Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs have become ubiquitous in the workplace and undoubtedly have valuable applications. Some companies even rely on them as the core of their operations. Unfortunately, however, this powerful tool can be misused, overused, or underused in ways that hold back progress. While it’s unlikely that the corporate world and Excel will completely part ways for many years, there are many reasons to consider finding more efficient alternatives. Here are our top four:

1. Employee Boredom

Employee satisfaction leads to a positive work environment and is vital to retention. One way to foster a positive atmosphere is to charge your team with engaging, fulfilling projects. For most folks though, being buried in spreadsheets is not their true calling. Too much mundane work can breed an understandable, but undesirable, lack of motivation. Replacing tedious, dispiriting work with automated solutions can put talent to better use and decrease costly turnover.

2. Human Error

With so many actions involved in manually creating a spreadsheet, there are plenty of opportunities for errors. In fact, an estimated 88% of all spreadsheets contain errors, and no wonder! Data has to be gathered and input correctly, formulas must be on point, and charts and graphs for communicating the information must be clear. Not only do all of these steps take up a lot of time, but even your most dependable analyst could commit a single, accidental typo somewhere in the process that could snowball dramatically. Skeptical? Shareholders of the software company Tibco had to forfeit $100 million in its purchase price because of a minor spreadsheet error.

3. Harming Trust and Culture

Some errors can cause a different kind of damage. If errors show up in calculations for employees’ compensation, the seeds have been sown for mistrust within your organization. With something as integral as income, it’s actually very common for sales reps to track their compensation themselves to compare to the numbers from Accounting. This is a wasteful duplication of efforts that could be avoided if accuracy were guaranteed in comp processes. But instead, the result is a wary company culture hung up on digits rather than moving forward together.

4. Wasted Resources

If time is money, employees shouldn’t be spending valuable time on labor-intensive spreadsheets. With automated reporting tools, they can spend less time digging for information and more time understanding it, leading to better decision-making for the company. Freeing your team from manual work allows them to apply their core competencies to problem solve and innovate. Giving employees time to focus on bigger, more far-reaching projects rather than spreadsheets can better serve your company’s goals, as well as the top and bottom lines.

Most people probably can commiserate with at least some challenges or frustrations related to spreadsheets. In particular, using them to calculate commissions is a pain point we have seen come up over and over in our experiences with clients. That’s why we created IncentViz, an easy-to-use solution that transforms processing incentives from error-prone and headache-inducing to efficient and effective.

Take the first step toward a life with fewer spreadsheets and request a free demo of IncentViz! Our software reduces costs and maximizes the value of each incentive program, allowing goal-setting for the success of your whole business.
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