Do I need accounting software or is Excel sufficient?

Do I need accounting software or is Excel sufficient?


I have been using Excel to manage my accounts to date. What are the benefits of moving to a professional accounting software package?

If you’re a teeny tiny start-up business of one or two people, Excel may be a useful way of keeping track of your money, but don’t ever mistake it for an account management tool.

The scary fact is that about 80% of start-up businesses fail in their first two years, many as a result of poor processes and a lack of planning and information. Professional accounting software provides all that.

If you want to grow your business, it’s critical that you manage your finances in an ordered manner on reputable software that is used and recommended by your accountant or bookkeeper. Also, many banks will not grant SMEs finance unless they have sound financial systems in place and can produce proper records.

If you want accurate reporting, software that your accountant uses, access to lending and, ultimately, if you want to attract shareholders, you need to invest in a reputable accounting software package.

Steven Cohen
As head of Sage One for AAMEA, Steven Cohen is overseeing the growth and development of Sage’s cloud-based accounting and payroll solutions in Africa, Australia, the Middle East and Asia. Before taking his current post, Cohen dedicated his 25-year career to Sage Pastel, the innovative business software company he founded with partners Ivan Epstein and Alan Osrin in 1989. During this time, Steven has held several management positions in the company, including financial director, chief operating officer, and managing director. He has played a central role in the company's growth from a start-up to a part of the JSE-listed Softline Group, right up to its present incarnation as part of Sage plc, a FTSE 100 company. A charted accountant by qualification, Steven has driven Sage Pastel's approach to keeping accounting at the cutting edge of technology and turning accounting software into a business management tool. Now, he will apply his skills and experience to Sage AAMEA’s strategically important and rapidly growing cloud business.
  • goolam

    I can’t agree more. Excel is a multi-faceted tool and can be bent into infinite uses. But accounting packages are cheap, scalable and provide any small operation with important foundational tools to grow their business. Reconciliating (e.g. stock to purchases and sales), cashflow management, controls over data processes etc. Unfortunately, rather than trying to understand the very basic and practical principles that accounting places on the business owner, people choose to reinvent the wheel.

  • lauralouise90

    We started with Excel but then moved onto Sage 200 software as we found it easier to handle all the data plus more. I definitely think that Excel is great for the first 6 months – 1 year, but after that you’ll be better off finding a software.