Corporate treasurers in the U.S. and Europe are wasting thousands of hours a year relying on manual spreadsheets to manage cash, according to a new survey from Kyriba. The company said in its official blog that it estimates treasurers waste 4,812 hours every year using manual spreadsheets, basing the calculation on a survey of more than 100 companies.
That's more than 600 full work days that could otherwise be spent on strategic initiatives.
Using Excels spreadsheets to analyze daily global cash positions is the largest time-waster, analysts found, noting that this process alone wastes 1,296 hours a year. Treasury-related accounting tasks, payment fund transfers and cash flow forecasting are also top time-wasters for treasurers relying on spreadsheets.
"The lost productivity due to spreadsheets is a huge opportunity cost for organizations," said Kyriba Lead Value Engineer Dory Malouf in the company's blog. "Instead of focusing on value-add initiatives that help drive the business, treasurers and their teams, along with cash accounting managers, are stuck spending literally thousands of hours updating and manipulating spreadsheets.
Citing a report from The Wall Street Journal last November, Kyriba emphasized some of the reasons why spreadsheets waste so much time, including the task of manually pulling and re-entering data into Excel. According to Malouf, executives probably won't ever completely stop using spreadsheets. However, he added, the data "dramatically" shows that these professionals are too reliant on the tool.
"Spreadsheets are only effective to a certain extent, and cannot be counted on to scale to global requirements," he added.
The conversation surrounding ongoing reliance on manual spreadsheets has been happening for years. While some corporate finance solutions providers are taking the outdated technology to task and focusing on shifting finance professionals onto new platforms, others are attempting to work with Excel spreadsheets and address areas of friction like manual data entry.