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Make do and mend

Why improving your use of Excel, rather than replacing it, is the best investment you can make

If you’re considering where you should make your next technological investment it would be understandable if you were overwhelmed by the amount of choice available.

Should you go for that all-new analytical tool that gives you deeper insight into how your website is performing, or would an investment in a new personalisation software based on new-found algorithms, promising the best user experience on the market, be more worthwhile?

For some businesses, these innovations are an absolute necessity. However, for small and medium-sized businesses, investment in technology needs a much simpler approach: what will save my business time and money?

As an SME working in the financial sector specifically, you should always prioritise how to identify additional capacity and resources, and this can be done by incorporating technology which supplements a core, every day tool like Excel, for example.

Before you start considering innovations that would replace the ‘basic’ tools you are fluent in using, instead think about this alternative approach to investment:

Invest in your core technologies – Excel is the bedrock of the financial industry. As such, the most important investment you can make is in training your team to use Excel proficiently and professionally, helping them understand all its capabilities and the possibilities it creates for them to do more for your business and your clients.

Invest in technologies that integrate with Excel – if you’re going to spend money, spend it on tools that work in partnership with Excel to save you time, and therefore money. Excel is the best tool available for data analysis, but it can also be improved by technologies that make it quicker and easier for you to get started with using it. For example, programs like StatementReader, which convert PDF bank statements to Excel to save your team the pain of manually typing in pages and pages of financial data, replace a time consuming and resource-draining task.

Reinvest the efficiencies you make back into your business – after using supplementary technology to increase team capacity, reinvest the time and money saved into things that benefit your business. Take it back to basics. With the extra time you realise, spend it nurturing client relationships or team building. With the money saved, develop your training schedule, invest it into attracting new talent or reward your team with bonuses to increase motivation and generate more productivity.

This snippet is taken from our recent piece with SME Technology Guide. Read it in full, here.

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