Monitoring your finances with Excel? Beware of the hidden costs!

Monitoring your finances with Excel? Beware of the hidden costs!When asked about our cost of monitoring finances on Excel, most of us would say, “No, it's free”. We don't realize that when we use Excel, we waste time trying to consolidate data and can hardly run investment analytics that are required for quality decision-making. Poorly informed decisions made as a result of spreadsheets, can cost us a lot especially when we don’t have a handle on imbalanced asset allocation, maturing investments, poor advisor performance, etc.

We have to ask ourselves, is there a better way of managing our financial lives?
Well, the shift to an automated asset management and financial reporting system holds the key.

When you give up spreadsheets, and switch to an intuitive software platform, you can upload data and sync information to save time, reduce man-hour costs and ensure accuracy. In addition, you can also generate reports on demand; auto-update books of accounts and store soft copies of documents.

With access to automatically updated values of market traded assets (equity, debt, gold) and corporate actions (bonus, rights, dividend), you and your finance team can jointly work with current and relevant data. On a single system for investments and accounting, it becomes easy for you to monitor realized and unrealized gains or losses with indexation, and to reconcile dividend income and periodic interest with your bank account.

In relying on spreadsheets for monitoring finances, you run the inadmissible risk of capital erosion and sub-optimal returns – a cost much higher than adopting a technology platform. So while spreadsheets may be free, they are certainly not helping you make money! To have access to timely information that enables you to make the right decisions, mitigate losses, reduce tax liability and increase returns, the only solution is to invest in an asset management software platform. By accepting this paradigm shift, you are back in the driver’s seat and can always stay in control.

(About the Author: This article has been contributed by Chirag Nanavati, Executive Director, Asset Vantage)