Spreadsheets often suffer a bad press at the hands of the Business Intelligence software industry and other business stakeholders (auditors, regulators) who favour limiting their use or displacing them from core financial management applications. Yet despite the many alternative software products and applications on offer, the spreadsheet (mainly Microsoft Excel) remains the ‘workhorse’ of the finance function and the most successful personal productivity tool in history with more than 500 million users worldwide. And with Microsoft enabling spreadsheets to be shared in the Cloud and on mobile devices, the future of the spreadsheet seems more assured than ever. Clearly the spreadsheet is fulfilling an important need – even more so when it is coupled with popular finance systems. So what is driving the finance function’s inexhaustible enthusiasm for spreadsheets?
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