Financial institutions, small and large, touch numerous data sources every day, which can present problems when each data source speaks a different language, preventing different systems – or even departments – from obtaining the same data. Exacerbating this problem of inconsistent data, many community banks and credit unions are still heavily reliant on their Excel spreadsheets, which are time-consuming, prone to errors and static in nature.
Despite the need for high-quality data, many smaller community institutions are reluctant to replace their legacy core systems due to financial and time restrictions. An estimated 750 million people worldwide use Excel, and while it remains a vital tool, financial institutions may want to consider other options for greater efficiency and speed within their organization.
The more spreadsheets your financial institution uses, the more “versions of the truth” it must defend to auditors, as each spreadsheet has room for error. Financial institutions should strive for a single version of the truth for greater transparency for customers, as well as more accurate and efficient processes. Implementing a central database allows each department to work seamlessly together. Don’t want to completely give up your Excel files? Consider centralizing data with software like a document library to increase the accessibility of files and include files, like Excel and PDFs, for complete documentation. In addition, imaging systems, in addition to document libraries, can automate the replication of files, which further reduces the risk of overwriting files and eliminates the need for manual downloads and re-uploads. Solely relying on the use of spreadsheets is a static way of gathering data. In order to speed up and execute your processes safely and effectively, it’s time to step away from fully relying on your spreadsheets.