Accounting Practices

Financial Automation Comparison

In Financial Tech Evolution, Automation Drives Efficiency and Impact



In the ever-evolving landscape of financial technology, automation stands out as a key driver of efficiency and effectiveness. At Starkmont Financial, we constantly evaluate various tools to optimize our financial operations and data management needs. Among the tools that have garnered attention recently are Microsoft's Office Scripts and the more traditional Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Both aim to automate repetitive tasks but have distinct features, advantages, and limitations. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison between Office Scripts and VBA to assist in making an informed decision.

Ease of Use

Office Scripts

Office Scripts is designed with user-friendliness in mind.
In this Office Scripts example, the code sorts the data in cells A1 through A10in ascending order. The syntax is straightforward and employs JavaScript, which is widely used and generally easier for beginners to pick up.

Example Office Scripts Code


This VBA script sorts the range fromA1 to A10 in ascending order on "Sheet1". As seen, you need to explicitly define worksheet and range objects, then apply the sorting method. The VBA language is specialized and may require a steeper learning curve for those unfamiliar with programming.

The Office Scripts example employs a more modern, JavaScript-based syntax and is generally considered easier for beginners or those familiar with web-based programming languages. VBA, while powerful, requires a deeper understanding of its unique syntax and object model. Both accomplish the same task, but the ease of use could differ based on your team's familiarity with the respective programming languages at Starkmont Financial.

Example VBA Code


Office Scripts

Being cloud-based, Office Scripts offers the advantage of accessibility from anywhere. This is particularly useful for Starkmont Financial's remote teams, who can simultaneously access and run scripts.


VBA is primarily a desktop application. Sharing and running macros remotely often involve complex VPN setups or transferring large files via secure methods, making it less convenient for distributed teams.

Platform Support

Office Scripts

Office Scripts is limited to Excel Online. For example, if you need to automate a data pull from an online source into Excel, this tool is up to the task but only within the web interface.


VBA is more versatile and can be used across Excel, Word, and Access on desktop platforms. It can, for instance, pull data from an Access database into Excel and then generate a PowerPoint presentation, offering a higher degree of flexibility.

Performance and Capabilities

Office Scripts

This tool is best suited for straightforward, repetitive tasks like auto-filling forms, formatting, or generating standard financial reports. It excels in handling routine tasks efficiently.


VBA is more robust and can manage complex tasks like building multi-scenario financial models. Its capabilities are often leveraged for sophisticated asset valuation, multi-year reconciliations, big data cleansing, or risk assessment projects at Starkmont Financial.


Office Scripts

One of its key strengths is the easy integration with Microsoft's Power Automate, allowing for more seamless automation workflows. For example, you can set up Power Automate to send automated emails when a particular script finishes running.


VBA requires manual setup for such integrations. To accomplish automated email notifications, one would have to write additional code to connect VBA with an external email system, possibly using an SMTP setup.


Office Scripts

Being web-based, Office Scripts adheres to modern security protocols, allowing permissions to be set through Microsoft 365 and enjoys the benefits of cloud-based security.


VBA macros can pose security risks and are often disabled by IT departments, requiring special permissions or workarounds to execute.


Office Scripts

Updates or changes are cloud-based and immediately accessible to all team members, ensuring seamless integrations to all machines.


Maintenance in VBA requires a more stringent manual process. Any changes to a macro on one local machine necessitate a manual update for all other users, making it time-consuming and error-prone. To remedy this, shared drives can be used. However, due to security permissions, oftentimes users save VBA on their local machine.


Both Office Scripts and VBA offer valuable solutions for automating tasks but cater to different needs and scenarios. When considering what to use, think about the purpose of the automation, the end-users, and your IT infrastructure.

What's Better for Office Scripts?

Office Scripts provides a simplified, cloud-based solution that is ideal for routine tasks and fosters better collaboration. For example, if your team at Starkmont Financial often needs to generate standard monthly financial reports from Excel Online, Office Scripts can automate this process seamlessly. It allows remote team members to run the same script, ensuring consistency across reports without needing to access a local file.

What's Better for VBA?

VBA offers a more robust set of features suitable for complex tasks and is better suited for desktop applications. For instance, if you're working on an intricate financial model that involves pulling data from multiple sources(like an Access database or even external APIs), followed by complex calculations and scenario analysis, VBA is your tool of choice. Its comprehensive capabilities make it invaluable for specialized tasks such as risk assessment models or asset valuation methodologies employed at Starkmont Financial.

We hope that this has been helpful. If you are considering automation, contact us to see what solutions are right for you.


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