Why finance chiefs are trying to replace Excel 

Finance chiefs are trying to get employees to move away from Microsoft Excel, the ubiquitous spreadsheet program loved and loathed by accounting professionals, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

While many still see it as a helpful tool, some CFOs say finance teams rely on it too much, often for tasks that Excel isn’t well-suited to handle. That can lead to mistakes and wasted time.

Instead, finance chiefs want to reduce companies’ reliance on the application in favor of programs that more efficiently automate data collection and analysis. 

Last year’s abrupt shift to remote work during the pandemic, which forced CFOs to manage corporate finances and close the books remotely, highlighted shortfalls in using Excel, says Glenn Hafler, a principal at advisory firm Hackett Group Inc. “The pandemic really exposed the vulnerability that finance teams have as a result of their dependence on Excel,” Hafler says.   

Companies looking to replace Excel—at least partly—have a range of options, depending on the task at hand. SAP SE, OneStream Software LLC, Oracle Corp., Anaplan Inc. and Workiva Inc. are among the firms offering cloud-based information technology for different parts of the finance function. But the Excel habit is hard to break. Read the full story.