Stuck in the Spreadsheet Zone?

Imagine if you will, a world in which you are destined to repeat the same errors as your predecessors- over and over again, with no apparent escape. No, this is not a bad dream. You have just crossed over into….The Spreadsheet Zone.

You know it’s not working, but you’re scared to walk away for good. The story is always the same- the upkeep is arduous and the imperfections are many. The benefits don’t seem to outweigh the pitfalls. You can’t help but wonder if there is something better out there for you. You guessed it- you are stuck in the spreadsheet zone, using spreadsheets to manage your compensation programs.

As with most changes in life, the reality of switching to a compensation system can seem overwhelming, however the outcome can result in significant advantages to your organization. So, what would make a company want to implement a compensation software system in place of existing spreadsheets? Let us count the ways…

1) Data Security

The most obvious benefit is the enhancement of data security. An automated solution eliminates the following pitfalls of managing compensation planning in spreadsheets: ○ Downloadable, confidential data can easily be transmitted to an unintended party ○ Version control issues and inability to track changes once spreadsheets are distributed ○ Inability to meet compliance and risk standards ○ Confidentiality breaches

2) Data Integrity

Incorporating a compensation system can address these common issues related to data integrity: ○ No real time reporting capability ○ Difficulty finding and correcting errors ○ Calculation and master data errors ○ Multiple versions surfacing ○ Costly mistakes due to data errors gone undetected ○ The possibility of intended or unintended changes made by those receiving or viewing reports ○ Lack of flexibility

3) Increased Freedom

Compensation systems can lead to greater flexibility and freedom. Organizations can now adapt and flex, which is especially important in changing times like we are currently experiencing. By consolidating data in one central, cloud-based location, companies are able to transition and maneuver through acquisitions or mergers with increased accuracy and efficiency. Rather than handing down outdated and inaccurate systems, companies can create reports and make adjustments in real time.

4) Data Centralization

Compensation systems introduce the ability to complete compensation based data analytics, which can include gender gap analysis, market comparisons, and pay for performance.

While change is inevitable and, in this case, also for the better, it can still be difficult to leave the spreadsheet comfort-zone. While spreadsheets have been a long time staple of compensation administration, there is a far better, more productive way to manage your programs.

Being the “best” at spreadsheets requires you to keep proving it over and over again, walking delicately around that one error that will result in your demise. Those who open their eyes and their minds to new possibilities discover a new road out of… The Spreadsheet Zone.

If you are looking for answers to how your company could specifically benefit or have questions related to how to make this shift, reach out to or for more information.

Heather Hormell - Heather is a systems and data analytics expert.

She has 10 years of experience in creating and implementing employee onboarding programs which include aspects of company culture, industry trends, and facets of organizations to support employees through their new endeavors. In addition to new employee onboarding, Heather has developed and implemented department specific new

employee programs, continuous employee development, and regulatory training

Heather’s experience also expands to oversee the implementation process of a variety of HR Systems including: Core HR Management tools, Compensation Management, Performance Management and Learning and Development. All of which support the intersection of HR and Information Technology to help increase efficiencies throughout the employee life cycle.

Howard Nizewitz - Howard’s extensive expertise in compensation management comes with a 25-year track record of implementing strategic and successful compensation programs in the financial services and technology industries with both a global and regional focus.

His tenure includes positions at Barclays, Citigroup and JPMorgan to name a few. Other areas of expertise include HR consulting, deferred compensation, incentive plan design and talent management. If you would like to learn more, please contact

Howard at or schedule a free consultation on the website.

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