Tip #19 – Rethink File Management

Rethink file management by moving to a central workspace and reducing (if not eliminating completely) the use of spreadsheets.

I met Ross in 1995 when we were both assigned to work on a large R&D credit project.

Ross was assigned to manage the “master file”. Every morning Ross would open the file, rename it, and spend the day making updates to the file. This was his only task which he dutifully fulfilled for four months at a cost of over $250,000.

Managing spreadsheets is a black hole of wasted time.

SPRX R&D Credit Tip – Rethink file management by moving to a central workspace and reducing (if not eliminating completely) the use of spreadsheets.

Your spreadsheet may be the wrong tool

Spreadsheets aren’t evil, it’s just that they are inefficient as a multi-person, team tool. The spreadsheet was designed as a single-user, desktop application.  When you need inputs from multiple people, or need to share secure data across a team, the spreadsheet is the wrong tool.  

How much time to you spend managing spreadsheet files?

Version control may be the biggest frustration. As soon as you share a spreadsheet with another person you’ve lost control.  Sure, maybe you have a naming convention, and you ask other people to follow it. But do you have to rename files that come back to you? Can you ever be certain that someone isn’t making changes to the file and letting you know? Countless hours have been wasted just trying to keep a team working from the most current spreadsheet.  

Where does your team store spreadsheet files? Are you emailing versions back and forth across the team? Perhaps you have a shared drive. But even with a shared drive people work on their local machine and are responsible for uploading current versions to the drive. And even though the shared drive will show which file was last uploaded you cannot be certain that that file is the most recent version.

The list can go on and on. We all have stories like Ross up above where file management seems to be a job unto itself. We’ve all experienced problems and setbacks resulting from mis-managing spreadsheet files.

Central workspace technology

Central workspace technology was developed to provide a secure, multi-user environment. The SPRX.tax workspace provides this technology to R&D credit teams.

Escape the spreadsheet black hole with central workspace technology.  

Version control concerns are immediately eliminated when your team works in a secure, online workspace. Everyone has access to the same data 24/7. Experience immediate project efficiency gains by eliminating version management tasks.

A central workspace is much more than a shared file drive. Teams perform all R&D credit tasks in the SPRX.tax workspace. Tax analysis, federal and state credit computations, SME validation, manager review, report preparation tasks are all performed within the secure workspace. No more chasing down files, no more modifying computation spreadsheets, no more wondering if SMEs have completed their review. When all the work is performed in the central workspace, teams work more efficiently.

At SPRX.tax we build the tools that save you time…and money