Best Excel Reporting and Planning Tools on Cloud for Banks

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This article will focus on the Best Excel Reporting and Budgeting Tools on Cloud for Banks

bankincomestatementExcel: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43) – The reason why we all love Microsoft Excel so much is that you can create almost any report you can imagine.  Take for example this Business Process Management (BPM) report.  BPM is a systematic approach to making an organization’s workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to an ever-changing environment.

This report analyzes the various times an organization takes to process invoices and purchase orders.  As you can see with the huge spike in document processing in March, the utilization percentage of the entity went down.  While Excel can show you where the inefficiencies are, Minit is a cool process analysis tool that can actually show you how to fix them.
Many banks are using BPM today to manage their various critical functions.  We have all been frustrated in the past at how long it takes to secure a mortgage.  Using process analysis, banks have figured out where the bottlenecks in document processing lie and have fixed them.  Excel spreadsheets is a great way to get started.
Net Interest Margin (NIM) Budgeting in Excel – Interest Income and Expense are the biggest pieces of a bank’s earnings and being able to budget for them is critical.  Excel is a perfect use for this exercise.  In the report above, this bank is amortizing each of its loans that were on its books as of December.
As the existing loans amortize, the bank can figure out what its interest income will be on the existing portfolio.  The bank also has another worksheet that analyzes new loan production with its own associated interest rates.  When the two reports are added together, the bank can figure out what the total interest income for loans will be for the next year.
If you are looking to go one step beyond interest planning, Axiom provides a tool that will also apply Funds Transfer Pricing (FTP).  FTP is a method used by bankers to evaluate the profitability of deposits and loans.  What it does is to match a safe investment with each deposit account such as U.S. Treasuries to calculate a net interest spread.  When the money is lent out, that same U.S. Treasury is matched against the loan to calculate its net interest spread.
Basic Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) – Probably the number one reason why Excel is so popular is that it makes basic financial planning and analysis so easy.  Income Statements, Balance Sheets, and Cash Flow Statements are the primary reports for any company.
Here is a portion of a bank’s income statement reviewing interest income over time with a chart.  The ability to add charts and graphs to your Excel reports is so valuable.  With pictures, the reader of the report is instantly able to make conclusions.
If you are viewing reports on a mobile device, reading all the numbers can be very tricky.  With charts and graphs, you are able to grasp what is going on without squinting.
So what are the basic requirements? – So if you are looking for the Best Excel Tools on Cloud for Banks, you need a checklist.

  • Data Warehouse – Since the application will exist on Cloud, you will need to have a copy of your data in a centralized data warehouse.  You do not want all of your various departments accessing data from multiple places all producing their own version of the truth.
  • Excel front-end report writer – This almost goes without saying that you need an Excel front-end report writer, but there are many tools out on the market that say they are Excel-like.  Not being exactly Excel, you have to learn a new report writer.
  • Secure Data – Cloud data is not behind a bank’s firewall and protection.  The host provider of your data must certify that your data is protected from hackers.  Amazon and Microsoft are probably the most used Cloud providers.  The amount of resources that they employ to protect your data is vastly greater than what any one bank can possibly provide.
  • Bank specific modules – While there are many good tools out there for Excel automation, having a partner that already provides Business Process Management, Funds Transfer pricing, and Net Interest Income and Expense Planning templates is very helpful for much quicker implementation.

Best Excel Tools on Cloud for Banks – Below are a handful of companies that would qualify for Best Excel Reportign and Budgeting Tools on Cloud for Banks.
The Adaptive Suite by Adaptive Insights – This solution is Cloud based only, but they do have an Excel add-in.  You can build ad hoc reports, collaborate with other users, create dashboards, drill-down, and make financial reports.  Adaptive currently does not offer an on-premise version for those banks that are not quite ready to embrace Cloud.
Host Analytics Business Analytics by Host Analytics – Along with being Cloud based only, you can build ad hoc reports, collaborate with other users, create dashboards, drill-down, and make financial reports.  Host Analytics also runs on an OLAP cube and thus limiting the use of other tools for visualization.
Domo by Domo Technologies – Domo is another Cloud only solution that offers   ad hoc analysis, collaboration and dashboards features. However, the company does not specialize in financial reporting or budgeting. DOMO appears to be using AWS Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) and Hadoop to store data in the cloud data warehouse models.
Solver Cloud by Solver, Inc. –  is offered both on-premise and in the Cloud, with Excel design and a web portal for enterprise deployment to end users.  If you start with on-premise, you can always migrate to their Cloud version later on.  All the necessary ad hoc, collaboration, dashboard, drill-down, financial reporting and budgeting features are included.  Solver uses SQL Server for its database engine that also allows other visualization tools to access and analyze.  One nice thing about Solver is that it already has all of your Banking BPM, FTP, and NIM planning templates built.  Since they are Excel, they can easily be modified to suit your bank’s need.
Wherever you are on your Excel journey, Solver Cloud by Solver is enabling world-class decisions for banks.  Solver, Inc. is happy to answer any questions and review Solver’s easy-to-use, Excel-based budgeting and reporting solution for banking users.  If you are looking to take your love affair with Excel to the Cloud, choose the right tool that will meet your bank’s needs today.