If you have a very small business, or you are just getting started as a business owner, you can get away with keeping your books using Microsoft Excel. With Microsoft Excel, you are most likely going to stick with the single-entry and cash-basis methods of bookkeeping. This means each transaction will only be recorded once and only when cash exchanges hands. First, start with a blank sheet in Excel. Begin labeling the columns with things such as “Date”, “Details”, “Amount”, and “Category”. You can also add other columns based on your business, but these are the most basic labels you will need. Label the sheet with the period you are tracking (week or month, and year). Format the Date column to be a Date and format the Amount column to be money. Create a formula in the Amount column to keep a running total at the bottom of the column (SUM formula). When adding an expense, be sure to make it negative so the total is accurate. You will have to manually add all the transactions your business sees, which is why this method is best for very small or very new businesses. Once your transactions become more numerous or more complex, or if you are just tired of manually entering everything, switching over to bookkeeping software might be the best option for you and your business.
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