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Bookkeeping Software Spreadsheets Are Essential Small Business Accounting Tools

Nov 30, 2007
Businesses generally make extensive use of spreadsheets both in accounting and all other business fields. Being a numerically based system of analysing information spreadsheets are used throughout every accounting function as the technique presents an ideal basis to maintain accuracy and automate the collection of financial information.

Every small business needs to keep records of sales invoices and income received and purchase invoices in respect of expenses. It is not sufficient for accounting and taxation purposes for these receipts and payments to be left in the office or the back of a van in a carrier bag. At some stage these prime bookkeeping documents need to be processed.

Processing the financial documents related to a business enterprise basically means they need to be listed. For taxation and financial control purposes the invoices also need to be added up and analysed. The most basic method would be to simply make a list of the sales income and a second list of the purchase expenses.

Using a manual method of listing the information falls short of the analysis required and is more time consuming that using a little technology to both ensure the summation is accurate and the analysis simplified. Listing the sales and expenses of a small business on spreadsheets is no more difficult then a manual paper system and has tremendous advantages in automating and ensuring accuracy.

Hence the use of bookkeeping spreadsheets to prepare the accounting information required.
Instead of listing the items on a paper list the items can be just as easily listed on a spreadsheet which will add up the items as required without the requirement to double check the adding up is accurate. Such a list has a history in accounting term as a sales daybook and a purchase daybook

To achieve the required analysis of sales and purchases all that is required is to write into the top of each of the spreadsheet columns the titles of the analysis headings required. Then repeat the value of each transaction in the total column into the analysis columns. Use the spreadsheet technology to add up each column and you have an effective bookkeeping spreadsheet.

Preparing such a bookkeeping spreadsheet might and often does suffice the needs of the smallest business enterprise and is a close step towards achieving a valuable tool for this purpose, bookkeeping software. Bookkeeping software can be as simple as a home produced spreadsheet but with additional facets that can have significant financial benefits to the business.

Bookkeeping software produced on spreadsheets would normally be a series of spreadsheets with the columns preset and titled and formulae written into the sheet to automatically add up each column. In addition the columns used would normally be restricted to general headings to include a full analysis of all items.

Small businesses that might produce their own spreadsheet would often do this on an annual basis. Bookkeeping software is much more likely to provide these bookkeeping spreadsheet templates on a monthly basis to enable a degree of financial control to be exercised by the small business.

That is the second real value of bookkeeping spreadsheets, the ability to provide the business with financial information and through that data financial control over the business activities. The first value is of course the simplicity of listing with automated summation of the figures.

Small businesses can also benefit from professionally produced bookkeeping spreadsheets that have been specifically arranged not just to produce a list of income and expenses but also in a way that analyses that information in the way the small business requires it. There are two main requirements of the way the financial records are analysed being to produce a financial profit and loss account for the business on a periodic basis but also to provide the totals of the categories required for taxation purposes.

Buying a piece of bookkeeping software written on spreadsheets can thus become an essential tool for the business. The essential element being to both make the accounting simple and easy as listing items, automated analysis and summation assisting the financial control and improved financial performance while also producing the benefits of being analysed to make the completion of annual tax return forms easier.

Everyone in business wants to make a profit making financial control important. Everyone in business has to fill in tax forms and submit accounts in the tax authority format. Bookkeeping spreadsheets provide an essential accounting tool for every business to achieve these objectives.
About the Author
Terry Cartwright a qualified accountant at DIY Accounting in the UK designs Accounting Software on excel spreadsheets providing complete Small Business Accounting Software solutions with single and double entry Bookkeeping Software for both limited companies and self employed business
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