Spreadsheets Are Bad for Your Business – Here’s Why

Mark Kessler |  August 12, 2016 |  Last updated: September 30, 2016

spreadsheets are bad

We’re so used to spreadsheets that we never question why everybody’s using them.
The main advantage of Excel spreadsheets is that everyone’s so used to them. Who wouldn’t love to store all kinds of ideas, plans, and schedules on spreadsheets?
In the past, Excel was a superstar tool, helping businesses become more efficient and making people more productive at work.
Today, the situation has changed. Excel as a go-to tool for all kinds of business operations has longed passed its Best Before date. In the world where Pokémons run free on the streets and hundreds of companies are created every minute, Excel just can’t keep up with the flow.
In fact, spreadsheets are bad for your business. Ready to find out why?
If you’d like to find an Excel alternative for your information management see these 8 Alternatives to Excel spreadsheets

1. You can’t afford all the mistakes

According to Market Watch, up to 88% of spreadsheets contain errors. If you think about it, it’s not really that surprising – they’re compiled by humans after all.

Spreadsheets make it easy to create errors, a simple mistake like misplacing a decimal point can result in huge errors in accounting. Meanwhile, Excel has no way of checking whether all the figures match with real results. Excel is simply a medium to contain your data and doesn’t not permit analysing the information in.depth.
The situation’s made worse by the tendency of businesses to rely on manual data entry. Employees copy and paste information from one spreadsheet to another, and merge records together. Each of these processes has the potential to introduce errors to spreadsheets and will end up costing your business lots of money.
So what’s the alternative?
Using cloud-based software means that your records are updated instantly. You completely avoid the danger of cut-and-paste errors. Since everyone in your company has access to the same information, you don’t have to spend time wondering if there’s a newer version of your spreadsheets stored on someone else’s computer.
Online spreadsheet tools ensure that you always have the latest data in front of you as there’s only one version or the document.
There are at least 5 processes that can be implemented more efficiently with an Excel alternative.

why MS Excel is bad

2. You deserve better tools

Excel was designed to store data on spreadsheets. If you are trying to make it function in any other way , you’re going to achieve a less than ideal result. Consider replacing Excel with online reporting tools to get a more accurate overview of your company’s performance.
Whether you need to use a CRM, time tracking, marketing, or billing software you will find all your data in one place. You no longer need to scroll through dozens of different Excel spreadsheets looking for vital information. Instead, you can find it all with just a few clicks (and not in the form of a spreadsheet).

If you’re using Excel for creating time sheets, try one of these time-tracking tools instead.

3. You waste hours of time each month

Microsoft Excel started as tool, meant to improve business efficiency. It’s certainly a nice upgrade from handling your company’s accounting and data on paper. But is the spreadsheet method still relevant today?

With online software, you can collect your data and generate a financial analysis report, a sales report, or an overview of the budgets, in a few clicks. You no longer need to apply complex Excel formulas to calculate your MRR or track sales performance.


The best way to quickly get an overview of your business’s performance, is to get a KPI dashboard.
Learn more with this complete guide to KPI tracking dashboards.


4. You’re losing your data

Security is one of the major headaches for any business. With all of your business information stored in employees’ computers, you’re highly vulnerable to security breaches or other IT problems.
It might be a hard disk crash, or a computer virus, or maybe even a rogue employee deliberately entering incorrect information onto a spreadsheet. If you’re using Microsoft Excel and storing your data locally, any of these events could have a devastating effect on your business.
By switching from Excel to online spreadsheets or business management tools, your data will be securely stored on remote servers. Team members can access relevant business data by logging in to the system, leaving a track of changes.


There are many possible damages that arise from using Excel spreadsheets. The most common ones are mistakes, double data entry, wasted time, and security issues.
Spreadsheets are bad for your business in most cases. But we’re not denying it doesn’t have its perks as well – for example, when importing and exporting data from one tool/system to another.

Read on: 12 Business Metrics That Every Company Should Know.

Excel alternative KPI dashboard

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