Back in olden times, spreadsheets were designed to be used instead of the paper sheets that were commonly used by bookkeepers and accountants. They provided the rigid layout for keeping accounts clear, and a built-in calculator that saved massive amounts of time..
They were so popular that many credit spreadsheets with prompting the development of the graphical user interface that replaced command line operating systems and opened up computer use to significantly more people. They were convenient, so people started using them for non-accounting purposes, like as stand-ins for actual databases. Spreadsheets can do a lot, but they can’t do everything.
What You Should Use Spreadsheets For
If your business uses collections of financial, statistical, or other numerical data, spreadsheets are terrific for storing and managing this type of data. Spreadsheet software usually has several built-in mathematical functions that save you from having to program them in (or worse, calculate them over and over). They’re easy to edit, and allow you to create different types of graphical displays, such as the various types of charts and graphs. They’re fantastic for managing the numbers associated with a particular project, person, or other discrete entity.
What You Should Use Online Forms For
Online forms are far better for tasks where duplication of effort is a risk. Suppose you and your business partner choose to keep a joint spreadsheet where you log incoming queries, who responded to them, and when the response was made. Further suppose a query comes in and you field it, but you forget to enter it into the spreadsheet because you’re busy. Maybe they’ll call back and get your partner, who may not have the first clue what this repeat caller is talking about. It makes your business look sloppy.
Online forms are far better for such functions. In fact, with the right workflow management software, you can arrange for the data from the online forms to be automatically copied into spreadsheets if you still want to use them. But you won’t duplicate effort, and you won’t let processes slip through the cracks the way you can with spreadsheets.
“Shouldn’t Form Software Be a Later Addition to Our Software Anthology?”
Many new businesses think they’ll grow into their need for form software when in fact, they can make great use of it before they even open their doors for business. You can create online forms for simple timekeeping for your first employees, make employee onboarding forms that ensure everyone’s information is on file, and even create e-commerce forms that online customers can use to order your products and services.
In other words, there’s no reason at all to wait to add form software to your repertoire. Not only can you do a lot with it right now, you’re certain to find more uses for it as your business grows. Plus, if you start out with workflow software, you won’t find yourself having to replace spreadsheets and make everyone climb a new learning curve when you do.
ROI for Form Software
The return on investment with form software is both quick and long lasting. Right now you can make a tedious, paper-based process much faster, even allowing form users to access and complete forms on mobile devices. Time savings are almost instantaneous. Over the long term, you can be confident you aren’t wasting money on duplicated efforts (such as having someone write down data and then having someone else enter it into a spreadsheet).
And as your business moves forward, you’ll find countless other ways to use your form software, creating online forms for everything from IT help requests to paid time off requests to sign-ups for the company softball team.
No one disputes the value that spreadsheets have brought to businesses. They’re still extremely useful for several business processes. However, before the availability of easy-to-use online form software, people put a lot of effort into trying to make spreadsheets do things for which they were not intended.
PerfectApps is online form software that presents you with an intuitive, drag-and-drop user interface, and lets you create beautiful, functional online forms without having to program and without having to climb a steep learning curve. And since it is available as a cloud-hosted application, you won’t have to invest in an IT infrastructure upgrade to use it on exactly the scale that you need. PerfectApps invites you to watch our demo video and witness the many ways online forms benefit businesses of every size, and in every stage of development.