In accounting, you want access to anything that will make your job easier. Something like this will help prevent you from making mistakes and save you time that could be better spent elsewhere. This allows you to improve the quality of work that you provide.
Excel templates can be a game changer for accountants. This article will look at Excel templates for accountants and explain how they can help. It will even highlight some of the most helpful templates out there.
Related: Accounting Technology: How And Why It’s Changing
What Are Excel Templates?
Excel is an incredibly versatile program. It can track data, organize information, perform calculations, and more. However, you need to set up an Excel document to do all of this in order to have it accomplish these tasks.
Templates are a way to bypass this step. Instead of having to set up a document with all the basics, you simply download one that someone else has already set up. This allows you to start using the document immediately and without worry.
Think of it like creating a picture. You can start from scratch, pencil out an image, and then go back to it and color it. However, you can also have a professional artist pencil out the image for you so that all you have to do is color in the already-existing image. In both, you end up with a similar image, yet you have to do far less work for one of these options. Working on your own is like starting from scratch while using an Excel template is like coloring in a professionally drawn image.
How Are Excel Templates Used In Accounting?
A lot of accounting is tracking numbers and organizing data. This is why Excel is the default program that many accountants use. It does all of this very well, and the file types are standard across the industry.
Excel, as a whole, lends itself well to templates. You can easily create and share a template made on Excel that can then be used by anyone else with Excel. Microsoft even includes templates in the basic Excel program and makes them incredibly easy to download from other sources as well.
This works out perfectly for accounting. With Excel templates, accountants can create an Excel document that fits their needs without having to worry about the initial formatting or document creation. This makes it great for both startup bookkeeping and operations run by major companies. So, you will often see accountants use templates to create documents that range from simple to complex.
On the simple side of things, templates just save time. You can download an expense report template that is essentially a blank expense report that simply needs to be filled in. Most people could create something like this on their own, but having it available to download just makes things easier.
On the more complex side of things, templates are a powerful tool. Bookkeeping templates exist that will run figures through formulas or transfer data around the document automatically. Creating something like this takes a level of knowledge about Excel that your average accountant may not have. Plus, these types of documents still include all of the time-saving formatting that simple templates have.
Looking for a way to take advantage of technology that will ensure you help your clients make the most out of their tax situation? Find out more about our R&D tax software and how it can help you help your clients!
The Best Accounting Excel Templates
With the importance and utility of Excel templates understood, you may be wondering what templates are available. Below, you will find some of the best templates for accountants.
Income Statement Template
Income statements are a part of regular business operations for many companies. They look at the company’s performance over a given period of time. They will often summarize revenue, expense, and net income. This provides at-a-glance information for anyone who needs it. Comparing income statements is also a great way to learn more about a company’s current and past financial condition.
One of the most basic but helpful templates out there is one used to create simple income statements. These statements usually contain information that is similar or the same from industry to industry. So, a generic template will work for many different businesses and prevents a company from having to design its own.
Templates like this also expedite the creation of income statements. They include formulas that will automatically add up the figures from the statement. This may only save a few minutes each time one of these statements is filled out, but over the course of years, this time starts to add up. This makes these templates even more helpful.
Every company is concerned with keeping track of its assets, the things they own, and liabilities, the things they owe. These include things like debits and credits. By subtracting liabilities from assets, you can discover the equity, or value, of the company, which is an important figure to have.
All of this information is tracked on a balance sheet. On a sheet like this, assets are listed in one section, liabilities are listed in another, and equity is given somewhere else.
A balance sheet template is helpful because it lays all of this out in an organized way. It includes spaces for all the basic information you would include on any balance sheet. It may even include spaces for things you would have forgotten about otherwise.
However, the best part about using a template to track all of this is that it updates automatically. As you add in or alter the values for the assets and liabilities, the equity changes to reflect this. With a physical balance sheet, you have to recalculate this number each time something changes. With this Excel template, this number is given immediately.
Cash Flow Statement Template
Cash flow statements are another thing, alongside income statements and balance sheets, that indicate the health of a business. They show how much cash is coming into the business and give an idea of how much is readily available.
A cash flow statement template is helpful because these statements include more information than some other documents. They need to show where money is coming from, where it is going, when transactions took place, and more. A good one will also break this information up into time periods and make it easier to jump from one period of time to the next.
A cash flow statement template like this is great for growing startups, especially those looking to organize their startup funding. In these cases, cash flow statements give some insight into how sustainable current business practices are. The company can take a look at how much money they have coming in and how much of this money is available to them. They can then take this information and use it as evidence to convince a lender that their startup is capable of handling a loan. For a growing startup, this is valuable ammunition.
Related: Accounting Bookkeeping Checklist For New Clients
Cash Flow Forecast Template
While a cash flow statement looks at the past and present, a cash flow forecast looks into the future. It takes all the information a business knows about its present situation and tries to estimate how it will change or continue as the company moves forward.
Like a cash flow statement, a cash flow forecast can indicate the health of a company. However, it will look at potential problems that are still on the horizon. A company may have a lot of bills that are due in the future, which wouldn’t necessarily be included on their cash flow statement. However, these bills would appear on a cash flow forecast and alert the company that they need to be able to pay these bills.
In addition, a cash flow forecast can be used to show that a company is stable and will continue to do well in the future. This makes the company more attractive to investors or anyone else that would care about the company’s success.
This cash flow forecast template is particularly helpful. It includes a tab with guidance and helpful hints that make working with it even easier. Plus, it includes a business plan template too.
Income and Expense Tracker
Every business and individual needs to be aware of their income and expenses. This is an essential part of maintaining a healthy budget.
Keeping track of income in this way provides information that can be used for decision-making. A company that is currently in the red may need to take cost-cutting measures or find new avenues of income. Meanwhile, an individual tracking their spending may be able to uncover places where they could find savings.
This income and expense tracker is simple and straightforward. It has a volume that allows you to input income and a column that allows you to input expenses. Alongside this, you can plug in relevant information like the dollar amounts or the transaction date. It even includes a small graphic that provides a visual display of income compared to expenses.
More advanced income and expense trackers will include more features. Some will allow you to filter the tracker by expense categories; others will allow you to upload images alongside each list item; still, others have the ability to include business-related information about the client or job. These features aren’t necessarily essential for everyone but can certainly be helpful for some.
Many different companies have to deal with invoices at some point in time. Even if they aren’t used on a regular basis, having a template at the ready is never a bad idea.
This is true because invoices are a way through which a company reaches out to other companies and professionals. They are an avenue of contact and, thus, should be treated seriously.
Imagine receiving an invoice that contained all of the right information yet was written in sloppy handwriting and organized in a way that made it hard to tell what you were even looking at. This would immediately send the message that the company dispatching the invoice was unprofessional and uncoordinated. It may even give the impression that this company is not a company to do business with in the future.
However, a well-designed invoice template creates invoices that are accurate, organized, and generally look good. They give the impression that the company sending them knows what it is doing. Anyone getting an invoice like this will not break contact as a consequence.
Have questions about the R&D tax credit and our software? Get in touch with us so we can start the conversation!
Where Can You Find Excel Templates?
Now that you know what Excel templates will provide the most help to an accountant, you may be wondering how you can get them. Well, getting an Excel template is easy. Simply download the relevant Excel file and open it on your computer.
We’ve linked a few of these throughout this article. However, not all of these will work for every situation. For example, you may want to use a different expense tracker than the one we linked because you simply don’t like the format.
To do this, we suggest turning to Excel itself. Most versions of Excel allow you to search for templates within Excel. Select the button to create a “New” document and then look for the section where templates are listed. A few options will be there, but there should also be a search bar. If you can’t find this on your version of Excel, you can always check Microsoft’s website, where you can search through all of their Excel-related information.
Once you’ve found the search function, you can just search for what you need. If you want to find an income statement template, searching the phrase “income statement” immediately returns results. You can pick the option from the list that works best for you and get started with it.
You can also use websites that offer free Excel template downloads. Just be sure to use caution and don’t download random files from untrustworthy websites. Make sure that you are dealing with a .xlsx file, too, as a different file format indicates that you aren’t dealing with an Excel file and, thus, may be dealing with something dangerous.
Using Excel Templates
Excel templates are a powerful tool that can have a profound impact on a company’s operation. For an accountant, they are an absolute lifesaver, as they offer time-savings and professional formatting. For these reasons, everyone considering adding Excel templates to their accounting wheelhouse should make the change.