Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet application is a popular choice for companies looking to track expenses and manage business data. As noted in this PC World article the problem with spreadsheets is that it can take a week to consolidate cross-company information and it isn't unusual to discover that managers were looking at or use spreadsheets that were not the final versions.
"Out-of-date sales and manufacturing numbers were unacceptable for Thule Vehicle Solutions North America, a 400-person operation that makes products like roof racks and bicycle racks and generates 15% of its parent company's revenue. 'Budgeting and forecasting are a big deal for us. We're a seasonal company, so we have to have product ready to go or the sale will go to our competitor,' Cohen says.
"Frustrated, Cohen abandoned Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet application in 2008 in favor of a software-as-a-service offering from Host Analytics Inc. The new package, Host Analytics Budget, provided the support for real-time collaboration and mobile access that his team needed."