Jakki Francis is a qualified accountant making her unique amongst bookkeepers.
She offers a virtual bookkeeping service for women in business, done well, on time and stress free, whilst supporting you and your business. www.morethanabookkeeper.com
One of her recommendations is for people to create a simple Excel spreadsheet to track their business transactions.
The Value of Good Bookkeeping
When people start their own business they have to quickly learn to do every task in that business ,including the bookkeeping. Or sometimes, in the case of men running their own business, they delegate this task to their partners. (Sorry chaps but it’s true) Either way confusion reigns as they try to get to grips with what their accountant will need at the end of the year.
Savvy business owners quickly recognise that keeping their records up to date means that they have a firm grip on their cashflow and a snapshot of how their business is growing.
Others bury their heads in the sand and throw all their receipts into a carrier bag and hope for the best.
Guess which ones
a) do well in business? And
b) keep their accountancy fees to a minimum?
So, what do you do if you aspire to be savvy but you recognise that you are closer to the carrier bag scenario?
Answer: start a simple excel spreadsheet
I suggest as a bare minimum, that within an Excel workbook, you keep one sheet to record your sales (invoices or takings), one sheet to record your bank transactions and one sheet to record your cash expenses.
A couple of things to be aware of:
Clients forget to check that their spreadsheets cross-cast. What this means is that they put figures in their spreadsheets and total the columns but then they forget to total all of the column totals to see if they agree to the main total. When I receive a client’s spreadsheet the first thing that I do is check that, because it immediately tells me if I can rely on their figures or if I need to go looking for mistakes. See example below
The other big mistake I see is that when clients add columns or rows to their spreadsheets they forget to check their formulas to ensure that the new column or row is included in their totals.
Of course if your spreadsheet that records your bank transactions agrees to your bank balance at your year end so much the better.
Managing your cashflow should also be paramount, more businesses fail because they fail to manage their cashflow than for any other reason.
You can read about an easy way to manage your cashflow and download a simple spreadsheet from my website.
At some point in your business’ evolution you will recognise that there are certain tasks that you need to pay someone else to do. This frees you to concentrate on your main task which is operating and growing the business. This is the part business owners enjoy the most so it makes sense to have someone else do the parts they don’t like so much.
That’s where someone like me comes in.
Having been an accountant for almost 30 years, I’ve seen most things where bookkeeping is concerned and well kept books that balance are a joy to behold as well as a rarity.
I’m sorry to say that this is because businesses either do their own bookkeeping or they employ a member of the family or a someone calling themselves a bookkeeper to do the work.
The business owner often believes that their books are in good order but the reality is somewhat different and that is because they do not spend time understanding what their books and accounts are telling them about their business and they trust that the person they are paying to do the work is doing it correctly. Regretfully it is also because good bookkeepers are hard to find.
When you get one value her, your business will thank you
Excel Products for Sale
Here are products from some of my favourite Excel authors and bloggers. Please note these are affiliate links so I do earn a small commission from every sale.
Mr. Excel (aka Bill Jelen) is one of the Excel gurus. I love his stuff. He also has a slightly bonkers delivery (What! Excel! Fun!) that I thoroughly enjoy. And of course anyone who calls his Excel publishing book company Holy Macro! gets my vote.
Xtreme Pivot Tables course
This is a very comprehensive course on pivot tables. It includes videos and workbooks. There are over 200 hours of videos on it and it takes you from having no knowledge of pivot tables to being a power user. If you know everything in this course, you know an awful lot about pivot tables. John explains the concepts in bite size chunks so they are easy to follow and even provides a tutorial spreadsheet so you can track your progress. This would be money well spent. If you would like to become the go-to person in your organisation for pivot tables, this would be an excellent starting point.
He also has a useful Pivot Table webinar…
This is also a useful chart helper.
Debra Dalgleish – Contextures.com
Master 30 Excel functions in 30 days –This is a rather brilliant e-book which covers 30 functions including Vlookup,Match, offset. It includes an Excel file, e-book and links to videos that shows you how to do it – all for the princely sum of $10. What I particularly like about it are her descriptions, explanations and what the limitation of each function is. Highly recommended. If you want to upgrade your Excel skills this is a very worthwhile investment.
Excel UserForms for Data Entry
The Excel UserForms for Data Entry ebook kit will take you through the steps to build a UserForm that stores data on a hidden worksheet. No programming skills are required — everything is explained in simple steps, with written instructions, screen shots, videos and workbooks.
The PivotPower Premium add-in saves you time and effort, when working with Excel pivot tables. For example, you can quickly:
-save and apply default pivot table settings
-clear old items from an Excel pivot table
-change all the data fields from the Count function to the Sum function
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