Money, or finance, is the core of any business. Be it a small start-up enterprise or a mega conglomeration, without money there is no business. A business might have been started without any money (though this is more likely legend than fact), but it is not likely to be sustainable, nor is it going to prosper without finance.

Once trade has begun it will be essential to your business that it is run as a tight-ship, with controls and balances in place. This will ensure the efficacy of your company and the effective management of its assets and liabilities. Reporting and analysis of these essential business parameters is of significant importance to the function and control of the business.

The particular computer software systems that your company is going to make use of to keep control of debts, assets and profitability will depend on the systems with which you are, or your financial manager is, most familiar. 'Business intelligence' is a key phrase in the success of any company, and Microsoft Excel is its most effective tool.

Microsoft Excel is recognised globally as an efficient spreadsheet application which enables users to draw up spreadsheets that can contain innumerable quantities of data, can solve calculations using predetermined formulae and equations, and can be used to compare and analyse data. It has global recognition as an effective instrument in the management of products, goods and services.

There are many benefits to be gained by making use of Excel in the management of your company as Excel has a variety of functions that are available which can make financial management solutions, and the analysis and presentation of business data, faster to determine and implement. But Excel also presents some challenges that must be overcome to gain full productivity. Particularly, you need to set up simple methods to flow data into your spreadsheet reports, and develop ways to reduce errors.

These challenges are easily overcome with knowledge gained through training. It is of the utmost importance that you have the correct training to ensure effective and accurate solutions in half the time it might take using another application or software product. To gain full advantage of this Microsoft application there are a number of Microsoft Excel courses (covering everything from a basic introduction to Excel, to training on the more advanced features of Excel) that one can enrol for and attend.

As a business intelligence tool, Excel allows for data to be moved easily from analysis to reporting. What is the difference between the two? Analyses turns into reporting when it is required that the information be presented on a weekly, monthly or other basis. Reports turn into analyses when reported information doesn't make sense upon presentation.

It often occurs that companies will do their analyses in Excel and their reporting in another programme, the consequence of which is that the data must be transferred between the two, and so valuable time (and potentially data too) is lost on this time-consuming task. But if both of these functions are created using Excel then answers can be achieved more quickly and efficiently.