What Are the Disadvantages of Microsoft Excel?

One disadvantage of Microsoft Excel is that users cannot enter numbers starting with “0” unless the field of the cell is changed from a number to text. Macros and other mini programs written into Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are prone to virus infections.

When a data file is too large, it can make the Excel program run very slowly, especially if all of the data is on one file. Trying to break the data down into smaller files can lead to some of it being lost or misplaced. Despite training manuals on how to use Excel, many people still do not find the program user-friendly. The application rounds off very large numbers using imprecise calculations, which compromises complete accuracy.

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.