Beyond the Numbers Blog

Investment Accounting Needs More Than Excel

Posted on November 30th, 2014

You probably use Excel a lot in your day to day work. You might even store all of the accounting data for your investments there. But Excel isn’t an accounting program. There’s no accuracy and verification mechanism in place. There’s no double entry, there’s little organization to the numbers beyond what you construct, there’s nothing that verifies that the data you entered makes sense. While Excel is a great spreadsheet tool, trying to get it to work for the complex accounting that you do every day is going to take a lot of files and a lot of workarounds.

You could try to build something like that yourself. You could take all of your information, put it in spreadsheet, build pivot tables and cross-tab functions to organize and process data. But when some number comes up wrong, how do you track down that wrong number? Because at the end of the day, a spreadsheet is a list and lacks the tools to help you find mistakes. That means a lot of work looking for the right line in the right tab in the right spreadsheet.

Software built around a database can help you process and manage data. Databases organize information around its relationships. It creates a map of your financial data. No more scouring lists to find the answers. Use software to harness your computer’s processing power to perform complex calculations and data manipulation to turn that data into reports you can read and understand.

Here’s three ways using a database-focused accounting solution can help you:

  1. Keep better records. Accounting is all about getting the details right. You need to be able to find information to meet complex regulations and tax requirements, among others. How many Excel tabs and files do you want to have to sift through to find answers? If you answered zero, you need software built around a database.
  2. Get answers fast. You have to respond to your client demands. When you receive a question, you need to find an answer quickly. Maybe it’s from an existing report, maybe it’s a new report, or maybe it requires you to sort your data differently. A database solution gives you the tools you need to compile those details and respond with the answers that your clients need.
  3. Make sure your technology works with your office. You might have other software that need or produce accounting data, like a general ledger, CRM, risk, or OMS system. You’ll need to export and import data so that everybody has the same numbers. Excel doesn’t do export very well; it’s still just a list. Databases are flexible enough to allow information in and out using the form that works best.

The technology you use to maintain your accounting records should be making your life easier. It should do the searching for you. If you are still using Excel, you are doing extra work that already has a technological solution.

FundCount is built around a database that ensures quick access to accurate data that you can output as easy-to-read reports. Want to find out how the FundCount database-driven investment accounting solution can help you work smarter? Request a demo.