There are several disadvantages of using Microsoft Excel, some of which include limited reporting, a lack of an audit trail and version control. In light of some of these disadvantages, a user may want to use actual database software or cloud storage software, such as Google Drive, which has the capability of housing spreadsheets indefinitely.
Limited reporting in this instance means that items such as an inventory database cannot be compared against other databases. For example, if there is a database that houses a list of customers or vendors, Excel does not have the capability to compare it against an inventory database. Database software, such as ERP, has this capability.
A lack of an audit trail refers to the fact that an Excel shared document can be edited by anyone, at any time. Unfortunately, if there is a mistake, it is not possible to ascertain when and where the document was edited, and by whom. Cloud storage, such as Google Drive, clearly shows who last made an edit to the document, and when.
Version control refers to the fact that two people cannot access a Microsoft Excel document at the same time. While this is valuable to prevent mistakes, it can slow down efficiency if several people need to edit the document at once. Cloud storage often offers the capability for different people or groups to be in the document at one time.