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Has your business outgrown using Excel spreadsheets for time recording?

Colin Duxberry

trike

Perhaps not if you are a stand-alone consultant.  But for an organization with more than ten time-recording consultants, the pain of relying on spreadsheets can be felt all the way to the top.  In most cases, recording time is simply a means to an end, and that end could be: invoicing customers by your finance team; tracking project profitability by project managers; monitoring staff performance and billable time by business owners; or analyzing overall company performance by FDs.  Of course it could be a combination or all of the above.

But who suffers the most?

The nature of using spreadsheets for time recording means that they tend to be stand-alone, separate spreadsheets for each individual.  So who within your organization has the unenviable task of administrating this?  Of making sure that each individual’s timesheets have been submitted, approved and fed into a master spreadsheet.  What happens if one of the complicated formulas suddenly says #DIV/0!?  Can the designated timesheet administrator fix this themselves, or do they have to run to the company Excel guru like I do? (Step in Colin our ever-helpful FD!)  At the end of the month, does someone analyze the data to calculate the project profitability, or do you suffer from analysis paralysis?  In fact, isn’t it annoying that you have to wait until the end of the month for this insight into project performance?  Wouldn’t it be really helpful to have this information in real time?

So much to think about, and that’s before company directors start asking for income and cash flow forecasts and staff productivity reports.  They should really be able to hit a button and help themselves to this information.

So perhaps it’s time to stop limping along with spread sheets and look for a cure.

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