@ "Spreadsheets were not designed for such tasks", indeed they were designed to get rid of book keepers of such business records as invoicing and sales.
@"What alternative would you suggest?", software designed for the purpose by people who understand the subject i.e. use the right tool for the job
"A spreadsheet is a computer application for organisation, analysis and storage of data in tabular form", your definition also applies to other software including databases, report etc so let us agree that not everything that uses the format is EXCEL/SQL, that a lot of time is being wasted because EXCEL/SQL is selected because the people holding the purse strings recognise the name.In reality the tabbed format is just easy for humans to process since they are trained at school to extract data from reports in the same format.