Excel or lease management software: Which is right for your business?

For decades, lease management professionals have relied on the simple spreadsheet as their trusted tool of choice. Effective and efficient, it’s been the go-to for organising and analysing lease and licence data and is used to track everything from rent payments and maintenance schedules to lease expirations and tenant communications.

Regardless of your industry, Excel offers its own set of advantages. However, if you’re a lease administrator who depends exclusively on Excel and similar spreadsheet tools, you might inadvertently be exposing yourself to costly errors and operational issues.

Whether it’s a big blunder that results in financial losses or a smaller slip up, all mistakes can create unwanted setbacks for your business. What’s more, you could be missing out on a chance to simplify your lease management workflows, cut expenses, and boost your overall efficiency.

In this article, we dive into the nitty-gritty of Excel’s limitations and explore the benefits of dedicated lease management software. With specialised technology at your fingertips, now is the perfect time to consider a change that can make life easier and free you up to focus on higher level tasks.

Excel’s limitations for lease administration

The role of the lease manager has evolved in recent years as they’re called on to provide more sophisticated insights and specialised expertise. Unfortunately, using Excel as their primary work tool, they are faced with some serious limitations. These include:

Lack of data integrity and accuracy

Excel relies heavily on manual data entry, which increases the risk of errors and inconsistencies in lease and asset information. With bigger portfolios, the data becomes increasingly complex, making things even more challenging to manage. More complicated calculations can be especially error-prone in Excel, in particular for users who are unfamiliar with its advanced functions.

Collaboration and control issues

Collaborative work on spreadsheets often results in version control issues, and when multiple users make changes to the same file it can lead to confusion and data discrepancies.

Unfortunately, attempting to reduce these mistakes by establishing formula guidelines or peer review processes only goes so far. Despite the safeguards, the potential for incorrect details, data swaps, or duplicate information remains.

On the flipside, spreadsheets can become “information traps” with ownership being confined to a single or select group of gatekeepers. Knowledge can be lost when those individuals leave an organisation, making it necessary to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch.

Lack of automation

Excel lacks automation capabilities, which means that users often find themselves caught in the trap of performing repetitive tasks manually.

This inherent inefficiency not only consumes valuable time but can also lead to an unfortunate increase in operational costs with additional hours spent on entering data, calculating figures, and manually updating lease details, especially in the case of large and complex portfolios.

Again, this manual labour not only increases the risk of human errors but also hampers productivity and leaves lease administrators with less time for higher value tasks.

Basic reporting capabilities

While getting superior results from is possible for those with advanced-level skills, Excel’s  reporting capabilities are remain relatively basic compared to specialised software. When dealing with diverse lease and asset portfolios, comprehensive analysis can be particularly challenging.

It can also be time-consuming to create custom spreadsheet reports on a regular basis and this can divert lease managers from other, more important duties.

Limited scalability

As a business’s property portfolio expands, Excel may become slow and cumbersome, making it challenging to manage extensive lease and asset databases efficiently. In more complicated commercial real estate  scenarios, information might exceed the available number of columns and rows provided by spreadsheet tools.

Recognising the need to accommodate a growing portfolio and maintain a provide high level of service, many lease administrators realise that Excel may not be the best long-term solution.

How lease management software makes things easier

An effective lease administrator knows that every date, dollar, and detail matters. The choice between Excel spreadsheets and dedicated lease management software isn’t just a matter of preference – it can make all the difference between average and optimised performance.

Among the many benefits of purpose-built lease management solutions are:

Enhanced accuracy and automation

Storing your data in a living platform as opposed to static spreadsheet or workbook gives you additional precautions against human error, and a reduced chance of miscalculations.

Advanced lease management software solutions minimise the risk of mistakes, ensuring precision in critical financial calculations and lease details. And when routine tasks are automated, you can free up time for more strategic decision-making.

Better transparency and auditability

With specialised lease management software, tracking and marking datapoint changes becomes a smoother process. You gain the capability to identify the source and timing of each change, leading to enhanced compliance management.

These features are complemented by the ability to access real-time updates and share essential property data with other users. As a result, you not only ensure better compliance but also promote better collaboration within your team, promoting efficiency and transparency in your lease management processes.

Enhanced functionality and usability

Data management can be made easier with purpose-built software that provides a wide range of functions not available in spreadsheets. This includes alerts and reminders that empower you to stay on top of critical dates effortlessly.

Other benefits include features like cross-departmental and collaborative working capabilities and the option to validate data sources directly.

Better reporting capabilities

One of the truly outstanding advantages of dedicated lease management software is its superior reporting capabilities. With a few simple clicks, lease managers can generate a wide range of professional, customised reports tailored to the specific needs of various stakeholders.

Whether it’s detailed financial reports for management, compliance reports for regulatory authorities, or performance reports for internal decision-making, the software provides a versatile toolkit. This not only saves valuable time but also ensures that lease administrators can deliver accurate, comprehensive, and visually engaging reports for informed decision-making and building trust with colleagues and customers.

Superior scalability

As businesses experience growth and their lease portfolios expand, purpose-built software is better equipped to accommodate new assets and the complexities they bring. This inherent flexibility ensures that lease administrators can integrate additional properties, tenants, and lease agreements without complicating their workflow.

Superior scalability, coupled with the supportive user community and comprehensive training that lease management software vendors can offer equips businesses to manage their growing lease portfolios with confidence, ensuring long-term success and adaptability in a dynamic real estate landscape.

Say goodbye to spreadsheet struggles: Schedule a demo and discover the difference

If you’re still juggling lease management in Excel and suspect there might be a more efficient way, you’re on the right track.

Our lease management software is designed for busy lease administrators who are ready to move beyond spreadsheets and embrace a smarter, more streamlined approach to lease management.

Contact our team today to schedule a demo and learn how you can modernise your lease management practices for efficiency, compliance, and better business outcomes.

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