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Lundi 9 Mai 2011

88% of finance professionals admit reliance on spreadsheets for budgeting processes

A survey by UK business management and information systems provider, Advanced Business Solutions (ABS), reveals that 88 per cent of public sector finance professionals admit they are reliant on spreadsheets for their budgeting processes with 74 per cent of these stating that they are VERY reliant.

Just 2 per cent of respondents state that they ‘hardly ever’ use spreadsheets while the remaining 10 per cent said that that they don’t use spreadsheets at all when formulating their organisation’s budgets and forecasts. ABS carried out the research with 100 senior finance professionals (finance directors and managers) across a range of UK public sector organisations.

In addition to using spreadsheets, ABS’ survey also suggests that finance professionals are spending disproportionate amounts of time on budget creation and analysis. 42 per cent of the respondents concede that it currently takes their organisation over 45 working days to compile its annual budgets. 30 per cent admit that it takes them between 20 and 45 working days while 24 per cent state that it takes them between 6 and 20 working days. Of the remaining respondents, just 4 per cent state that it takes them less than a week (1 to 5 working days) to complete this process.

Dean Dickinson, Managing Director (Public Sector & Enterprise) of Advanced Business Solutions, says, “Following the government spending cuts it is imperative that public sector finance professionals have the means to gain greater insight into departmental budgets and streamline their budgeting, planning and forecasting processes. Although using Excel spreadsheets typically remains the preferred method for many large organisations, this method lacks any real data control, does not provide real-time financial information and is very cumbersome to manage.”

Public sector organisations which replace spreadsheets with a more intelligent budgeting, planning and forecasting software system realise immediate benefits. These include reduced budgeting preparation time, greater financial control, more accurate data and improved decision making.

Dickinson adds, “Budgeting and forecasting software tools eliminate the time-consuming consolidation of spreadsheets and ensure that vital staff resources are not wasted by repetitive, manual data entry and checking processes. These systems also increase financial transparency and visibility by making budgetary information instantly accessible in one centralised database, highlighting any spending areas which may require immediate attention.”

About Advanced Business Solutions
Advanced Business Solutions (ABS) provides leading integrated business applications and services that enable public, private and third sector organisations to retain control, improve visibility and gain efficiencies whilst continually improving corporate performance. ABS prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their evolving needs.
ABS's software systems comprise core accounting/financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions to extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, human resource and payroll departments, which can also be delivered as a managed or bureau service option.
Customers come from both public and private sectors and include Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WH Smith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.
Advanced Business Solutions is a division of Advanced Computer Software Group plc, a leading supplier of software and IT services to the health, care and business services sectors.

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