Why HR Software is Better Than Excel / Spreadsheet?

Katie Ash

Dec 20, 2023

Running payroll, managing employee leave and timesheets, and expense claims has historically all been done through paper or spreadsheet based processes in business. With business culture shifting to embrace flexible and remote working environments, relying on paper workflows or locally stored files or software can cause issues.

HR System vs Excel / Spreadsheet: Which is Better?

Here are some of the reasons to stop using Excel in your HR processes, and make the shift to cloud-based HR and payroll software.


Excel is built as an offline solution. Even when used in Microsoft online, the sheets can be downloaded and locally stored. This causes data security concerns, when sensitive company and personal information can be stored and saved by individuals. 


Locally hosted files cause issues with accessibility. When files are shared, confusion can happen between versions, and also understanding what changes have occurred and where the latest version of the file is stored. When employees leave the business, any locally stored files, or files stored on personal cloud drives can be lost, or have access restrictions, causing huge headaches for the business.


Excel documents are prone to calculation errors when formulas are used and copied across cells. The bigger the excel sheets get, the more formulas are added and if any cell formula is incorrect, it can put the whole worksheet into jeopardy.

Research has shown that 88% of spreadsheets contain some kind of error. When formulas are copied, and used by different people over time, errors can be missed, or assumed as correct. When these get repeated it can result in huge inaccuracies in business reports. 


When businesses are small, manual data entry for timesheet hours, leave management and payroll calculations may work well. But as soon as the company starts to grow, this manual process can start to take hours if not days, taking time away from other business tasks. 

A better way to manage HR processes.

Cloud-based HR software solves many of the challenges traditional processes can cause. Cloud based software allows payroll, HR information and tasks to be accessed remotely via the internet, in secure online platforms. This ensures the security and accessibility of information and systems, no matter where people are located. 

Employee Independence

Digitised content workflows and mobile-enabled platforms ensure employees have access to the information they need no matter where they are. Giving personalised secure access to an HR platform, allows employees to keep track of and update their own HR information, request leave, submit expense claims, track time digitally, and also check digital payslips. This removes many manual, paper based processes that businesses have relied on in the past.

One of the most frequent employee use of Excel spreadsheets is for entering timesheets. Manual timesheets are prone to error and are time consuming for employees to complete and managers to keep track of. Digitising time and attendance can save a lot of administrative work.


Using cloud-based payroll software saves a lot of administrator time through automatic calculations of employee pay. This can be through hourly pay rates, changes in pay rates based on overtime or work days, and even statutory calculations such as CPF in Singapore.

Excel sheets lack real-time data, and rely on manull updates of formulas when changes are needed. In contrast, cloud based HR systems that connect and sync information meaning that any change in salary, calculations or settings will be immediately applied to all HR modules. Check out our blog, The Business Impact of Shifting to Cloud Based Software.

If you’d like to speak to our team about how Swingvy HR and Payroll software can support your business growth, request an online demo of the platform below.

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