Anyone that has used Microsoft Excel to develop complex models including 50+ worksheets can tell you that it is not the best way to do things. Producing such elaborate models requires you to have VBA experience, is an incredibly slow and labor intensive process and can still be very prone to human error. Not to mention there is very little data integrity, it is hard to build relationships between data and data analysis can be very time consuming. Without a consolidated database of information, jursidictions are rely on having many staff members just to keep track data and all the different files that the data resides in. This is very labor intensive, requiring personnel to spend more time tracking data than analyzing that data.
Best technological practices dictate that if you have a large amount of data you should keep all of it in one consolidated, inter-related database. This will allow you to reduce potential for human error and make it far easier to perform data analysis and reporting. Once a database has been created, users can utilize a graphical user interface which interacts with the database to perform all budget manipulation functions. This way all the data manipulations can be automated to make a change in one place that may affect thousands of records rather than manually changing records one by one.
If you want to improve your efficiency, reduce human error, reduce labor costs, and produce a better budget your jurisdiction should begin looking into a system that manipulates a database rather than rely on an antiquated spreadsheet system. You can reduce the waste involved with tracking spreadsheet data and streamline the budgeting process.
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