It is with a mixture of sadness, nostalgia and, we won’t lie, a great deal of relief, that we hereby announce the retirement of the spreadsheet.

In the absence of a better solution, spreadsheets have served us well through the years, helping us transition from the sheer disorganised hell that was the shoebox method of accounting to the wonderful world of technology.

We know some of you won’t take the news well. You may not exactly enjoy your time spent in the company of your accounting spreadsheets, but you’ve grown accustomed to them. They’ve done their job — more or less — for the past couple of decades and you’re not sure if you’re ready to say goodbye.

To help you come to terms with the changes, we’re sharing our top 4 reasons why it’s definitely time to put those spreadsheets out to pasture.

No more errors

It’s happened to every spreadsheet user at some point: the horrifying moment when you type the wrong number and suddenly the whole spreadsheet is out of whack. And the best case scenario is that you actually notice when you’ve made an error. It’s all too easy for one little mistake to sneak in (we’re only human, right?) and suddenly you’re making decisions based on the wrong data without even realising.

They’re a time suck

We bet that if you were to add up the hours spent each year manually inputting your financial data you’d be appalled. And that’s without calculating the additional time spent correcting any errors (see point 1, above!). Wouldn’t your time be better spent on more fruitful business activities?

One size doesn’t fit all

Spreadsheets can be a very individual thing — we all have our own methods that we prefer to use when organising our finances in this way. Which is fine if you’re the only person who needs or wants to access your financial data. But what happens if your accountant’s way of doing spreadsheets doesn’t match yours? You’re faced with another time suck as you try to figure out each other’s methods. Ditto if you need to train additional members of staff to update your financial data.

The future is digital

Of course, it’s possible that you’re one of the few who rarely make any mistakes and actively enjoy spending hours inputting data manually. Even so, the future is definitely digital. Next year sees the introduction of new tax legislation, Making Tax Digital (MTD), so we’re all going to have to get on board with new ways of handling our business finances. Manual input is out, automation is in.

Rather than mourn the loss of the old ways, let’s all embrace the changes and appreciate the benefits they’ll bring to how we run our businesses.

Just imagine the time you’ll save if, instead of having to update your financial data manually, you can do everything from your current account; if your current account and your bookkeeping software were actually linked.

  • Instead of inputting your monthly income into a spreadsheet, the data is automatically transferred from your current account.
  • Instead of trying to keep up with your expense data, every transaction made from your account is automatically transferred to your accounting software.
  • Instead of head-scratching, mind-numbing tax returns, your tax deductions are automatically calculated AND sent directly to HMRC, error-free and on time.

That’s exactly what Countingup can do for your business. So let’s wave a fond farewell to the spreadsheet — the future is digital, it’s automated and it’s already here.