Could an obsession with spreadsheets be slowing business growth?

Business operations and processes need to be well documented, but new research has suggested that doing so could be costing smaller businesses time and money.


Intuit QuickBooks, a firm that deals with online accounting software, has suggested that many businesses have a love/hate affair when it comes to spreadsheet documents.


While the majority of business leaders questioned said they found them annoying, more than half still used spreadsheets to manage company finances.


Over-reliance on such methods and inefficiencies in spreadsheet software could actually be holding SMEs back, according to the research.


Around 50% of those questioned in the survey revealed that they waste anything between half an hour and six hours a week dealing with spreadsheet issues.


These range from understanding formulas to making sure everything added up – and equates to about one week a year in wasted time.


Using your time as efficiently as possible


This is working time that could be spent on other factors such as designing products and developing ideas, or even working on new advertising and marketing strategies.


All of these factors could play a role in influencing the bottom line of a business, so preventing the loss of hours is an essential part in the running of a business.


Any issues relating to the finances of the business could also have more hard-hitting effects in the long-term if they’re not kept under careful control.


The prospects of corporate insolvency or recovery measures are never far away if financial issues do crop up, so taking quick and appropriate action in such instances is vital.


Some 50% of business leaders questioned said they were frustrated by the fact they could not put their effort into expanding the business as a result of software and finance issues.


Poor financial management is often a common reason why businesses find themselves in difficult situations, but 50% put off doing their accounts.


A further study from Intuit QuickBooks revealed that 44% of SMEs had either run out of funding or had come close within the first three years of trading.


This highlights the importance of financial software and bookkeeping when developing a business and suggests that spreadsheets are important, despite any issues they may cause.


By Phil Smith


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