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Excel: Are you using it as much?

Or are you using it differently?

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Morning all,

As someone who's read hundreds of 'death of Excel' articles (and written a couple as well) this has become something of a pet subject for me. Well, everyone needs a hobby.

Off the back of our latest spreadsheet piece about the potential demise of PivotTables, I thought I'd see whether this rings true with AccountingWEB readers 'in the trenches' as it were.

Does the dawn of shiny new cloud tools mean you're still hitting the spreadsheets with the same regularity? Have you cut back on your Excel habit? Or are you using them in a slightly different way to three or four years ago?

Would be fascinated* to hear,

All the best,


*Disclaimer: The word fascinated is a loose concept

Replies (14)

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By Clinton Lee
17th Oct 2019 12:56

Working as I do in M&A, I sometimes end up with a spreadsheet or two. But, and I say this with some trepidation, I haven't used Excel for over a decade now.

LibreOffice Calc does the job perfectly well for me, it's free and I've never had a compatibility problem sending files to Excel users.

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By paulwakefield1
17th Oct 2019 14:04

Yes I use Excel just as much. But my use has changed; in particular I am beginning to use Get and transform (aka Power Query) extensively not only for handling externally generated data but also within a workbook itself. If only it had been available years ago........

I suspect I will also be using the new dynamic arrays in due course although they are currently work in progress.

I think Excel has developed quite markedly in the last few years partly I suspect under pressure from the likes of Google Sheets.

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By lionofludesch
17th Oct 2019 14:22

Tom - you need to get out more.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By paulwakefield1
17th Oct 2019 14:44

Harsh (but fair) :-)

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Replying to lionofludesch:
Tom Herbert
By Tom Herbert
18th Oct 2019 14:23

I totally agree!

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By tom123
17th Oct 2019 15:01

Without Excel I would have no job.
Yes, my ledgers are in proper software, but to get anything at all useful from them requires ODBC links and Excel.

I wouldn't want to use it as some kind of primary record tool though.

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By the_drookit_dug
17th Oct 2019 15:39

This death of Excel business is way overblown, mainly by those with apps to peddle. The main reason being the unrivaled versatility that Excel provides.

Sure, Excel is used in many situations where other solutions would be more appropriate, but it cuts both ways. There simply are, and always will be, tasks for which Excel is the best tool.

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By Bob Loblaw
17th Oct 2019 16:45

I haven't read the linked article, but does the demise of Pivot Tables mean I can stop pretending to know how to do them in job interviews?

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By kenny achampong
18th Oct 2019 13:27

I love spreadsheets, and 95% of my clients use it, and MTD has doubled the number of spreadsheets, so that's great. Although, it is a bit strange considering the original HMRC plan was to stop us using Excel. Still, at least MTD has managed to stop us making so many VAT mistakes, we always struggled to type in those 4 figures correctly. It was a constant nightmare. Much better idea to have 2 spreadsheets open and create hyper links across the 2 spreadsheets 13 times. Thanks so much for that brainwave HMRC.

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By stepurhan
18th Oct 2019 13:37

Use Excel too much?

Burn the heretic!


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By Cactuscat
18th Oct 2019 14:26

(I'm in business, so ymmv) I'm still using Excel-based plugins to extract and present ledger data - all my Budget Holders are still getting spreadsheets every month.

The push from our IT department is towards web-based reporting, but until I've got a tool that lets me adjust forecasts and narrate variances on the fly like Excel does, I simply can't be swayed.

Also, let's be honest, I still love Excel.

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By [email protected]
18th Oct 2019 14:29

Perhaps a biased view but from what I've seen, the usage is increasing and will continue to do so as we move into the world of big data. How they are being used is certainly changing, and for the better. Connected with cloud tools you reduce a lot of the pain and risks, whilst automating the easiest to the hardest tasks, and can tailor it almost anyway you want, with the right know-how. Long live Excel

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18th Oct 2019 14:40

It's my go-to software of choice for anything resembling bookkeeping ... been using it too long to bother finding alternatives (I am over 70 now, and still chugging along in practice, although not bothering to try and replace clients that die on me or retire)

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By maxmillion
19th Oct 2019 14:05

I still prefer Lotus 123. Wish I still had my original disk as the macros were much easier to use.
But I'm warming to Excel

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