Adobe's finance chief Mark Garrett says his team struggles to keep track of which jobs have been filled at the software company.
The process can take days and requires finance staff to pull data from disparate systems that house financial and human-resources information into Microsoft's Excel spreadsheets. From there they can see which groups are hiring and how salary spending affects the budget.
"I don't want financial planning people spending their time importing and exporting and manipulating data; I want them to focus on what is the data telling us", Garrett said. He is working on cutting Excel out of this process, he said.
To be fair he is not the only one complaining. CFOs at companies including P.F. Chang's China Bistro, ABM Industries and Wintrust Financial are on a similar drive to reduce how much their finance teams use Excel for financial planning, analysis and reporting.
The issue is that the spreadsheet software that revolutionised accounting in the 1980s hasn't kept up with the demands of contemporary corporate finance units. This means that errors can happen because data in Excel is separated from other systems and is not automatically updated.