Where Excel fails in planning and analysis, Jedox excels
For businesses the world over, financial planning and analysis (FP&A) is synonymous with Excel. The two are one and the same. Indistinguishable. Considering an alternative feels impossible — the old and familiar ways are just too deeply entrenched. But Jedox is no ordinary alternative. And its multiple benefits make it deserving not only of consideration, but implementation.
Despite its enormous popularity, Excel has profound limitations. It’s cumbersome and inflexible, time consuming, ill-equipped for collaboration, and prone to human error. And yet businesses continue to accept these pitfalls out of fear for the effort involved in transitioning to a more appropriate solution. This transition is easier than you might expect, however, and well worth it.
Where Excel fails to excel
Let’s look at some of the more concerning disadvantages of running your FP&A system on a spreadsheet processor. If Excel is your go-to solution, you’ve likely come up against one or more of these issues before.
1. Too much information in too many different places
Excel can feel cluttered and difficult to coordinate. Spreadsheets multiply easily, and different versions of the same spreadsheet can exist in different areas of your organisation at once. This poses massive version control challenges, and knowing which team has the most up-to-date data can present very real business risks.
In fact, this cuts to what is arguably the largest problem with Excel: it doesn’t offer a definitive version of the truth.
2. Static and uncollaborative
Once you’ve signed off a budget in Excel, that’s it. It’s static. The next month, you have to recreate it, which is a frustrating and inefficient use of time and resources.
Excel also doesn’t lend itself naturally to collaboration. Only one person can work on a particular spreadsheet at a time, and updating information in one spreadsheet doesn’t necessarily update it in the other places it applies.
3. A very real risk of human error
Every time someone works on a spreadsheet where formulas or data are entered manually, there is the possibility for something to go wrong. How sure are you of the accuracy of your spreadsheets? And if you can identify that they are wrong, the process of identifying the error is hugely time consuming and laborious.
Jedox: a viable alternative
Fortunately, there are other planning solutions out there. Jedox for example. But what is Jedox? It is an enterprise performance management solution that is the opposite of all of the things listed above. Here we show you how a Jedox solution solves the problems that Excel and other static planning solutions create.
1. A centralised repository of data
Jedox centralises all the data you insert, which means that changing a figure in one place amends it throughout. This doesn’t mean that you can’t segregate and syphon off certain data, however. Your marketing, sales, human resources and customer service teams can easily access the specific information they require, but not while threatening the integrity of the whole.
Having a centralised and integrated Jedox planning solution also means you can apply specific rules, which mitigates human error. If specific rules are in place, strange or unusual insertions will be flagged, and contributors won’t be able to override pre-approved formulas.
2. Dynamic and flexible
Excel fails to be sufficiently dynamic and flexible to adjust to sudden and unexpected changes. An unanticipated fuel increase, for example, is likely to affect your costs, margins and profit. If you’re going to have a sense of what the impact of this is on your business, you need to be able to forecast it properly. Does your Excel system allow you to input drivers and assess their impact in real time? Jedox UK does.
3. Seamless integration
Jedox also integrates easily with other systems. Whatever you use to run your business, whether it’s your ERP or your stock intake management models, Jedox can bring it on board to give you a better and more holistic picture.
4. Opens up time and resources for strategic thinking
If you’re using Excel, you’re likely spending huge amounts of time and energy manually inputting data and copying and pasting information as you create new spreadsheets. Automating this aspect of your work, however, allows you to spend your time planning, budgeting and reporting accurately, analysing the results of your work, and strategically shifting your business accordingly.
What does a Jedox implementation involve?
We understand that shifting away from the entrenched and familiar ways of running your business can be daunting — so daunting as to deter you for years. But a Jedox implementation is simpler, more seamless and quicker than you could imagine.
Part of the reason why it’s so easy is that Jedox integrates easily with Excel, so you don’t have to abandon the ways you’ve been doing things at all. In fact, you can continue to use Excel in the front end, while Jedox’s AI system powers things in the back end. The Jedox interface is also so intuitive, you’ll know your way around it immediately.
The extent to which you use Jedox’s full suite of functionality (which is extensive) can also be phased. You don’t need to do everything at once. Take your Jedox implementation slowly and build your new FP&A ecosystem at your own pace.