I realize we're a long way from the days of pen-and-paper ledgers. But we're also, it seems, far from taking full advantage of the tools available today to ease financial tasks.In a recent survey presented by Quantrix, a maker of modeling and analytics software, a majority of the 287 respondents say they must rework budgets quarterly, and answer more than four requests for ad hoc scenarios per year.Almost a quarter of the respondents lament that they must turn those ad hoc scenarios around within 24 hours. Couple this tight time frame with the fact that companies with a work force of more than 5,000 say they have almost 350 people involved in the financial planning and analysis process, and you wonder how anything can get done. Especially considering that almost half (48.8%) said IT has no involvement in this process. Almost HALF!Let's take this a step further. Very few companies say they use targeted tools for business intelligence, budgeting and planning, or business modeling. Yet about 90% rely on spreadsheets. So, connect the dots and, of course, that's why IT's not involved. You don't typically need IT to support spreadsheets.However, if you look at the biggest technical challenge that these respondents face -- overcoming internal data silos and needing to roll up multiple and inconsistent sources of data -- then you start to question the wisdom of a spreadsheet-centric, non-IT approach. One of the other big challenges reported was the inability to view data in multiple dimensions such as by region, product group, etc.Developing accurate, insightful forecasts, budgets and plans is hindered, according to the survey, mostly by the difficulty in getting comprehensive and reliable data in a timely fashion.These challenges are solved by software and services available today from myriad vendors. Tools exist to automate routine financial tasks such as gathering and assimilating data from hundreds, if not thousands, of sources. They also do version control and create a single version of the truth to improve the accuracy of report generation. Finally, they simplify distribution to internal and external sources.So if these tools are readily available, and increasingly affordable, why are financial teams pulling out their hair to meet what are obviously challenging fiscal deadlines and queries? No matter how you track it -- by hand or in a spreadsheet -- that remains the million-dollar question.