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5 Reasons to Give up Excel for SaaS Loan Portfolio Management

It is almost impossible to imagine the corporate world without Excel. It is the most used Business Intelligence tool across the globe, covering a wide range of things needed to keep the ball rolling, including loan portfolio management. From kids being taught how to use it at school to global corporations relying on it to sustain the business, Excel spreadsheets are a familiar and trusted tool everywhere.

However, the era of it being capable of meeting the high requirements of successful companies has ended. A static reporting tool like Excel cannot handle the conversion rates, volume and variance of data the businesses are capable of collecting now, let alone offer in-depth insights or easy-to-understand visualisations. This is the time to say goodbye to this old companion and greet SaaS (software-as-a-service) loan portfolio management instead.

SaaS: Evolution of Excel Spreadsheets

First of all, not only SaaS companies offer solutions more innovative than Excel analytics but they are a whole lot more scalable. Another important advantage is that SaaS loan portfolio management systems are likely to save you time and money when it comes to setup and onboarding.

Being a cloud-based software solution that is accessible via your browser, SaaS analytics doesn’t need an IT team, complicated implementation process, or extra hardware. In fact, at we went an extra mile and made sure you can start using our loan portfolio management software as soon as you sign up for a free trial.

With the above being a brief introduction, we will now take a deeper look at why SaaS should replace Excel for you.

5 reasons to give up Excel for Saas loan portfolio management

1. Human Error

Excel spreadsheets make managing data easy through flexible and customisable Business Intelligence. For more complex business analytics tasks however, you need to be able to work with formulas to a high standard. Sadly, as complexity increases the chance of human error does too. And the key to a successful strategy is accurate and up-to-date information. Ultimately, bad data results in bad decisions.

With each cell being a valuable part of the formula used, Excel spreadsheets carry a high risk of human error for each of those very important cells is subjected to manual manipulation. It is not unknown how one small miscalculation on one cell changed the results and ended up costing millions in losses - all because of one Excel cell.

In other words, something very minor can result in very major outcomes, and it will take a long time to figure out what exactly went wrong.

With SaaS BI tools this will no longer be a worry. It creates a data warehouse enabling users to put together data from different data sources, compiling and storing it at the same place.

Things like calculations and rules needed to process the data can be added before data lands in the warehouse, giving you the answers right away when you need to report on them. Unlike Excel, it’s not requiring knowledge of other techniques to clean up the data. SaaS metrics are easy to access and read without prior experience.

2. Improved Loan Portfolio Reporting

We’ve briefly touched on reporting in the previous point. Since SaaS loan portfolio management offers a very important advantage, it has to be expanded on.

To put it briefly, Excel reports take time to be produced. In a fast-paced industry it is crucial that the decision makers have crisp and brand new data. With Excel and time frames it takes to report, the information it delivers is often outdated or at least not real time.

SaaS analytics tools are not just quicker in providing the data discovery you need, but also do it in a way that’s much easier to read. Namely through visualisation and dashboards, that are often interactive and easy to drill down on.

Unlike Excel, it is not static and keeps on analysing your information at all times. With the correct settings, you can even set it to alert you when there are significant changes in performance.

The key advantage of SaaS loan management platforms is the freedom to customise them to meet your specific needs. And that includes reporting. Intuitive technology cuts the cost on IT departments previously needed to produce Excel reports, instead allowing users of any experience level to gather reports they need hassle-free.

3. SaaS provides Security

Excel has been around long enough for internet data thieves to find ways around locked cells and password-protected sheets. Given the security around these components has never truly been improved, Excel sheets are easily compromised.

Yes, Excel allows putting passwords in place and hiding formulas, but how relevant is this in today’s digital world? First of all, let’s point out something we have addressed already - human error.

When working on a complex spreadsheet, one can accidentally overlook securing some sensitive data. And even if the person in charge takes the utmost care to password-protect everything, malicious programs to break into Excel spreadsheets are more common than you think. Having spreadsheets that include data essential to your business stolen would be a catastrophy.

Our SaaS loan management software is cloud-based, thus coming with extra security features to ensure sensitive data does not leak. We work with customer information day-to-day and it is our direct responsibility to employ the latest security tools and protocols.

These are some of the security measures included in our SME loan platform:

  • Secure communication (HTTPS)

  • Encryption of user and company data

  • Fully customizable user permissions & roles

  • User session time outs/lock outs

  • Password complexity & change management

  • Audit log that covers each user action

4. Collaboration and Control

Most businesses share spreadsheets online. There are several disadvantages of doing so. Data security would be one of them - email and inboxes are pretty easy to compromise and, if the spreadsheet is internal, you are not likely to stuff it with passwords.

Even if you do, we have already explained it’s easy to bypass that. The second and the biggest danger is keeping track of file versions and edits.

If there are multiple people working on the same spreadsheet, they end up with different versions. Bringing them together to make a whole new sheet is time consuming and prone to human error.

Things like mistitling the document and sending the wrong version are terribly common. Or, imagine, a new analyst takes over a data spreadsheet that’s been maintained for years - and spots mistakes in it. Nightmare to any business.

Incorporating a SaaS analytics platform to replace the Excel will deal with these issues without a hitch. Simply put, these systems are usually accessed through a web-browser and can be used by multiple people at the same time. Which excludes the need of sending different versions around and potentially causing confusion.

5. Smooth Workflow

Workflows are practically non-existent in Excel, especially when dealing with complex calculations. Something that is very important in loan portfolio management. Sometimes spreadsheets can get so huge that opening them takes tens of minutes and calculations can take hours on end.

Additionally, spreadsheets are single-threaded. What companies need is to look into possible scenarios too, for example, assess risks and gross margins. Risk analysis is particularly difficult to set up in Excel and thus gets left out whereas predictive analytics are an important part of

When it comes to analytics, spreadsheets have very limited choices and thus you can’t have a robust analytical process from them - they’re not programmed to do that. And that leaves you in a position with less information to base decisions on.

Since SME SaaS platforms are typically built using high-performance programming languages and machine learning, they tend to bring flexible and robust options to the table.

Being based on a cloud platform, they also come with a number of data visualisation options and user tools that make it easy to navigate and filter the data. The workflows can be run simultaneously by different users and they can share the results among themselves. Also, unlike spreadsheets, this data is being saved and important metrics can be revisited in the future.

Key Takeaway

Excel spreadsheets for businesses are so yesterday. They used to do the job, but they are simply not efficient nor secure any longer. A minor mistake can cause big financial damages, sensitive information is easy to hijack and, above all, you don’t get all the information you need out of them.

To bring your business into the new age and to embrace digital transformation you need to move away from Excel sheets. Instead, adopt a SaaS business intelligence platform.

Curious what it can do for you? Get going with a free trial.

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