How Businesses Use Excel in Many Areas

Microsoft Excel is an application that businesses use to store, organize, and analyze data. Through the years, it’s become a ubiquitous part of business processes. But how do companies use it? How can you take advantage of it in your own business? Read on to find out. 

Finance and Accounting

Many companies train their employees to use Excel for business because of its extreme usefulness in finance and account management. Financial analysts no longer have to use manual processes; they can perform complex analyses and models within minutes. 

Accounting departments also rely heavily on spreadsheets to crunch numbers, outline financial results, create budgets, and forecast expenditures for major projects. All of these are possible because of Excel’s IF functions, VLOOKUP, pivot tables, and more. 

Business Analysis

Because of its usefulness in finance and accounting, Excel’s ubiquity extends into the area of business management and analysis. It can easily transform raw data into useful information that decision-makers can use to drive the company towards growth. 

Marketing specialists use spreadsheets to list customers and sales targets based on information such as web traffic, leads, conversion rates, and more. Using pivot tables, for example, specialists can quickly summarize customer and sales information by category just by dragging and dropping. 

HR and People Management

Excel spreadsheets are also useful for organizing information about people in the company, whether they’re employees, supporters, or advocates. This is perfect for organizations with a huge number of employees on the payroll. 

You can export data from database systems like Oracle, Quickbooks, and SAP to manage payroll and employee information. Exporting data into Excel lets you see trends and create reports on expenses. This in turn allows higher management to understand how the workforce is spread out by function or level. 

Operations Management 

Excel is a powerful tool when used for day-to-day operations management, especially among smaller businesses. Business activities and logistics benefit richly from this. 

For instance, you can control inventory flows and avoid overstocking items if you keep track of them using an Excel sheet. You can also keep track of suppliers, clients, dates, and critical timelines using Excel. 

If you use other third-party systems to manage product lines, you can use Excel as a middleware to bridge gaps among such systems. 

Automating Business Processes 

One of the most valuable features of Excel is automation. With it, you can automate repetitive tasks. This results in time savings, higher productivity, and increased profits. 

While Excel automation does require specialized skills (using Visual Basic for Applications), the benefits you’ll reap from automating tasks far outweigh the cost of putting the automation in place. 

Project Management 

While project management tools, such as Trello, Monday, and Asana, are becoming increasingly popular among project managers nowadays, Excel is still a viable option for them. 

Project plans can be outlined in a workbook, complete with dates, deadlines, tasks, assignees, and more. You can also customize the workbook to fit your project management style. 

On top of that, Excel is relatively low-tech, so you can easily share it with teammates who lack access to project management software or who aren’t familiar with them. 

Visualization

Excel spreadsheets can turn raw data sets into charts and graphs. You can use these in formal presentations, reports, or as an aid in your business analysis. This way, it’s easier to visualize trends and emerging business patterns that you would otherwise not see without visual aid. 

You can choose from a variety of chart templates, or you can customize them based on your specific requirements. With the help of visuals, you can even create more accurate business predictions and convey your analysis in a much quicker way. 

TIME BUSINESS NEWS