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Building & Maintaining Valuation Software for Microsoft Excel & Word

By August 16, 2021David Fein

Putting together these newsletters, we get to hear from many of our users and their success stories using our software. I am so impressed by how both new valuators and highly experienced valuators, in both single person firms and large firms, use our software to create thriving valuation practices. From divorce, litigation, IRS to SBA loans, ESOPs, and business planning, our clients are having a big impact in the world of business valuation. I am also impressed by how much our clients customize our software, from the Excel analysis to the Word reports, creating a customized version to meet their firm’s, standards, style and methodology. Delivering customizability and transparency is crucial in the world of valuation software, which is why we built our software around Microsoft Excel and Word.

Sometimes it may seem like our software looks and works like it has for years, but I think it is important to know that our development and support teams continually work to fix issues that arise with Microsoft Office (Excel and Word), fix bugs, and update the functionality of the software.

A few years ago, Microsoft decided to stop offering perpetual licenses to Office and put all their energy into Office 365, their subscription-based model product. Up until that point we offered valuation software that was licensed to a specific version of Office (2010, 2013, 2016, etc.), but that had to change when Microsoft decided not to offer any more stand-alone versions of Office after 2019. At that point we had to move to a subscription model to match what Microsoft was doing.

Many people do not realize that when Microsoft makes changes in Office, it can impact our software. The impact can be minor or major, depending on what the changes are. One of the most significant issues we faced was in when Microsoft changed Excel and Word to a single-document interface (SDI) application from a multiple-document interface (MDI) application. You might remember being able to open multiple windows inside of Excel or Word and after that change every document you had open in Excel or Word window had its own menus and ribbons. This was a big change for Office and required a significant update of our software. The update took almost a year of full-time effort to rewrite our software to work with Microsoft’s new single-document interface changes. Not all of Microsoft’s changes have this big of an impact, but they continue to make changes that force us to update our software.

And it is not just making changes to keep our software working with Excel and Word, but there are lot of other changes as well. From our data vendors changes in formats (which seem to happen all the time) to the way hotels manage their networks so can assure our clients using laptops in hotels can use our software. There is an ongoing list of things that we must update to keep the software running. On top of these things, we also update the software’s basic functionality on a regular basis as well.

Software in general, especially our software which is built to integrate Microsoft Excel and Word, needs to be continually updated to stay working and meet the needs of professional valuators in the continually evolving world of valuation. For 36 years (wow-cannot believe it has been that long!) we have been focused on building the best valuation software possible to help you create a thriving valuation practice.