Spreadsheets are a fixture in almost every business. While they’re invaluable for storing all sorts of information, we know – and many of the small businesses we speak to tell us – that they’re just not up to the task of managing an SME’s finances.
We wanted to explore in a little more detail just what is it about spreadsheets that winds us up, and how our spreadsheet problems are impacting the smooth running of our businesses.
So, in July 2014, we commissioned research firm Opinion Matters to poll 200 small businesses to delve a little deeper into this love / hate relationship. The headline finding was that the majority of business owners questioned find spreadsheets annoying, yet despite this, more than half fail to resist using them to manage their business’ finances.
Spreadsheets are also contributing to wasted time. Half the respondents also admitted they waste anywhere between 30 minutes to as much as six hours a week dealing with spreadsheet issues such as understanding formulas, getting the numbers to add up and keeping version control; this equates to an average of one week a year.
Unsurprisingly, just twenty three per cent admit to really enjoying the financial management side of the business, but more concerning is that over 50 per cent are frustrated that they do not have enough time for the important things, like spending time with the family and growing their business.
The broader issue is that keeping on top of finances is vital to the growth and success of a business. In a separate study, we found that 44 per cent of SMEs had either run out of cash or come very close within the first three years of trading – poor financial management is one of the common reasons businesses fail.
The message is this. By ditching spreadsheets and using a cloud-based financial management system, SMEs can take the pain out of running your business.
In developing and evolving QuickBooks Online, we’ve worked extremely closely with SMEs to create a platform which allows them to collaborate and work more effectively with their accountants, while enabling them to focus on what matters and why they set up on their own in the first place.
Ultimately, this eliminates the love/hate relationship with spreadsheets and means they no longer have to be a necessary evil. You get insight into how your business is performing, and you get more time to spend on doing what you love.
It’s time to #EscapeTheCell
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With more than 1.7 million users worldwide, QuickBooks Online is the global leader in cloud business management. Businesses around the world manage their finances, invoicing, bookkeeping and accounting with easy-to-use QuickBooks Online. Spend less time on accounting and more time building your business. Try QuickBooks today – now with FREE Payroll for up to 5 employees.