Small businesses are still grappling with spreadsheets and paper-based methods at work to manage a variety of tasks and processes. However, for certain workplace tasks, many small businesses say they have now made the switch to a dedicated software solution.

According to new GetApp research almost half of small business owners and managers (47.7%) say they have replaced spreadsheets and manual methods with a dedicated solution for invoicing and quoting. More businesses have found software alternatives to spreadsheets for invoicing and quoting than for any other workplace task, according to the survey of 500 U.S.-based small businesses.

Other tasks which small businesses are now using specialized software for include scheduling (for which 36.7% of respondents say they have switched from spreadsheets), inventory management (33.9%), and customer management (33.1%). The least common workplace tasks for which companies have replaced software are asset management and workflow management.

More than a quarter of the small businesses paneled (27.4%) say they haven’t replaced their spreadsheet and manual based systems for a software solution to help them manage any of these tasks.

Bar chart showing answers to the question: "For which of the following workplace tasks, if any, have you replaced spreadsheets/manual methods with dedicated software


Key findings:

  • Almost half of SMBs have switched from spreadsheets to using dedicated invoicing and quoting software.
  • 27% of small businesses are still using spreadsheets and manual methods for common business tasks.
  • Asset management and workforce management are the two areas where small businesses are most reluctant to make the switch to dedicated software.

Details of the research:

For which of the following workplace tasks, if any, have you replaced manual spreadsheets/paper methods with dedicated software?

#1. Invoicing/quoting – 47.7%

#2. Jobs and scheduling – 36.7%

#3. Inventory management – 33.9%

#4. Customer management – 33.1%

#5. Asset management – 21%

#6. Workforce management – 21%

#7. None of the above – 27.4%

Demographics: Over 500 US-based respondents from a panel of SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses). Respondents are aged between 25 and 54 and have an average inferred annual income of $24k – $150k. This research was devised in collaboration with Loc8.


Interested in getting access to research like this? Sign up to our free email newsletter and we’ll ping you with all the latest small business analysis and insights.