Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Power BI dashboards provide a 360-degree view for business users with their most important metrics in one place, updated in real time, and available on all of their devices. With one click, users can explore the data behind their dashboard using intuitive tools that make finding answers easy.
Creating a dashboard is simple thanks to over 50 connections to popular business applications, complete with pre-built dashboards crafted by experts that help you get up and running quickly. And you can access your data and reports from anywhere with the Power BI Mobile apps, which update automatically with any changes to your data.
If you are a data analyst delivering reporting and analytics to your organization, Power BI lets you be productive and creative with what you build. Power BI Desktop is a feature-rich data mashup and report authoring tool. Combine data from disparate databases, files, and web services with visual tools that help you understand and fix data quality and formatting issues automatically. With over 20 built-in visuals and a vibrant community of custom visualizations, create stunning reports that communicate your message effectively. With the Power BI service, publish reports securely to your organization and setup automatic data refresh so everyone has the latest information.
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Small businesses often start out using Excel – but that’s only doable up until a point. Like every teenager eventually becomes an adult, your business needs to evolve and grow. Find out why the smartest organisations are using online accounting software instead.
Why Excel isn’t a long term solution
Excel can do a large number of tasks, is easily available and is very widely used in the world of business. And it would be wrong not to not acknowledge this up front. However, while the application is sturdy, it’s the spreadsheets created while using it that aren’t – and this often causes issues down the track.
Seven reasons why accounting software is better than Excel
It's about letting your business grow
While it can often be hard to alter the way you do business and embrace change, the potential rewards are huge. The truth is, the writing is on the wall if you don’t find it easy to quickly manage your day-to-day business using Excel.
Excel was simply not built to replace accounting software – so it’s time to give your business the room to grow and succeed, without restrictions.
Extracted from Xero Guides to Small Business.
Cash is not king. Cash flow is.
If you are running a business, you need to be updated on your cash flow. How? The best is to have automatic bank feeds directly into your accounting software, real-time.
With Xero online accounting software, you can log in online anytime, anywhere on your Mac, PC, tablet or phone and see up-to-date financials. It is small business accounting software that’s simple, smart and occasionally magical.
Xero has all the time-saving tools you need to grow your business: unlimited users and 24/7 support, not to mention the security and reliability you’d expect from Xero.
Most SMEs in Malaysia are using either MYOB or UBS as their accounting software, which are essentially desktop software (meaning you have to purchase the software and install on your computer or server). You have to do your own regular backup and pay for upgrades when new versions are available.
With the emergence of cloud software, you now have more alternatives. You don't have to purchase and install accounting software anymore.
Most cloud-based accounting software are on monthly subscription basis (which means no large upfront payment), nothing to install (just subscribe online and use immediately) and accessible anytime, anywhere using any devices (PC, notebook, smartphones, tablets etc). Free upgrades, unlimited users and backups are done by the software providers.
Some alternatives to MYOB and UBS include Wave Accounting (free software), XERO, Saasu (with inventory functionality), Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Yendo (with CRM functionality), Outright, Kashoo and LessAccounting.
Most of these software have free trial (without credit card details). Check it out to ensure that it meets your requirements. Consult your Accountant, if necessary.
There are more alternatives, particularly if you are in property management, legal services industry or non-profit, that have unique accounting needs. All these alternatives have a reputation for being user friendly, feature-packed, relatively inexpensive and suitable for small business. In most circumstances, you need not consider a more robust accounting solution such as NetSuite, OpenERP or SAP until you reach a much larger size.
Have fun selecting the right accounting software for your business.
Completed a presentation on "The Key to Enhancing Company Value - Understanding Effective Financial Management" organised by Malaysian Investor Relations Association (MIRA) in Bursa Malaysia.
Participants include IR practitioners, company directors, CEO and other professionals from various industries. Shared the importance of financial management in enhancing company value.
"... So that’s one sense in which Excel could be dangerous: that we’ve tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, of financiers and bankers throwing trillions of dollars around the markets on the basis of their incomplete spreadsheets and their ignorance of how they’re doing it wrong. Pretty scary really". This was reported in Forbes.com here.
Yes, Microsoft Excel is indeed a very dangerous software - if not used probably. In the hand of untrained Excel users, it will lead to costly errors that will lead to errors in decision. Some of the common errors include using the wrong formula, did not update the spreadsheets, did not add up a column or row etc etc. It may sound like silly mistakes but these are indeed common and costly errors.
Even if it does not lead to error in decision making, untrained Excel users wasted hours in spreadsheet design. They treat Excel as a manual books with columns using rudimentary formulas, have multiple sheets and cross linked all these sheets, treat dates are words instead of numbers etc etc. These actions can go on for years without realizing it. To make it worse, the company employs more staffs to update the spreadsheets - which could have been fully automated in the first place.
Are you or your staffs using Excel? If yes, you need to be aware of how dangerous Excel is. Here are some of the symptoms that you or your staffs are using Excel dangerously:
1. Spending too much time on spreadsheets (e.g. copy / paste, repetitive formulas etc)
2. Have to enter the same data more than once (usually in multiple sheets or files)
3. Using calculator to double check the spreadsheets (really, it happens)
4. Did not use pivot table (using pivot table is efficient as it does not involve formula)
What is the best way to avoid this dangerous software? The best is to avoid using Excel, if possible. If your requirements are complex, it is best to invest in a rigorously tested customised software or suitable ERP system (which links your point of sale, inventory, accounting, reports etc).
If you must use Excel (which is understandable), then make sure that you or your staffs are adequately trained. In other words, do not just let anymore in your company (especially fresh graduates whom you do not know what to do with them) to design spreadsheets. Train your staffs or get professional help.
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