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Creating Smarter, Customized Invoices For Your Small Business With Microsoft Excel

Aug 17, 2007
If you're operating a small business, the most important thing you can do is to make sure that your invoicing and billing process is absolutely seamless. Small businesses don't often have the luxury of purchasing expensive invoicing software, which is why so many small business owners create their own simple invoicing system with programs like Excel.

What many small business owners don't know is how a few 1-day Microsoft Excel courses could completely revolutionize their process of invoicing. The information learned in just a few days of Microsoft Excel courses can reveal ways to cut your processing time significantly; reduce errors, and making it absolutely simple for others to learn your invoicing system quickly so that you can delegate tasks and spend more time focusing on growing your business. In this article, we'll take a look at some features you'll learn about in Microsoft Excel courses that will forever change the way you view the process of invoicing.

The problem with most invoicing processes:
In order to understand how Microsoft Excel courses can help make the process of invoicing easier, it's essential to look at the inherent problems that most small business owners say they have with invoicing. The number one problem with creating customer invoices, and most data management in general, is data integrity, which is something you'll learn a myriad of solutions for in Microsoft Excel courses. If you're the sole owner of your business, you probably have a good idea about what each item costs, which things are on sale, and various other details about each specific item.

However, if your company is more than just yourself - or if you want your company to grow beyond just yourself, it can be downright confusing to try and keep all of this information organized. It can be disastrous to labour tirelessly on making a sale, only to have a staff member eventually bill the customer the wrong price because of lack of communication.

Not only does this make your company look unprofessional, it takes a lot of time to fix the problem and a lot of time to check and recheck the invoice for accuracy before sending to the customer. Wouldn't it be easier if all of your pricing and item data was stored in one convenient location that your invoices could pull from? Of course! And this is where Microsoft Excel courses come to the rescue.

The solution to the awkward, confusing, time consuming invoicing process:
Raise your hand if you're still typing in data for every single invoice field, every single time you create a new invoice for a new customer. If so, you'll probably gain back the few days you spend taking Microsoft Excel courses in typing time alone! The trick to smarter and faster invoices is to house all of your product and pricing information on one data sheet from which your invoices will reference.

The magic key to this streamlined process is in learning how to use the VLOOKUP function which you'll learn about in detail throughout your Microsoft Excel courses. Using VLOOKUP, you'll be able to enter a single attribute of an item (such as an item number, UPC, or item name), and have Excel pre-fill all of the other information - wow!

If you're running a sale on a particular item, simply change the price in the main data sheet and when the sale is over, change the price back. Now everyone creating invoices is sure to charge the correct price each and every time. Using VLOOKUP eliminates 99.9% of the potential for human error because it draws its information straight from the source.

Want to make things even easier? In just a few days of Microsoft Excel courses, you'll even learn how to create dropdown lists of item numbers, item descriptions, etc so that you and your team can quickly choose which items to add to the invoice. And that's just scratching the surface of the potential of this amazing program. You might be surprised at how many interesting things you'll discover throughout the duration of your Microsoft Excel courses that you probably never realized could be so simple to accomplish.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter for a Microsoft software training company. For more information on Microsoft Excel courses, please visit www.MicrosoftTraining.net.
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