The Advantages of Cloud-Based Modeling Over Spreadsheets


During this era marked by advanced technologies, businesses are utilizing every advantage available to gain the greatest efficiency and affordability they can find.

It comes as quite a surprise, then, that so many enterprises continue to rely solely on spreadsheets for their financial and operational modeling, despite the challenges that can arise with Excel. Here are some of the core issues with spreadsheet-based modeling and how you can progress toward a system that offers greater efficiency and agility.

Spreadsheets Make Collaboration Difficult

We live in a time where business has become a largely global endeavor, and many enterprises operate multiple locations across the world. When depending on spreadsheets for financial and operational modeling, it makes it incredibly difficult to connect all business divisions and create a unified process. HEAT Software encountered this very issue. Their business was rapidly growing, encompassing a total of nine worldwide locations and over 600 employees. Modeling in Excel was proving to be more trouble than it was worth, and it limited their ability to collaborate across locations.

HEAT Software adopted a cloud-based EPM modeling solution that enables all business locations to access financial data and models easier, thus integrating their operations and streamlining business processes. With the software, they were able to simplify their business processes, shorten the budget cycle, and access multi-dimensional data views that made for swift currency conversions for reporting.  With the cloud-based modeling solution, Excel is still used as a familiar front-end for users, but the heavy lifting is handled by the modeling engine running in the cloud.

Spreadsheets Are Inefficient and Impractical for Growing Enterprises

For small businesses that are just starting out, Excel may provide a practical means for conquering financial and operational modeling. However, rapidly-growing, medium to large businesses simply can't tackle modeling in an efficient or accurate manner when relying exclusively on spreadsheets.  

While many are fond of Excel for the familiarity it provides, the technology makes it challenging to keep pace with the needs of fast-growing businesses.  As businesses expand, there comes a point where spreadsheets alone can’t provide the efficiency and accuracy needed to support complex financial and operational modeling. 

Efficient and effective cloud-based modeling software provides an Excel-based user interface, offering familiarity needed to quickly acclimate. At the same time, utilizing a cloud-based platform, makes data integration and scaling far more efficient. The accuracy of modeling improves, as companies are able to stay up to date with the data while performing 'what-if' scenarios to predict the results of their business decisions.

Financial modeling

Cloud-Based EPM Platforms Extend the Functionality of Spreadsheets 

Many growing businesses soon find that relying on Excel to support critical financial processes is risky as a long-term strategy. A cloud-based EPM platform provides the ideal solution, leveraging Excel as a front-end, and offering all of the advanced functionality that spreadsheets lack.

With a highly scalable solution, enhanced security, automated processes, and a consolidated data platform, you can escape the inefficiencies of Excel and improve the productivity of your workforce. It also offers improved collaboration capabilities, making EPM software ideal for global enterprises with complex planning, modeling and reporting requirements.

Read more about the advantages of cloud-based modeling in this recent white paper.

Download the Free White Paper

Posted by on September 8, 2016
Janette Kosior

Janette Kosior is Senior Director of Product Marketing with Host Analytics. Janette has more than 15 years of experience in the Enterprise Performance Management industry. Prior to joining Host Analytics, Janette was with Oracle where she led the Financial Close Product Management team. Prior to Oracle, Janette held various roles in product management and technical support with Hyperion Solutions. Janette has a BBA from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts.

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