End Your Love-Hate Relationship with Spreadsheets

Posted by Megan Cacioppo on August 26, 2016

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It’s no secret that many project professionals rely on spreadsheets for the all-important tasks of creating project budgets and forecasts. But it’s also no secret that spreadsheets often fall short. The files can get out of control, the data is open to interpretation and change, and it is difficult to enforce consistency throughout the overall budgeting and forecasting process.

The bottom line is that using spreadsheets to gather and share financial projections and budgets practically guarantees errors due to the troublesome nature of the manual processes required to share and change data. So why do so many project professionals rely on them? It’s easy… it’s low cost… there’s little to no learning curve involved… the list goes on.

But for budgeting and forecasting – where accuracy and precision are critical – is it really worth risking your project health (and on-time, on-budget delivery) by continuing to use such an unsophisticated tool for these tasks? The good news is that there are a wide variety of tools out there that can help. The key is in selecting the right one.

A good cost management tool will:

  • Connect your schedule, budget, plan and resource data with accounting information to give you a single, integrated view
  • Allow you to automatically update information from both accounting and project scheduling systems in one system
  • Have a flexible reporting structure and robust Reporting Wizard so you can quickly produce reports that cover budgets, forecasts, actual costs, variance analysis, proposed baseline modifications, and more (as well as standards reports such as CPR15, CSSR and NASA 533).
  • Schedule batch processes to occur automatically, including system maintenance
  • Apply global modifications to budgets or forecasts at any level of the program
  • Support compliance with the ANSI–748 standard for EVMS
  • Eliminate your manual processes and simplify your day-to-day work.

In a recent white paper, One Version of the Truth: Deltek Cobra vs. Excel Spreadsheets, we explore this topic in more detail. I encourage you to check it out to see how you too can get out of spreadsheets to improve program efficiency and better manage project costs.

 

One Version of the Truth: Deltek Cobra vs. Excel Spreadsheets

Learn how to get out of spreadsheets to improve program efficiency and better manage project costs.

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