I have been on a crusade to eliminate Microsoft Excel at our company for the past year and a half. Excel is a wonderful tool, don’t get me wrong. I have been using Excel for years and years, and that very loyal, noble spreadsheet has been my support through thick and thin. During my days as an accounting student, I programmed my financial statements and balanced them using Excel. As an investment banking intern, I learned to create advanced financial models with the same tool. In Alianza, the company where I worked previously and where I ran the accounting department, we also used spreadsheets to create our financial statements and their supporting documents.
Through all those times, Excel was dependable and a true friend. Eventually, however, we started having problems. If I look back and analyze it, the issue wasn’t Excel itself, and it still isn’t. It was the errors we kept finding: we either added an extra digit to the number by mistake or the spreadsheets weren’t all connected with one another, so they needed to be reconciled between each other. Once Alianza grew to a certain size, we quickly realized that we spent more time checking to make sure Excel was right than working with the information in the first place. So, when we started Celaque, the company I currently run, I knew our dependence on Excel had to go.