There is a growing body of research showing the problems associated with using spreadsheets within the finance department. That may be well and good, spreadsheets may not be the best system to use within the finance department. However, a satisfactory alternative has not been presented for the use of spreadsheets, and as such the research into the use of spreadsheets is of little practical value to the finance world at large. The question still remains: ?Can other Technologies replace Spreadsheets within the Finance Department?? There remains with out a doubt a place for spreadsheets within the finance department. The use of spreadsheets as a tool for driving the Reporting, Planning and Budgeting functions of the enterprise are however, questionable. It is clear that there are other technologies available which suit this function better. There are two main reasons why spreadsheets are still used today and why alternative technologies uptake in the finance department has been poor. Firstly, there is a lack of understanding within the finance department of the alternative technologies available to provide solutions to problems encountered. There is also a lack of understanding within the IT department of the problems being encountered within the finance department. One department does not understand the problem, the other department does not understand the solution. Secondly, justifications of spend. Acquiring and implementing new technologies requires funding and the benefits are not easily quantifiable in financial terms nor are they immediately felt. Most projects require hard number paybacks within the year in order to justify the expenditure. With data accuracy, ease of analysis and use as well as timeliness as the main advantages of OLAP, it is often difficult to justify the spend. The majority of world class enterprises today have embraced OLAP as a key technology in delivering information to decision makers. The main question that should be asked is not if spreadsheets should remain the main platform for Reporting, Budgeting and Forecasting. Instead, enterprises should ask themselves how much competitive advantage they are prepared to lose through the use of inaccurate, out of date and inflexible information before alternative technologies are investigated. Bron: www.businessintelligence.coma>

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