As a new business owner, you may not have the luxury of hiring an accountant full-time. Yet, that does not exempt you from needing to keep the books. All your records must be in good order when taxation season rolls around.
Relying on a notebook and pen may not be the best option, especially with your business’ growing demands and limited workforce. Plus, financial limitations may place a barrier to purchasing accounting software. Yet, you have a ready tool in your Microsoft Office package. And it comes in the form of Microsoft Excel.
Currently, over 750 million people use Excel. It provides a solution to data management, analysis, accounting, report generation, etc.
And that is not even the best part. Excel has functionalities that can help in the management of the business. Non-accounting departments like HR, sales, marketing, and customer care can also use Excel.
Our article will examine some salient points every startup should know about Excel.
1. Excel Provides a Solution to Financial Accounting
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Excel is the accounting department. The teams use spreadsheets for budget creation, forecasting, payroll, and outlining financial results.
Indeed, Excel offers the essential elements of an accounting program. You can, for instance, track expenditure and income. All you need to do is input necessary data into the rows within the spreadsheets.
Do note, though, it is critical to take care when inputting data. An error like empty rows/cells will compromise computing results. Correcting such a mistake is easy if you know how to remove blank rows in Excel. Take the time to learn how to go about cleaning up data.
It will take a lot of time if you decide to remove the blanks manually. Yet, Excel allows you to do it in a matter of seconds.
Other mistakes are duplications, spelling errors, text instead of numbers, and extra spaces. All these will impact any data analysis efforts on your part.
And please, don’t let the Excel spreadsheets and formulas scare you. With a bit of training, you will find it easy to use and very useful.
2. You Can Use Excel for Business Analysis
Business analysis is a critical component of running a business. It applies to both startups and established businesses. How can you know what is going on in the market if you do not take the time to study the business environment?
The process entails collecting a lot of data. You must do so from many sources, including sales, marketing, customer care, or HR. The type of information includes trend analysis for purposes of forecasting.
Profit and loss tracking to see what is coming in or going out. No business analysis would also be complete without looking at the competitors.
After that comes the data analysis. This is the process of converting the raw data into something useful. The insights generated from such are the basis of any decision-making.
You get access to Pivot tables, graphs, and other formulas. All of these help with data management, organization, and visualization. The latter is critical when preparing reports.
It would be hard to consume or interpret raw data as-is. Presenting results in graphs makes it easy to digest all the information.
3. Excel Has a Role in HR As Well
The HR department may not have day-to-day involvement with financial matters. But, Excel has many functionalities that can benefit the department. Employee management, for example, requires the building of databases. HR can spend much time looking for information if there is no way to organize the data.
Excel spreadsheets allow for inputting such data into specific criteria. Searching for data within spreadsheets is easy with filtering tools.
As a startup, you may not have the capacity to onboard many employees. But, you must still manage the ones you already have. With Excel, tracing attendance, payroll, or looking up staff data is easy.
Enroll for Excel training to unlock all the potential that lies within. Don’t worry about spending a lot of time away from the business when taking a course. You have online options that are as effective as physical classrooms.
4. Streamline Sales and Marketing with Excel
Managing your startup sales and marketing will be easier with Excel. Use spreadsheets to organize budgets, financial analysis, sales targets, and inventory.
Let’s take the example of Pivot Tables. These simple tables make it easy to summarize customer information or sales data.
You also have the option of creating dashboards and automating reports. Microsoft Excel is also pretty flexible if you need to integrate it with other platforms. You can, for example, import or export data to and from your eCommerce platform. This could be necessary if you need to work on data but lack the appropriate software on your platform.
Use the spreadsheet to manage product information and inventory. Please add as many rows or columns as you wish.
Some categories could include barcodes, SKU’s stock, and re-order levels. Automatic calculations of stock levels will let you know when you need to replenish. That way, your information stays up to date. And, you never disappoint your customers by running out of stock.
Another option is to use Excel spreadsheets together with barcode scanners. It makes it easy to track and pinpoint orders and process customer requests fast.
Operating capital can be a big challenge for many startups. The available money goes towards operational expenses. Initially, there may not be enough money to hire full-time resources.
The business owner may need to take on most of the jobs. These include accounting, HR, sales, marketing, and stock management.
The right software can be a big help. But, investing in such technologies may not be possible in the beginning. Yet, the perfect solution is within easy reach. Microsoft Excel can handle tasks from any department within an organization.
The best advice we can give any startup is to enroll in Excel training courses. True, you don’t have to have expert-level knowledge to use Excel spreadsheets. But it will limit you to the most basic functionalities.
Training is the only way to uncover the fantastic features the package offers. With a good grasp, Excel will not be as daunting as many beginners believe it to be.
Also, don’t miss our article about the best Excel alternatives.