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Spreadsheet workflows are the backbone of every business. Whether you're in finance, HR, operations, or any other department, you probably share at least one spreadsheet with your team, if not more.

Spreadsheets are used for many different recurring tasks, including:

  • Financial budgeting
  • Investor reporting
  • Business forecasting
  • HR planning
  • Sales reporting
  • KPI reporting

Unfortunately, there are countless pain points when working with spreadsheets, especially with other people, that remain unsolved.

The problem

Excel and Google Sheets are not made for workflows. While they offer some features that enable collaboration, they still have many issues that prevent them from being optimal solutions.

  • Collaborating on a single spreadsheet remains painful, and the more collaborators you have, the more tedious it becomes.
  • Manual handling of data input from multiple different people can easily lead to lots of errors.
  • Excel and Google Sheets usually require many repetitive tasks and yet offer no simple, intuitive features for automation.
  • The tools also offer no access control for spreadsheets. Spreadsheet owners would create individual templates and spreadsheet carve-outs for different contributors. Then, manually merge all the data back in one place, risking breaking your main file in the process.

Our solution

Layer is a spreadsheet platform that works on top of Excel and Google Sheets files, adding collaboration and automation features. It's the easiest way to manage and automate spreadsheet workflows—all in one place. It allows you to:

  • Share and request data easily and automate repetitive data collection.
  • Receive, review and consolidate data and never miss a change using Layer's built-in smart preview.
  • Steer and keep track of your spreadsheet workflows and communication via Layer's workflow dashboard.

Layer is not trying to replace Excel or Google Sheets. Instead, the Berlin-based productivity startup wants to make life easier for those whose job entails wrangling massive spreadsheets and managing data inputs from across an organization — such as for budgeting, financial reporting or HR functions — by adding a granular control access layer on top.



Layer allows you to manage your spreadsheet access down to cell level.

  • No more file chaos: Upload your spreadsheets and share them with your team.
  • Give granular access: You have complete control over what you share and to whom. Down to each cell.
  • Smart reference handling: Never worry about cell references again. With Layer, your formulas won't break.
  • Easy yet powerful: Layer workflows lets you request spreadsheet data fast and intuitively
  • Request data input: Layer will send reminders automatically and will help you set up regular data collection.
  • Save time and effort: Automating your spreadsheet workflows allows you to.

How to Share an Excel File for Multiple Users?

There are different ways to share an Excel file. Here's how to share an Excel file with multiple users for easy collaboration

How to Share an Excel File for Multiple Users


Using Layer, you will have all of your interactions and communication in one place.

  • Everything in one place: All workflow-related communication centralized. From activities to emails, Slack messages, and comments
  • Nothing gets lost: Layer documents the history and details of your workflows over time.
  • Use your favorite tools: Layer works atop your preferred spreadsheets tools.

How Butternut Box Uses Layer to Automate Excel Reporting

Discover how Butternut Box manages their Excel spreadsheets, data collection, and automates their budgeting and reporting workflows using Layer

How Butternut Box Uses Layer to Automate Excel Reporting


Layer offers you one dashboard to stay on top of your workflows

  • Comprehensive overview: Our dashboard allows you to be in complete control of the status and updates of every workflow
  • Simple management: Layer takes care of all manual steps in your workflow; distributing tasks, reminding colleagues, and collecting input
  • Actionable and informative: You will receive alerts when action is needed and Layer will highlight those actions.
Your Guide To Getting Started With Layer
Your Guide To Getting Started With Layer

Discover how you can use Layer to share parts of your Excel files and Google Sheets, consolidate and review data, and automate recurring workflows


Get started with Layer now!

Sign up and get started with Layer right now and schedule a personal onboarding call so we can help you set up and share your workflows.

Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Jun 26 2021, Updated May 30 2022