Canadian Media Publisher Enhances Excel-Based Reporting and Budgeting with Wands

The finance team at the Halifax Herald uses Wands (Excel4apps) to gain quick access and drill-down into real-time data, without manual keying and exporting

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Challenge

The Halifax Herald found standard Oracle tools for reporting financial data time-consuming and cumbersome, requiring multiple, error-prone manual steps. Likewise, the company also experienced delays using Oracle’s seeded spreadsheet for pushing budget data to the ERP system.

Prior to installing GL Wand from insightsoftware, The Herald’s finance group was working with limited options for reporting. These options included a few customized FSG reports created by the original third-party Oracle implementer, such as balance sheet, expense, and income statements. Also, an awkward ad hoc reporting process involved pushing data to a web browser and copying and pasting it into Excel for formatting.

To improve its financial reporting and budgeting processes, the company explored Oracle options, but these proved cost-prohibitive and unfriendly for users. An online search revealed third-party Microsoft Excel-based financial reporting and budgeting tools from insightsoftware as potential options that were both highly functional and cost-effective in terms of price and ongoing support.

Solution

In 2015, The Herald began using insightsoftware’s Wands (Excel4apps) Excel-based reporting tool, which installed quickly and needed little to no IT support. Featuring a quick drill down into real-time data through an Excel interface, the financial reporting tool eliminated manual keying and exporting. Also, it required no additional hardware or software and didn’t impact the Oracle system.

The Herald saw benefits soon after implementing the Excel-based reporting tool. One reason was the software’s ease of use because its interface was Excel, a finance user’s tool of choice. And, for the previously time-intensive and error-prone monthly reporting process, the new software brought significant efficiencies.

In addition, The Herald’s finance team reproduced department expense reports in the new reporting software so that they provide the same data, but faster and in more detail. The software’s instant drilldowns into live Oracle data provided faster resolution of anomalies.

“This reporting tool easily saves one day for just that one set of month-end reports. Plus, if something changes, we simply push the journal entry to Oracle and hit refresh in the new tool and it updates the entire linked workbook. There’s no redo of data, and no static unlinked reports that must all be manually changed as before.”

Mark Salter
Director of Finance

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