meetings and online storage, Google Apps for Work is the solution. You can create, edit and share files on the move from your phone, laptop or tablet.

Pipedrive: Organize your sales teams, sell smarter and build lasting customer relationships with this easy-to-use customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

François Lévesque 1

François Lévesque

Directeur technique chez Witify

François Lévesque est cofondateur et directeur technique chez Witify. Spécialisé dans la gestion et le développement de projets logiciels et web complexes, il se consacre depuis 8 ans sur le développement de ERP, Intranets et CRM sur-mesure. Au fil de son parcours, il a développé une expertise approfondie en génie logiciel, se traduisant par une sensibilité particulière à la traduction des objectifs d'affaires en requis techniques précis. Ayant une vaste expertise en analyse et visualisation de données, François a également mené avec succès de nombreux projets de données avec des institutions gouvernementales.

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