in reply to reading excel files
You may also want to checkout:
ParseExcel::Simple, which makes... well the name says it all.
Spreadsheet::ParseExcel::SaveParser will let you read and write the files if you need to do that. The documentation for all of the above is pretty good. There are also lots of nodes here that will help you out.
Depending on your situation you may also find DBD::Excel useful. It contains DBI drivers for excel.