Enhance how your team collaborates within Google Sheets by using Email Notifications and Version History

July 7, 2022

There is a battle of opinion raging among finance and accounting teams on which of today’s two recognized global leaders in spreadsheets is superior.

Google Sheets or Excel?

While Excel dominated the spreadsheet market for decades after eclipsing Lotus 1-2-3, Google Sheets launched in 2006 as the first major browser-based spreadsheet and has continued to rise in popularity with over a billion global users today.

Teams that prefer Excel love formulas and pivot tables and other features that support individual analysis. Google Sheets is up there in those features too, but Excel got there first. First mover advantage is powerful. That’s why as much as they try, Under Armour just can’t catch up to Nike’s global market reach. Apple iPhone did just that to the Blackberry, but it did by reframing the smartphone market by being the first mover with a more consumer friendly touch screen. In other words, iPhone was a first mover within that market.

Users only focused on individual analysis continue to vote for Excel as their choice. Even if Google Sheets can match those features, Excel got their first.

Is Google Sheets the second mover or a first mover in their own right?

Google Sheets was first released in 2006, the same year as Amazon AWS. In technology innovation, that may as well be centuries ago. What was Excel up to in 2006?

Google Sheets did not release another spreadsheet. That would be like saying that Salesforce.com just released another Siebel CRM.

Google Sheets was a first mover in releasing a browser-based spreadsheet.

If a spreadsheet user never plans to collaborate with anyone, then there could still be a preference for a browser-based spreadsheet, but a local spreadsheet will probably do just fine.

The key is the word ‘team’. Another key word is ‘collaboration’.

Google’s browser-based spreadsheet changed the game in team collaboration.

The Blackberry opened a global market for smartphone users who loved to access their email and other business apps within their phone. Apple took it to the next level by getting rid of the keyboard and allowing for more consumer friendly apps.

Excel equally changed the business environment by allowing finance teams to quickly spin up financial models and other analysis.

Google Sheets has evolved the spreadsheet to focus on team collaboration.

Email Notifications of document changes and Version History are two key collaboration features that facilitate how users keep track of changes within shared documents.

Andrew Carter, author with MakeUseOf has released this Article to provide a detailed overview of how teams can improve collaboration within Google Sheets by using email notifications and Version History features.

Carter describes the value of modern spreadsheet collaboration features for remote work:

“Easy collaboration is of the utmost importance in the age of remote work. Thankfully, Google has many sharing options that allow multiple users to work on the same project. Knowing who made changes to a file and when can be crucial to effective spreadsheet management.”

In today’s world which has been quickly dominated by a remote work culture, what good is a spreadsheet that only allows for great individual analysis and performs poorly in modern sharing and collaboration features?

If your team loves Google Sheets but recognizes the limitation of managing individual documents for complex FP&A , consider adopting FinLogic.io.

FinLogic.io will convert Google Sheets into a corporate FP&A platform.