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Excel For Reporting - Panacea Or Pants?Excel For Reporting - Panacea Or Pants?

There were recent reports of how an Excel error caused two esteemed economists to come to the wrong conclusions on the impact of low growth on government spending plans; this raises an old favourite of the accounting profession - is Excel a solution to reporting needs or can it create more trouble that it solves?


My personal view is that the accounting system should be able to generate the reports. The "one version of the truth". Many systems simply can't do that, but fortunately Aqilla offers a report writer for users to design reports easily, which then run extremely quickly.

However one has to be mindful of what is required, and sometimes deploying data in a more familiar format such as Excel is what the users want. This can only be achieved if your system can seamlessly put data into an Excel report without complex processing. Personally I'm not an advocate of dump the data into Excel and then use Excel features such as macros and pivot tables to mash and present the data.

Again Aqilla offers a number of solutions. Ledger Enquiries in the Aqilla Excel add-in allow data to be directly dropped into Excel reports, and the SharperLight software brings a whole report design and publishing engine for more specific requirements. Using the ability to publish Excel reports to the web, for example, allows accountants and finance staff to design reports in the familiar Excel, ask for certain figures to be calculated directly from data in the core Aqilla system, and then choose how and when it is to be published to authorised users on the web.

Bringing together the ideal blend of Excel's flexibility with Aqilla's core design strength!

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