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1,001 Reporting Tools…And Excel is Still #1. Why?

Spreadsheet Document Financial Report Concept

There are hundreds of reporting tools out there.  But guess what? The #1 reporting tool in every enterprise is still Excel – with over one billion users worldwide.

Why? Excel is easy to learn and use, and we’re all comfortable working within its familiar interface when inputting data and creating charts and graphs.

So let’s face it: Business users will never, ever, ever completely give up their Excel spreadsheets.

Watch the webcast, “10 Most Popular Excel Tips and Tricks (and When to Use Them)”

But there’s an unpleasant truth behind those Excel sheets: The static nature of those sheets makes it time-consuming to consistently produce updated financial reports. Consolidating data from different sources, checking for broken links, and reformatting time and time again is a tedious process that’s most responsible for the ‘Excel Hell’ moniker.

In other words, it’s an error-prone process that sucks time and leads to reporting mistakes.

The real problem is the work that goes into creating those Excel spreadsheets. So the question becomes: How do you deliver the automation, accuracy, and scalability of a business application, with the formatting and flexibility of Microsoft Office?

We set out to address this question for our users. The answer?  Adaptive OfficeConnect: A solution built upon the following four key principles to bridge the gap between the existing Excel sheets that we know and love, and the cloud data analytics that modern organizations need to make faster, more well-informed business decisions.

1. Seamless Automation

According to KPMG, “Using technology to automate existing financial reports is the low-hanging fruit that CFOs can reach to immediately improve internal and external reporting efficiency.”

Organizations should not need to create FP&A processes from scratch to improve existing processes. And that’s one of the founding features of Adaptive OfficeConnect: The ability to improve upon existing financial operations and reports by simply automating the manual rekeying, reformatting, relinking, and copying/pasting every time you need to update financial reports. The result? Refreshed financial and management reports, with up-to-date data from your Adaptive Planning and Adaptive Consolidation models, at the single click of a refresh button.

 2. Easy Accessibility

Business users should have complete control over financial reports – design, sharing, accessing, and consuming – without IT intervention. Finance and Accounting teams are not typically counted upon to be “tech-savvy”, nor should they be. Their job is to know how to lay out a P&L; a departmental Balance Sheet.  Adaptive OfficeConnect puts business users in control by making the Microsoft Office-based reporting intuitive and accessible enough for business users to leverage on their own.

3. Flexible Functionality

Office-based reporting solutions handle all of your stakeholders’ reporting, not just reporting within Accounting and Finance. Think beyond the reporting limitations of unmanaged Excel and focus on truly complete MS Office reporting that integrates across Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, and you get Adaptive OfficeConnect.

With the flexibility to handle financial and operational needs, and produce ad-hoc and presentation-quality reports, your organization will be fully-equipped with up-to-date metrics in any format needed. No more wasting countless hours copying and pasting from Excel into Word Board Books and Executive PowerPoints. All of your latest data in Adaptive updates across all of your reports, while retaining the formatting, calculations, charts, and narrative elements. And, rather than reformatting Excel every time your enter fresh numbers, you generate a presentation-quality report instantly.

4. Complete Connectivity

Reports and the necessary data should be aligned and integrated. Such seamless integration between report and source eliminates the manual reformatting and relinking commonly associated with unmanaged Excel exporting. With that out of the way, you can spend more time on the most productive, strategic, and/or enjoyable activities…like getting home in time to join the family for dinner.

At the end of the day Excel is our friend, although it sometimes acts like our foe (at the 11th hour the day before reports are due to the Executive Team and Board and a manually linked formula is wreaking havoc on your sanity).

The problem is that there’s been a long-standing need for a bridge between the existing Excel sheets that we know and love, and the cloud business analytics that modern organizations need to make faster, more well-informed business decisions.  Adaptive OfficeConnect is that bridge.

Watch the webcast, “5 Reasons to Think Beyond Spreadsheets”

Want to learn how a best-practice, active planning process can help you drive business success? An active planning process is collaborative, comprehensive, and continuous—one that results in a better business plan. Better budgeting and forecasting. You’ll get greater visibility into business performance, build confidence in the numbers, make data-driven decisions, and increase buy-in and accountability throughout the organization. Learn more here.

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