Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
When it comes to business, anything that can make your life easier is a bonus. No matter what business related task you need to complete, there is likely an app or computer program to help you. Sometimes the old standbys like Microsoft Excel are the best. It’s one of the most versatile tools for organization and control. Used correctly, it can help your business grow.
Bookkeeping is something that most business owners loathe (which is why we highly recommend working with a local accountant!). Not keeping up to date books can end in disaster and quickly put you out of business. Even though it’s not as fancy as other apps and computer programs, Excel is fantastic for basic accounting. You can create a spreadsheet where you can enter your ingoings and outgoings. You can then create formulas can then help you add or subtract this data on a daily basis. The outcomes to your mathematical formulas can then help you budget and spot issues easily. Creating, editing and copying formulas in Excel can take some getting used to but there is a plethora of online tutorials you can use to make sure you are using the right formula to get the most accurate answer.
Lists are a great way of staying organized and Excel is great for lists. You can create a chart where you write down your tasks for the day and tick them off once they have been completed. This can give you a permanent record of what you have and haven’t done which can make it easier to prioritize tasks. You can edit, color code or use bold lettering to make your list more effective and organized. Using Excel for list making has also been found to improve time management and helps you stick to your schedule more efficiently.
The import function in Excel makes it easier to compare information from multiple sources. Whether it’s graphs or text, having it all in one place is extremely convenient. It will make it easier to spot trends and plan for improvement in the future. You may find that you don’t make as many errors as you did before too. Not only that but it will also save you a lot of time. Having your data in one place means you don’t have to keep flitting back and forth between files and websites. This makes Excel ideal for presentations where you want to share facts and information with your team in a professional manner.
Bonus tip: Save all of the above documents in Box, Dropbox or GoogleDocs and you’ll never be without access to these worksheets!