Still using Excel for your staff rosters?

February, 2016

Still using Excel for your staff rosters?

Spreadsheets are the go-to problem solver for many businesses and can be great for many simple tasks such as cashflow projections, asset lists and purchase orders.

However while it may be an quick and easy fix, in many situations a spreadsheet just doesn’t measure up.  This is especially true when performing business critical tasks such as managing your financial and operational data and when you need multiple users to collaborate on a multi-step process.

This includes your staff rosters!

Many hospitality and retail businesses now realise the important role efficient staff rostering plays in their overall success. Using more effective methods of creating and sharing rosters enables businesses to be more efficient, provide their staff with better information and gain valuable insights into their operating performance.

Here’s a number of reasons why it’s time to move away from Excel.

Spreadsheets don’t support a collaborative workflow

Excel spreadsheets (and even cloud spreadsheet programmes like Google Sheets) can get messy when several contributors are involved and issues can arise such as multiple copies of the same file, security and privacy of information and ensuring a repeated workflow from one user to the next.

Contrast this with the built-in collaborative features of modern cloud based technologies permits interaction from all employees within a defined workflow and streamlines the process from start to finish/

Potential for human error

Here’s a hypothetical situation; Angela from accounts has spent Monday morning setting up a great spreadsheet, formulas and all – only to find the following morning that Jack, the Duty Manager from the previous evening, accidentally deleted one of the her formulas and all the figures for the day are now wrong and staff start turning up for the wrong shifts (or worse, not turning up at all!).

Too much human interaction can lead to increases in potential for error. Spreadsheets place too much dependency on the user’s skill and accuracy.

Record keeping

Whilst Excel does provide a form of record keeping, it isn’t as meticulous or robust as is necessary when attending to important management- or finance-related information.  Modern organisations need to ensure the correctness of all of their information and good change logs /  auditing processes form a part of this.

Visualisation of your data

live-costingWhose eyes don’t glaze over when presented with a multi-page spreadsheet full of tiny rows of numbers? While Excel does support custom charts these require high user skills to master and can be prone to error as well. Better visualisation of your data will lead to being able to make better, more informed decisions.

Tools that are built for a specific purpose will always out-do Excel in presenting relevant information in a useful and meaningful way.  Businesses should always be testing and measuring their key performance indicators and using the best possible tools to visualise that information.


goRoster is a simple, easy to use and cost effective online solution which helps you spend less time on paperwork and more time on what’s really important to your business. If you’re ready to get off Excel spreadsheets, we have a special offer: Sign up for a full year’s subscription before March 15th and get two months free. PLUS we have our knowledgeable, friendly team of rostering experts who can help you get up and running quickly! Get started on your free, no obligation trial here.

3 Monetary Basics You Should Continuously Be Reviewing

March, 2015

3 Monetary Basics You Should Continuously Be ReviewingDo you know who an incredible advocate for hard work was? Mary Poppins.

Bet you didn’t expect me to bring up that name of an old matriarch like Nanny from a 1960’s Walt Disney movie. But hey, she sure shined in the hard work department! Do you know what else is hard work? Running a business. If you don’t get it right, it can become a right royal pain in the finance department.

That catchy tune she sung…what was it? The one about sugar…oh that’s right!

“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”

In my mind, the literal interpretation of this is that once you get the right recipe ingredient – it’s going to make your life a whole lot easier.

So, a spoonful of sugar huh? Lets break down what might go into this spoonfull of monetary goodness.

1.  Employee Costs

The typical hospo model follows the 30,30,30,10 rule of thumb. 30% employee costs, 30% fixed costs, 30% cost of goods sold, and 10% profit. Employee costs are the most controllable costs out those I have just listed. Get these right and you’ll be chugging along just nicely. With the right tools and technology managing employee costs is like riding a bicycle.

2.  Revenue

Your revenue should always be tracked directly against your employee costs. Seeing how the two track against each other gives you a much more accurate reflection of what you’re taking in at the end of the day. With a drop of revenue and a pinch of cost, you’ll be at your financial goal in only a matter of time.

3.  Additional Staff or Employee Related Costs 

These are comprised of different things depending on which country of which we are speaking. These cover things such as holiday entitlements, medical insurances, superannuations etc. The important part is to make sure you account for these costs each week to ensure when it comes to the end of the financial year everything matches up and all figures are succinct.

Get this recipe right to reap all the rewards you’ve dreamed of.

And who doesn’t love rewards…


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