Spreadsheets may seem like an excellent option for managing your business—they can be used in a variety of ways to record information—and in many ways they are. But relying on them comes with risks too. Knowing the risks can help you take action to protect yourself and your business, whether you continue to use spreadsheets or upgrade to a superior system.
- Spreadsheets can be inaccurate
Data in spreadsheets can be inaccurate as a result of many things. Human error is at the top of that list. It can be easy for an untrained worker to make a mistake, and even those with spreadsheet skills can input data incorrectly.
- Spreadsheets require a lot of upkeep
Not only do spreadsheets need to be set up correctly, with the correct formulas and references as well as the right structure, they must be maintained regularly. Maintenance is needed to prevent the introduction of errors, to ensure users have the correct and up to date version, and to ensure the information remains confidential. This can involve a lot of work and high attention to detail.
- Spreadsheets are a poor option for sharing information
Unless a spreadsheet contains static information and doesn’t need to be changed often or at all, sharing it with users can be a disaster. Very easily, multiple versions of a spreadsheet can be spread around a workplace.
Users can make their own changes and pass their version on to others, making it difficult to know which version of the spreadsheet is the most correct at any one time. One user may assume they have the most recent version and update it, while another does the same thing resulting in conflicting information.
- Spreadsheets can be a disorganised way of organising
Keeping records in spreadsheets may seem like a good idea at first, but it can become a complicated and messy way to organise information, fast. Not only can the content in the spreadsheets themselves be all over the place and difficult to navigate, if you have multiple files needing to be updated regularly, you need to have these files saved somewhere relevant and to go into each individual file one at a time to update them—an inefficient way to work.
Files can become too large as well, meaning you must create a new file to hold further information needing to be recorded—which is yet another file that will need to be stored in some way. Very quickly, these files can add up and clutter your desktop, and even create more work in organising storage and labels for them so they can be accessed as needed. It’s messy and clunky.
- Spreadsheets can limit integration with other business applications
Many businesses use a combination of software for managing finances, among other things. For example, a business may use Excel, accounting software, and emails. If this information is not integrated in some way, it can easily become orphaned or lost or forgotten. This can lead to major issues come tax time or even on a daily basis when trying to find information.
The above risks can severely impact your business and how effectively it is run. Any one of these risks can lead to a financial loss, whether an error or just inefficiency requiring more work hours to be put in. If you’re ready to make a change, contact us at LinkSafe to help you shift your systems over to a more secure option.
LinkSafe can help record, assign, monitor and report on hazards your business may be facing, and can even help to speed up your digital work with its range of customisable applications.