Dec 13, 2022

Should I use Excel or Google Sheets

How to decide between using Excel or Google Sheets for your spreadsheet based financial reporting

Should I use Excel or Google Sheets

How to decide between Excel and Google Sheets

The first question you should ask yourself is what is it that you need to accomplish and your use ca

While Excel has been the industry standard for financial reporting for decades, more and more companies and bookkeepers are choosing to keep their financial reporting in Google Sheets.

For Google Sheets:

Startups and Tech Teams

Most founders and tech companies teams are automatically comfortable working within Google Sheets and usually have basic financial reporting needs to start out. They are also already collaborating within the Google Workspace so it keeps all of their files in a centralized location.


LOTS of bookkeepers are using Google Sheets as a centralized location for clients. Google Sheets's ease of file sharing makes it perfect when working with clients you want to keep out of QuickBooks. This way both the client can check in on their financials at any time and the bookkeeper can make updates as they come in. This reporting does not usually include any advanced forecasting or modeling but will have some non-financial metrics and/or a centralized dashboard

Outsource CFO Firms

Same as above for bookkeepers BUT these do sometimes evolve into true financial models. For larger firms keeping track of and automating client data can be easier in Sheets when using add-ins or other data sources. This also provides a better internal control process when the firm is more centralized and wants to track changes or who viewed what.

Now Excel

Individual Fractional CFOs

Former bankers and CFOs that have spent their careers working in Excel. These users are intimately familiar with the library of Excel Shortcuts as a way to save time. These users build more advanced financial models than a simple P&L report .


Traditional SMBs - The CFOs and controllers at these firms have been using Excel for decades in some instances and are not looking to make a change! They have their models built, and even though they know it is manual, they are comfortable using Excel and cutting up their data in an environment they know well. These companies will have budgets, forecasts, dashboards, and advanced breakdowns of their operations broken out by things like location or class as necessary.


Overall we see more advanced financial models and forecasts still being built in Excel. With that said, for teams looking for easily sharable solutions where they want to collaborate in the reports, Google Sheets still has the advantage - although Excel has been making progress with its online solution. Both companies will be competing as more companies transition to the cloud so expect the feature competition to heat up.

No matter what solution you use for financial reporting, with a solution like Genius Sheets you can automate your data into your models and spend less time copying and pasting.

Genius Sheets custom formulas allow you to keep your existing financial models and reports, limiting the time required to implement the solution, and letting you stay in your Excel and Google Sheets reports. By connecting data from QuickBooks Online through formulas, you can build or integrate fully dynamic and complicated financial reports.

Want to try it out? You can sign up for a free account and get started trying out Genius Sheets today.

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