We Love Excel, Just Not Always.
At GAGNONtax, we are accountants, so we love MS Excel as much as the next person. We are also highly skilled Excel users. We have made a good business out of creating templates for our clients and helping them integrate these into their daily workflows. We believe that Excel is powerful, we know that it is familiar and comfortable, and we recognize that it is universally accepted. We are also aware that there is a time and place for Excel and when it should not be the tool of choice. We are uncomfortable with the fact that, in most situations, there are limited controls on an Excel spreadsheet, and are frustrated that knowledge doesn’t easily transfer during staff turnover. But we are most concerned that one minor mis-step (e.g. an incorrect cell reference in a hidden formula) will wreak havoc somewhere down the line. Excel simply gets too cumbersome and problematic when there are a significant number of dependent computations. Because of these concerns, we leverage proprietary in-house software and several different vendors in tandem with Excel to ensure we have mitigated risk (i.e. “covered our bases”).
One area that we believe should be moved from Excel to a more stable, secure and streamlined offering is the completion of tax provisions. The typical provision workbook can have twenty or more worksheets, each dependent on the others. When a user updates or makes changes to the workbook/workflow, there is high risk of error which can lead to the most unacceptable of outcomes; incorrect reporting.
At GAGNONtax, we have invested a lot of time working to solve these issues and are excited to announce the commercial launch of GAGNONtax ProVisionGt. Our goal with ProVisionGt is to make the tax provision process less of a burden, to create a repeatable process and to add formal checks and balances to ensure data quality and accuracy.