We’ve all heard the saying, ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.’ But what if there’s a better way? A way that is less prone to errors and reduces manual, repetitive tasks.
Let’s look at an example. It’s budgeting season. You turn on your computer and open your Excel workbook. You’re ready to start sifting through columns and rows, writing formulas, and saving Budget2023_FINAL.xls (for real this time) so you can export it, attach it to an email, and share it with stakeholders.
Only for someone to send it back with an update or change… and a broken formula.
What if there was a way to collaborate with all stakeholders with version control, data integrity, security, and most importantly, accuracy of your financial data?
There is. That’s where Prophix comes in.
Prophix automates the collection of your data so you’re using the same solution for budgeting, forecasting, planning, reporting, consolidation, and account reconciliation.
This means that all decision-makers can undertake key financial processes and analysis from a single source of truth while maintaining data integrity and accuracy—and reducing time spent on manual input that is inherent with spreadsheets.
Deciding on a solution to help you manage your financial performance is not a decision you want to take lightly. Let’s take a side-by-side look at Excel and Prophix to help guide your decision.
In this post, we’ll look at:
- How Excel and Prophix bring your data together
- How Excel and Prophix allow you to analyze data and build reports
- How to pick the right solution for you
How Excel and Prophix bring your data together
Let’s look at Excel and Prophix side-by-side for bringing together and visualizing data.
|Bring data together||Use Power Query or ‘Get and Transform Data’ to manually import financial data into your workbook.||Pre-built data integrations with your accounting, ERP, CRM, or HRIS to automate data collection into a single, unified solution.|
|Data integrity|| Margin for error due to manual, copy/paste data entry in Excel from your data source, adding columns and rows risk breaking the report.
|Financial data is pulled from all your systems and automatically refreshes in Prophix when it changes at the source.
|Building workflows||Macros and VBA coding let you build automated workflows to reduce errors and improve process efficiency.||Workflow automation and Task Assistant automate your repetitive tasks to reduce the number of errors from manual input and increase your efficiency.|
|Data security||View/edit permissions are owned by the workbook owner and there is no capability to enable role-based security. This makes it difficult to manage who has access to your data and how it is being shared.||Robust data security that you can assign by user, role, or group. Security is defined down to the member-level of detail within each dimension of every model.
Role based security is designed to automatically suppress pages and rows of data in a report based on preset user permissions.
|Changes and audit logs||You can track changes or add comments to data, but it doesn’t track it in one centralized location or with version control.
This means that communication about changes or updates to your data needs to be done in an external system (like email) instead of capturing all changes or updates in one place.
|The Audit Log captures all data additions/changes in a central location. The Audit Log shows which users make changes and when, and tracks how the data was updated, for example: input versus spreading, for complete transparency.
How Excel and Prophix allow you to analyze data and build reports
The truth is that Excel requires a lot of time-consuming, manual tasks that include everything from entering data imported from multiple systems to writing formulas and building visualizations.
Let’s look at Excel and Prophix side-by-side for reporting and analysis.
|Data analysis||As your financial data grows and becomes more complex, analysis in Excel becomes difficult. Once you reach the limitations of Excel, you must look for additional products like Power BI to perform complex data analysis.||Prophix has structured BI in a single interface and fully unified solution. From your dashboard, you can view linked reports, perform ad hoc analysis, or drill into underlying transactions, with all your data staying in one system.|
|Building reports||You need to be proficient in pivot tables to build a report that you can analyze and switch perspectives.||Prophix offers self-serve ad hoc analysis so all users can create reports at any time using the same clean data. Pre-built report templates fast and easy reporting.
|Visualize data||Build pivot tables, charts, or basic dashboards to visualize your data.
|Dashboards are highly customizable to meet your needs or the needs of your team. You can add different tile elements to your dashboard, like Workflow Tasks, Badge, iFrame, Announcement, Favourites, or Chart, and arrange and size them to your needs.
Drill up or down for a detailed look at an area of your data or pivot to change the perspective of your data.
|Consolidation||No pre-built consolidation capabilities. Users need to manually enter multiple formulas across multiple spreadsheets to consolidate financial data.||Robust cloud-based consolidation application with pre-defined parameter sets like local GAAP, IFRS, and report templates.
The consolidation application scales based on size and scope, so you can ensure your consolidations are done with accuracy to meet your unique business requirements.
Which one is right for me?
Ultimately, it comes down to the needs of your team and your business.
As expectations grow and businesses scale, finance processes have to grow too. But the truth is, it’s hard to scale in an Excel spreadsheet.
You want precision and accuracy so you can ensure you’re using data that will help make decisions. While Excel provides a way to do this, it has its limitations. The time you spend on manually importing data could be better spent on analysis if you automate some of your foundational processes.
That’s the work that will impact your bottom line.
Lead your finance teams to new heights and champion change. Set yourself up with the systems and processes of success that will help you reach your big goals—and empower your team to get there too.