Presented since 1987 as the Holy Grail of the Microsoft Office Pack, Excel still retains a reputation as a must-have for financial management.

Accessibility, compatibility, advanced calculation and development options… At first glance, the spreadsheet preferred by financiers seems to fully meet the expectations of its users (from performing occasional calculation operations to building pivot tables and other macros).

But behind this beautiful window, Excel hides another promise, more implicit: that of allowing each user to use his own methodology (avoiding in passing any possibility of control from the hierarchical superiors…).

And for good reason: with thousands of interconnected calculation lines, it is difficult for a financial director to retrace the entire path taken by his or her collaborator; this guarantees the latter the exclusivity of a certain “know-how”, to the detriment of a fluid and transparent financial management. In total, no less than 135 hours of work are lost each year due to the misuse of IT tools.

The devil is in the details

If your bank doesn’t have the audacity to send you your bank statements by Excel file, it’s for a good reason (maybe several). In addition to an irremediably messy layout and an abundance of confusing tabs, the features offered by the software leave much to be desired in terms of automation and user experience (UX).

To be convinced of this, you just have to try to manage your foreign exchange risk properly in Excel to fully feel the limits of the tool in a field that requires constant data updates!

Waste of time, money and energy… During pivotal periods, Excel puts the nerves of the employees to the test, especially when the plans initially established have to be adapted, thus leading to entire days of manual corrections…

Bloomberg puts a figure on the shortcomings of the good old Excel spreadsheet: 27.2% of entries contain errors and CFOs need an average of 8 to 10 days of checking to correct them, with no less than 3.1 billion dollars in losses attributable to the typos that litter Excel spreadsheets!

Free yourself from the Excel ball and chain?

From one company to another, the scenario is often the same. The business grows, the transactions multiply, and the procedures that used to be manageable in Excel end up cracking sooner or later. You then have to go through mountains of data and a maze of formulas to get to the source of the bugs.

Not only does Excel miss out on the many recent technological advances in terms of formatting and automation, but it is also merciless to the slightest approximation: a characteristic that transforms a company’s growth into a real danger for its accounts.

When PWC tells us that 83% of financiers want to use more advanced tools than Excel again this year, it is not really a surprise.

Opting for a software that can be customized online with your own business issues and that is easily compatible with the ecosystem already in place within your company means that you can avoid manual processing of a growing flow of data, while benefiting from clear and readable reporting under all circumstances.

To replace the complexity of Excel with harmonized data management, and the amateurishness of PowerPoint with understandable, complete and actionable reporting, a solution exists: DeftHedge!

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