I recently spent an unbelievable 2 days at the Finance Indaba Africa, meeting financial leaders and their teams. Of the 3500 attendees, I managed 60 conversations with various finance professionals and we discussed the impact of technology within the Office of Finance.
From these discussions, I learnt the following:
• Finance teams are challenged by time pressures and increased volumes of critical and manual financial processes that manage and provide accurate insight on business performance.
• Whilst systems have been deployed to improve month-ends, manage financial consolidation and automate these processes, they are archaic and either serve 1 specific purpose (e.g. budgeting, but not consolidations) or introduce complex and expensive new front-ends.
• Excel spreadsheet chaos reigns, as the deployed solutions push against the use of Excel, whilst finance and business do workings in Excel.
• Everyone LOVES Excel, but they think the answer is to change because the proliferation of spreadsheets creates chaos and extra work.
The thing that was most interesting, was the love-hate relationship that exists with Excel. When I asked a simple question like, “So, why don’t you move off Excel?” it was answered with a defense on how critically important Excel was to all the users, and how they could never live without it.
As my wife tells me, comparing it to good relationship advice – more often than not, it needs to be managed – not replaced 🙂
When managed correctly, Excel is the right tool, however, it needs to be bolstered to provide a capability that manages and controls all data and processes. Excel then becomes the killer application for a wide variety of complex financial planning, consolidation, reporting and distribution processes.
The challenge is that there is nothing to bolster Excel…well, not until recently.
The Karabina team is helping finance teams with a completely new approach in how they can manage ALL (yes, all) financial management and reporting requirements across their business or group, without having to replace Excel or deal with the associated Excel chaos.
Partnering with Vena Solutions, we are now able to provide and implement the software that lets you EMBRACE and not replace Excel. Vena Solutions is a company that is now considered the fastest growing global Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software platform. They provide the key advantage of providing control, auditability and management whilst still using Excel.
Contact Karabina if you are interested in hearing more about our Corporate Performance Management solutions and how to eliminate spreadsheet chaos across your company.