Our top four reasons why Excel isn’t going anywhere

For years, Microsoft Excel has been the go-to software for financial modellers, and despite many attempts to knock it from its pedestal, it’s not going anywhere. Here are our top 4 reasons why Excel is here for the long haul.

Financial Modelling Advisory
|| | 23. 05. 2021.

1. Everybody uses Excel

Excel isn’t just a useful program that is occasionally used, companies around the world rely on it. Most companies have some spreadsheet solutions that have been around for a long time, some since they were founded, and they are often decades old. They have macros automating processes.

2. Companies already have it

For many organisations the first-choice software suite is Microsoft Office. Why pay for a new subscription to expensive, custom software when you can create a custom solution with the tools you have at hand?

In today’s fast paced environment, decision making tools need to be deployed quickly if they are to be useful. By the time you have identified a package, organised consultants to come in and deploy it, your Excel models could be up and running. Often, this is not a goal or target to reach, this is a response speed that management expects.

Individuals use it for much the same reasons; The cost and availability, paired with the fact that it is intuitive and quick to give us the answers we need.

3. Nobody can fully replace it

Many companies have tried. Complex spreadsheet ecosystems may be trumpeted as inefficient, but there is no replacing them. The time and cost involved is not always available, and other packages simply do not have the flexibility of Excel. 

Some clients have tried to move their forecasting into other packages, but they still need intermediary workbooks as they transition from one to the other, and when the other packages fail, people often gravitate back to Excel.

While there may be other packages that can replace specific Excel functionalities, there is nothing out there that can replace it entirely. In the end, many organisations come to the same decision; it’s better to have one tool that is good at a dozen things, than a dozen tools that are good at one thing.

4. It’s getting better

One of the greatest arguments against Excel was that it was becoming outdated. Somebody at Microsoft must have been listening, because it’s recently come out with some ground-breaking new functionalities that have cemented its place at the core of business technology. 

From supercharged new worksheet functions like XLOOKUP, which seeks to replace the manual INDEX/MATCH combination, to LAMBDA, which allows you to create custom functions, the Excel team at Microsoft have demonstrated  why they’re always ahead of the pack.


Understanding the importance of Excel is key. At PPS, we have a range of courses that can help modellers of all skill levels build on their Excel knowledge. For more information on our courses click here. Alternatively, if you have a specific topic you would like training on why not contact us today at info@pps.financial.

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