Advanced technology in all its many forms has radically changed the way we live and do business. With the swipe of a thumb, we can access our bank balances, check the stock market, apply for a mortgage, or send money around the world.
Advanced technology also plays a big part in financial reporting, providing predictive analysis, workflow automation, and enabling faster data access. According to a recent survey by KPMG and Forbes Insights, nearly 90 percent of executives use advanced technology for their reporting. But on the flip side, 81 percent also admitted that their organizations aren’t keeping up with the newest technologies that could revolutionize their decision-making processes. Only a quarter agreed that upgrading their advanced technology was a “must have” within the next two years.
It’s certainly vital to have instant access to all your data and be able to spend your time analyzing the data instead of just making sure reporting is done in time.
Advanced technology can help you do that. Keeping up with the latest advanced technology does not have to be intimidating. What if your advanced technology could be a program you’re already familiar with because you already own it?
What if your advanced technology was Excel?
The Advanced Technology You Didn’t Expect
You read that right: Excel. You may think you know all there is to know about Excel (minus, perhaps, some of the more complex formulas and macros), and that there’s no possible way Excel could be considered advanced technology.
But what if we told you that you could get all your data securely aggregated just the way you want, all in Excel, all without leaving your four walls, all live and instantly updatable?
Start in Excel, Stay in Excel
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just open Excel, click a few buttons, and pull the exact data you needed from your ERPs and other relational databases without having to export, copy/paste, and manually manipulate every single time? How much time could that save you every month? Hours? Days? Over the course of a year, that adds up to a lot. In fact, companies that could complete their month-end reporting processes in fewer than 10 days spent 50 percent less than counterparts who took longer.
Our flagship reporting platforms Spreadsheet Server (for use with Oracle, JD Edwards, Viewpoint, Infor, and more) and Atlas for Dynamics allow you to do just that: close fast! Installation is completed in under two hours. After that, easily incorporate your existing Excel knowledge to build the exact report you need. (Looking to build your Excel knowledge? Follow @insightsoftware for more tips and tricks!)
That may not sound terribly advanced to you, but just wait: That’s not all these technologies do!
Your Data, Your Terms
One concern over cloud use is the issue of cybersecurity. More than a third of executives worry about unauthorized access to company data stored in a cloud. Others worry that an internet outage could render their data unavailable at a critical moment, or break into a cold sweat at the thought of relying on an outside party to run their financials.
So leave your data where it is. We mean it. With Spreadsheet Server and Atlas, data comes into Excel dynamically from your ERP and other sources. No one else touches it. It doesn’t stop anywhere else along the way. It’s not even a static export that you pull, save, or manipulate and then re-do if the data updates.
But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves.
Data on Demand
How many times have you pulled a report and spent hours manually manipulating data from several different sources only to find out there was a late entry into the system and in order to reflect the updated numbers, you have to start all over again?
Your reports can populate with live, dynamic data mined straight from your assigned sources that refreshes at the click of a button to provide up-to-the-minute results. All you need is Spreadsheet Server or Atlas. Both tools link to Excel straight from your ERPs and other data sources, pulling the most recent numbers from all sources. Nearly done with your report and find out that another account just paid their invoice? Simply click “refresh” to feed the latest data into your report.
So there is a way to get your data compiled and updated at your fingertips with the same level of effort it takes you to swipe across the screen of your smartphone, giving you more time to spend looking behind the data at the story it tells.
But perhaps best of all, that technology plugs straight into Excel, augmenting what was once just standard spreadsheet software into truly advanced technology.
Ready to put some advanced technology moves into your Excel experience? Let us show you!