While Excel is widely available and used in most companies in various industries for financial modelling, it comes with limitations such as time inefficiency and being error-prone. Due to this, it’s worth the question, is there a software that can be an alternative to Excel?
Yes. There are many of them, and we listed the best ones in this article.
Google Docs Spreadsheet
Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet software developed by Google. It has almost the same features as Excel, but it’s free to use. All you need is a Google account to gain access to Google Docs with 15 GB free storage.
Since it’s a web-based application, you can use Google Sheets wherever you are, even from a different device. You also don’t have to press Ctrl+S over and over to save your file, since it saves changes automatically.
It’s also good for collaboration because different people can use the file simultaneously, with changes from other users displayed real-time. You can also use Google Sheets with your own scripts.
On the downside, Google Sheets has limited formatting features compared to Excel. It’s also not that powerful; so, if you’re going to use thousands of rows for your data, it’s much better to stick with Excel.
For starters, Anaplan is a cloud-based business planning software with an impressive modelling engine and analytics. One of its advantages over Excel is it’s cloud-based; employees can all work on the master version simultaneously, reducing the chance of errors.
Furthermore, Anaplan is just as flexible as Excel, as it allows you to work on a blank file to create advanced and complex financial models. Unlike Excel, you can use Anaplan to create financial models using multiple dimensions.
ThinkFree is like Google Docs and Microsoft Office. It lets you work with three documents: Calc for spreadsheets, Write for word processing and Show for presentations. It’s cloud-based, so it’s also good for collaboration.
However, it only gives users 1 GB of free storage, which is very low by today’s standards.
Apache OpenOffice is an open-source office software that allows you to create various documents. It’s one of the most popular alternatives to Excel, and it’s not hard to see why.
First of all, it’s free to use, and it has many useful features. It can handle small amounts of data (under 10,000), which is less than what Excel can handle, but it comes with more or less all features of Excel, and it’s free.
While it’s not cloud-based, Apache OpenOffice is still a reliable alternative to Excel that doesn’t require any internet connection to work.
LibreOffice is another open-source office software that you can use for all kinds of office document needs. If you have used it before and find it similar to Apache OpenOffice, it’s because it’s LibreOffice was also derived from Open Office.
It has most of the features that Excel has, but, it’s lacklustre in formatting. While it’s not a dealbreaker, lack of formatting features reduces your flexibility in how you want to use your data.
Data is just an endless array of numbers if you can’t find ways to analyse them. While there are Excel and other applications to help you build a financial model, it is still best to consult with experts, especially if your company has complex data management needs. A credible financial modelling company offers advanced financial services such as storytelling by data. They can study your data in detail to help you make the right business decisions for your company.