Excel in Business

Business owners throughout South Wales have benefited from Leanne’s experience and extensive knowledge…Throughout 2016 Leanne will be sharing her expertise by posting her top tips every Tuesday. You will be able to read ‘Leanne’s Tuesday Top Tips’ here on the HSJ website or simply look for #tuesdaystoptips

Excel In Business

It is typical for a start-up business to use an excel spreadsheet as their first ‘go’ at an accounting function. I am not knocking excel spreadsheets, they have their place and are very useful for recording simple income and expenditure and as an accountant – I love them. However, if you want your business to grow it is important to implement more professional systems to help you on your way.

  • Most people think their excel skills are better than they are and it is very common for excel spreadsheets to contain some crucial errors, in formula or data integrity.  This means the information you have been using to monitor your business is inaccurate and therefore can cause bad business decisions.
  • No audit trail – In excel you can overwrite cells, change and delete details and when saved there is no history of the transactions entered and who changed them and why. A lot of time can be wasted trying to retrace steps of why a transaction was entered or what it relates to.  Accounting programs overcome this by containing a full transaction history.
  • To accelerate your growth you may need other business functions such as smarter payment methods, time recording, and stock control system, whatever your business needs excel is not a platform that you can use to integrate with these wider business systems. Accounting software provides this platform and often supports integration so you are not wasting valuable time duplicating work, leaving you more time to grow your business.
  • Accounting Software provides up to date performance reports.  When you are trying to grow your business you may need third party support such as banks, credit from suppliers, these third parties will have an interest in how your business is performing. Meaningful management reports are not easily produced in excel whereas accountancy software provides this at the touch of a button.
  • Dashboards and time savings – accounting software usually has a useful dashboard that will tell you exactly where you are with your business that day such as bank balance, money owed in, money owed out. You have a clear picture from the start saving you valuable time consulting numerous excel sheets.

The most important consideration when evolving from a spreadsheet solution is training. Make sure you know how to use the system so you are getting the most out of it to make growing your business easier.