Why Using Excel Is Bad For Your Health

timecards.jpgI grew up on two things (technically speaking): Corel Word Perfect 5.1 for DOS and Excel. I didn’t use these products during the same time period but these are two products I’ve used for so long to do so many things.
Although Excel is easy to use and helps you categorize things, like payroll, HR lists and customer databases it’s like using a bicycle, instead of Amtrak to go from New York to Washington. You’ll get there, but by the time you get there you’ll be tired, have wasted a lot of time, and those using Amtrak will have been to Washington and back before you probably ever made the half way mark.
Instead of using Excel, it’s important that you use the right tool for the right job, if you want your business to be healthy A database, such as File Maker, Microsoft Access or Alpha Software is most likely your best replacement for much of what you do in Excel.
For some of your core business processes it’s also critical to use tools specifically meant for the job. For example, Intuit’s Online Payroll is an easy to use tool to help you manage your payroll.

Since it’s online, there’s no software to install on your computer and you and others you authorize can access your records from anywhere.
Like Intuit’s QuickBooks, Intuit’s Online Payroll (IOP) guides you every step of the way – from setup, to paying employees and taxes, to filing state and federal forms – showing you what to do and when to do it. Keep in mind, you’re an expert in your business – in what you sell. You’re most likely not an expert in payroll.
Maybe your business has grown from a 1 person to a 5 person establishment or you now have employees instead of contractors. IOP could be a good place to start for help (your accountant and lawyer too of course).
Intuit’s press release reads Employers can get started easily and quickly by completing a simple one-time setup questionnaire. A checklist of required information, available prior to setup, tells employers the data they will need to supply before beginning.
An easy-to-use interface and step-by-step instructions guide employers through each payroll task. Answers to commonly asked questions are available, providing additional assistance when employers are likely to need it, further simplifying and streamlining the process.

After you setup IOP there’s three steps: paying employees, paying taxes and filing tax forms.
Cost: $30 per month.
Other payroll offerings include ADP, Paycycle, Sage.
Your bank probably offers payroll solutions and those using Peachtree, QuickBooks or Microsoft Accounting have payroll solutions available to them from within these programs as well.
Check out this guide to online payroll from Work.com

One thought on “Why Using Excel Is Bad For Your Health

  1. Caseprof

    From the perspective of a former owner of small enterprises who currently teaches business, I find the observations quite accurate. I’ve tried to run a business with Excel: despite knowing the software quite well, the many limitations of the tool soon forced me to transfer everything to Quickbooks. The main problem was errors, most minor but some quite scary.
    The conversion wasn’t easy, but at the end of the day, I could be certain my books were correct, and I could always transfer data out of Quickbooks and into Excel for use in forecasts, pricing, etc.
    The moral of this story is that any tool used by many people for the SPECIFIC TASK will do a better job than a custom solution, because those who have gone before will have found the flaws and the software publisher will have fixed them.

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