Don't Be a Robot

How to save time and create more value if you work in spreadsheets.

By: Alex Wunderlich

Working in spreadsheets can make you feel like a robot, but as a young finance grad, I didn’t see it that way. I saw myself as a spreadsheet ninja: building hundreds of forecasts, analyzing enormous datasets, and creating reports that influenced multi-million dollar decisions. I loved using my technical skills and critical thinking. Yet somehow I still went home every night (usually way too late) frustrated and burnt out. 

I appreciated how much I accomplished in those spreadsheets, but I also resented the hours and hours spent burning gridlines into my retina. The repetitiveness of updating numbers, adjusting formulas, reformatting, double checking everything, and then plugging in new numbers all over again...it felt like a waste of time.

And looking back, most of that time was a waste. If you're still relying solely on spreadsheets to update your numbers and plan for the future, you're wasting time too.

It can take days to build a great forecast by hand, but your expertise and research are really only needed at 2 key points in the process:

  • Influencing the rules and assumptions that drive your model
  • Deciding what to do with the outputs of your model


That’s where the magic happens, and it’s what you can do better than anyone else. The other 90% (or more) is just busy work. What else could you accomplish if you didn’t have to worry about the busy work?

If you provide financial or accounting services, you'd open up capacity to take on new clients or offer higher-value services with your extra time. If you’re a business owner or CFO, this would mean faster decisions and more time to grow your company in other ways. 

Since you’re not a robot (and neither is your staff) you should take a hard look at how you allocate your time and effort, and where you’re truly adding value. If something is taking a lot of your time and doesn't add tangible value to the business, then you should find a way to automate it. Technology won’t take your job. But it could be the difference in making it home for dinner or finally relaxing when you go on vacation.

We've been there, and that's why we built Clockwork. You can leverage Clockwork to automatically update your forecasts every hour, and build out scenarios with your own custom assumptions. Get out of spreadsheets and back to running your business. When we say that we exist to make people’s lives better, this is what we’re talking about - saving time and enabling better decisions.

If you're spending too much time in spreadsheets (trust me, you'll know) we're here to help. Chat with us so we can learn about your business and see if Clockwork is a good fit for you!