How To Use Excel Templates For Your Business
Tracking invoices, payments, and transactions is a critical part of any business. You need to know exactly what is due, when it’s due, and whether or not payment was made. If you aren’t doing this, your business is never going to grow or be successful. The issue is, most small businesses or freelancers can’t afford to use a sophisticated, state-of-the-art invoice tracking or financial management system. They may also not see the need for such software if their business is small. This means that invoices are either created, sent and tracked in an ad hoc way, or they’re not tracked at all. But how to use excel templates for business?
It’s time to stop doing this and get your business organized. All you need is software that you probably already have and use—Microsoft Excel.
Why Use Excel?
Excel spreadsheets are incredibly popular for professional invoicing and for tracking financial movements in your business. Businesses big and small use Excel, and these are some of the main reasons why:
You Probably Already Have The Software: Start to Use Excel Templates Then!
Microsoft Office, of which Excel is a part, is incredibly popular. Not only is it widely used on Microsoft PCs, but there’s also an Office for Mac option that caters to Mac users too. If you have MS Office, you don’t have to buy invoicing software or pay a monthly subscription to an invoicing service, you have everything you need already.
It also probably means that you’re familiar with how Excel works. Although you might not know all of the ins and outs, you’ll probably know the basics and can learn from there.
Financial Functionality Is Built In
Excel has been designed to work with numbers, and this includes different types of currency. There are hundreds of ways to set up formulas and rules within a spreadsheet, allowing much of your invoicing system to become automated.
You can set up one main tab or workbook for listing all of your invoices and have the auto-populate an invoice for you in another tab. You can then save a sheet as a PDF and send it off to your client. It is also possible to set up rules within the spreadsheet to highlight invoices that are overdue or bigger amounts that you want to watch for payment on.
There’s Plenty Of Help Online
Of course, all of this is quite advanced, and beyond most people’s basic understanding of the software. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn how to use Excel to its full potential and fulfil all your invoicing needs.
The online community of Excel users is huge. There are plenty of tutorials and how-to YouTube videos and blog posts available to help you out, as well as numerous help boards and forums where you can ask questions to experts. It’ll take a little bit of time to get your worksheets and templates set up, but it’s worthwhile, as you’ll then have an invoicing system you can rely on.
You Can Make Use Of Templates
Another factor that makes getting set up in Excel even easier is the vast range of templates that you can choose from. These templates are easy to customize and can include your logo and corporate colors, reaffirming your brand identity. You can also include permanent fields, such as your company details, payment information, payment terms and taxes.
Once your template is set up and saved, you can simply fill in the particulars for each client and send it out quickly.
How To Set Up A Template In Excel
Setting up an invoice template with Excel is simple. Here’s how:
Select Your Template
The first step is to open up Excel and search through the available templates. You’ll find these in the search bar at the top of the home page of Excel before you open a spreadsheet. You can also download an Excel invoice template from a trusted source.
Take a bit of time to scroll through all the different options and try out a few to see if you like them and if they have all the fields for data input that your business requires. You get templates for sales, services, shipping, and a myriad of other products or services.
Customize Your Invoice By Using Excel Templates for Business
Once you’ve selected an invoice template, it’s time to start customizing. The first step you should take is to change the colors and the fonts to the ones you use for your brand. You should also make sure your logo features prominently on the invoice so that your customers can recognize your business instantly.
Next, add in the relevant information for your business. Company name, contact person, address, phone number, email address and VAT number (if applicable). Set up a space for the invoice number. It’s always important to number your invoices so that you can track payments easily. Then, include a space for the invoice date, payment due date, and payment details and terms. Finally, have a space for your customer’s details.
In the body of the invoice, set up space for line items. Depending on the nature of your business, this will include product details, service details, quantities, hours worked, etc. You will also need to have the rate for the products or services, and a space for the sub and final totals.
Save Your New Template
Now that your invoice is set up and ready to go. Make sure that you save your template as an Excel spreadsheet. A clean template with all of your customization on it will make your life a lot easier. Every time you need to draw up a new invoice, you simply save a copy of your template and populate it with the details of this particular client and this particular sale.
Just remember to save each invoice separately as a spreadsheet and a PDF. The PDF should be what you send to your client as PDFs are not easily editable.
Use Your Invoice Template Continually
Now you’re ready to go with your professional invoice. It’s important to keep going with one invoice style and layout rather than switching things up on a regular basis. This form of consistency will help to build trust with your clients and ensure that you can keep track of your invoices and payments.
Summing Up: Use Excel Template for Your Business
An Excel invoice template is an easy, efficient way to manage your accounting and make a professional impression on your customers. As a freelancer or small business, investing in accounting software may not be a feasible option. But with an Excel invoice template, you have everything you need. All you need to do is follow these tips to create a template that works for you.
Brantlee Bhide is a project manager at HB Consultancy. She has 16 years of experience working as a project professional across varying industries, countries, and cultures. She operates in both business and technical domains using an approach that she developed.