Is Microsoft Excel the bad guy at ANZ and Oracle their saviour?

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I came across this article and immediately thought CALUMO can help ANZ through their Excel Hell issues.  It is a common problem that all organisations have ... you know: loads of spread sheets, linked, emailed to people, sent back [broken], stored on the K: drive, no L: hang on the folder name has changed, you don't have access to that folder do you?, no SharePoint…. where is that work book?!?!!?  I spent weeks on it! Oh, in my email archive, phew! Hang on, was that the number I gave the my boss, the board? Oh shi..
This is what CALUMO helps people with, every day.  All of these problems go away with CALUMO.

Accenture's report found many issues, all seemingly related to ANZ's use of Excel:

  • operational risks exist;
  • data inconsistencies exist;
  • business continuity problems;
  • the use of Excel lacks automation;
  • a problem of accuracy and
  • a lack of appropriate controls.

Yep.  No arguments from me there.  They ARE the issues with Excel when you don't have a Business Intelligence system like CALUMO.

As the article goes on there are quotes like:

Data is inaccurate and unreliable and manual intervention is required from source,"
"The current capital forecasting system in Treasury is inaccurate and requires standardisation.”

"Chart of accounts is complex and inefficient and does not allow transparent and accurate reporting and decision making."

And what is the reason provided for these problems ? -- the report gives an answer:

The analysis shows that ANZ's manual use of the Microsoft Excel spread sheet software to manage financial information”

Ah yes.  Of course.  That damn Excel!

Then the article says:

Sources close to the bank said morale was low in the technology department as key investments to update finance, risk and human resources systems continued to be stymied. For example, in November, the technology team had recommended that new Oracle Exadata boxes be purchased to vastly improve its ERP system performance.

The cost was less than $10 million but the bank has yet to approve it.

Hang on… Is Excel the problem or is Oracle just awesome and as my kids say we neeeeeed it? Dropping 10 million bucks is a lot of money to anyone and ANZ is a BANK!

"Morale [in IT] is really low . . . nothing seems to be moving," a source said.

So… ANZ should drop 10 million smackaroos because morale is low in IT?  I think there are far less expensive options to improve morale in IT.  A week in Vegas for each IT employee would probably be cheaper and certainly boost their spirits! Don't get me wrong, employee morale is very important.  High morale causes low to no turn over and very high productivity.  I measure it at my clients. It will increase revenue. This mention of low morale in this article is a cop out.

Then there was this article and this time details a report by Ernst & Young suggesting $73.5m could be saved from an initial budget of $303.2m for IT projects over four years to 2013”. Oracle is mentioned 9 times. I smell something. I must admit, a 24% saving is excellent but they are future projects. Are they actually approved and going to happen?  Who commissioned these articles?

Then I found this article talking about a profit jump of 22% for ANZ. That gives ANZ a cash profit of $2.8 billion. That's $2,800,000,000.  I wonder what tool they used for that analysis?

So why won't the decision makers drop $10M?  I suspect it's because they don't see the value. They don't feel the pain. ANZ are going to make $2.5 billion with there current systems.  Ok, some of their systems aren't that special but they kinda work don't they? It may be because fixing the chart of accounts is Finance's job and new technology won't make a bad structure good. Is the spend in line with business objectives and goals? How is morale in Finance who have the burden of using Excel?

If you want to get your BI project over the line with your decision makers, Rosetta is the tool CALUMO uses to make it happen. We line your BI proposal with the organisations business objects and calculate real VALUE. Rosetta creates a financial VALUE proposition showing you and your boss the value of the investment you are asking for in terms they understand.

For more information, email me at wleitch@calumo.com or leave a comment.

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