Accounting Templates for Small Business
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Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet software tool that contains graphs, calculations and tables and can be used by individuals and businesses to assemble data. For a small business owner, Microsoft Excel can be used to capture important business data for accounting.
Although Microsoft Excel was first introduced in 1985, the tool still offers a basic way to keep up with business finances. It’s not as modern as Xero or QuickBooks, but for a business owner who wants to organize information as they grow their business to the point they need more advanced accounting tools, Excel can still get the job done, as it has for 33 years already.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the different accounting templates Microsoft Excel provides to business owners. Maybe some could offer a simple solution to some of your accounting questions, especially if you are not yet ready for more sophisticated tools or programs.
What is an Excel spreadsheet?
An Excel spreadsheet, also called a worksheet, consists of rows and columns that help easily sort and arrange data and calculate numerical data. Business owners will love the spreadsheet’s ability to calculate values using the data in the cells and mathematical formulas.
You can use Excel to generate memos, project status reports and invoice reports, plus track sales leads and trends. Excel is also a great software program for financial activities because you can define custom formulas for calculating quarterly, mid-year and annual reports.
Before you get started
It’s important to place your best foot forward as you start to use some of Microsoft Excel’s accounting templates. While the software is useful, tutorials, a class and template customization can help you to make the most out of each template.
LinkedIn offers Excel tutorials through its LinkedIn Learning platform. Currently, there is an option for a free trial with an annual fee that works out to $24.99 per month thereafter. If you choose to continue, but don’t want to commit to a year you’ll pay $29.99 per month. LinkedIn is a trusted source for professionals, so it might be a preferred space of learning for many business owners. Also, a search for “Excel tutorials” on YouTube nets numerous results, from learning how to use functions to “top 10” lists.
An entrepreneur or business owner can also take courses for Microsoft Excel. Udemy and Coursera are two online platforms that offer Excel courses. Business owners can also personalize templates through customization. Colors, bold, italics or underline, borders, font, style and size can allow a business to add its own unique touch to the spreadsheets.
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Accounting templates you can create in Excel
Here are some of the templates that you can create using Microsoft Excel.
- Accounting journal template: Sections include debits and credits and formulas preset to calculate information. This template also assists in tracking accounting.
- Cash flow statement template: Track cash coming in and cash going out with sheets for the year, month-to-month and over three years. Combine this information with an income statement and balance sheet for a financial picture of your business.
- Cash flow forecast template: Project what your cash flow will look like to be better able to plan for finances. Include revenue, investments and expenses to develop a projection based on accuracy.
- Billing statement template: Track invoices and other account details on this customizable template. Keep track of customer payments.
- Bill to invoice template: Create a professional invoice with this template for itemized lists, quantity and price. Note how customers should also pay you on this form.
- Expense report template: Track expenses among employees and leadership. If you are self-employed, be sure to include yourself.
- Payment schedule template: Track payments. Use this template to note when they are due, for what reason and to whom. It’s important to keep track of this information, which can easily slip a person’s mind if they already wear many hats.
- Simple balance sheet template: Use this basic template to assess financial health by charting assets, liabilities and equity.
- Accounts payable template: This template will help to track different vendors, supplier companies, etc. that are owed payment and when.
- Accounts receivable template: Track money owed to your business, the amount and when it is or was due. Then, act accordingly.
- Bill of lading template: Use this template with shipping to note what items are shipped, the quantity of items shipped and the destination’s address.
Tips for success with Excel
When working with templates in Excel, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Know different formulas and functions. A formula will be an expression that will calculate the data in the cells, while a function is already predefined. A sum formula will include the business owner using the “+” sign, while Excel also has functions for “Sum” and “Average,” for example, to simplify information.
- Password-protect your documents. Microsoft Excel allows you to encrypt documents with a password. The program does not keep a memory of the password, so be sure to remember it, write it down or email it to yourself.
- Maintain backups or copies. If something happens where you lose your work, protect the information with additional copies and backups.
The bottom line
Microsoft Excel can be a great starter tool for entrepreneurs who just want a way to keep a basic record of financial and other business information until they are ready to move to more advanced accounting tools. Learn more about Microsoft Excel through tutorials and courses. A number of predesigned templates are available to keep your business up and running.