Today, in an era that’s meant to be about finance transformation, much of the finance function still relies heavily on manual processes including spreadsheets for rebate management, you’ll find plenty of them buried in emails and on desktops. Instead of those in finance focusing on giving high-level insight, they find themselves stuck chasing down errors, reconciling data, and trying to make important decisions based on an assortment of often incomplete or inaccurate rebate data. As a result, many organisations end up with disputes with trading partners and around 4% of potential rebate revenue typically goes unclaimed. But could 2021 be the year all this changes for finance and they finally embrace automation
Enable Blog — Spreadsheets
Businesses managing complex rebates and deals often do not realize how crucial the software they use is to company expansion and increased rebate revenue. What was most likely the best fit for your business when you first started out, may not be the right choice to fuel the next stage of your company’s growth - especially when the scale of your business processes increases dramatically!
One of these pieces of software is Excel spreadsheets, which according to Forrester Research is used by 81% of businesses and has 750 million users worldwide. Many of us use spreadsheets daily because they are inexpensive to create, highly flexible, mostly easy to use and very easy to share. However, Excel has its downsides.
A continued reliance on Excel spreadsheets causes inefficient manual processes, high operational costs, greater risk of errors, and limitations to your rebate revenue potential. Below we’ll share in more detail the many disadvantages of spreadsheets and the various ways they are used in the rebate world, plus why an automated rebate management system is a more secure, efficient and safer software option for your business going forward.
While accounting excel spreadsheets are undeniably easy to use, widely available and highly adaptable much has been written about the danger of using them in contexts where there is just too much information, or where that information is too important to risk to human error. A prime candidate is the case of rebates: both customer rebates and supplier rebates, where even the smallest error can result in losses of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since accounting excel spreadsheets are so easy to use it is also easy to make mistakes, to change data, make errors and worse, not spot the errors and carry on with business as usual. The result is that incorrect information can cause issues when you are trying to understand your business’s financial position down the line.
Finance and accounting departments tend to rely on Excel spreadsheets to manage a growing business’s financial data because they know it, they understand it and old habits die hard. But excel errors are always a risk, in fact various studies report that nearly 9 out of 10 accounting spreadsheets (88%) contain human errors.