Spreadsheets are a tool that can be extremely useful in many processes and tasks in a company. In fact, many companies opt for Excel expense and mileage claim reports management or, in other words, using this format to report expenses. However, this involves a set of significant limitations that may hinder the development of optimal management.
Although it is a digital tool, it is processed manually. To put it another way, the employee has to fill out the Excel spreadsheet by hand, keep the paper receipts and physically submit them to the person in charge of supervision. Using the documentation, the supervisor has to revise the expense report manually and then proceed to do the related accounting also manually. As such, expense management is not that different from doing it on paper.
Another important problem is the lack of flexibility. Although we are dealing with a template that adapts as closely as possible to the needs of the employees and the company, there may always be cases and occasions in which a more flexible expense report is required, which enables certain changes or adaptations to be made. However, changing one of these Excel spreadsheets is not such an easy task, as to make a modification would require the same change to be made to all of the templates of all of the employees or subsequent analysis and management will be difficult. Having various versions of a template in circulation is a sure-fire way to increase errors and management problems.
The lack of integration with the company’s other systems becomes an obvious issue with this type of spreadsheet. Unless it is integrated with the company’s other processes, such as accounting, project management or CRM, etc., expense management becomes an isolated process. This makes it more inefficient, complicated and costly in terms of time, but also in financial terms.
So we can conclude that the great limitations of Excel spreadsheets include the wasted time and resources involved in their management, the lack of flexibility and adaptability to changes that may occur in the company, and the lack of integration and automation of the workflow with the company’s other processes.