4 Essential Financial Spreadsheet Templates for Businesses

Financial Management

Excel is the go-to choice for finance-related tasks in any business. Thanks to its simple interface and ability to enable complex analysis, it’s no wonder that finance professionals begin training in Excel from an early stage.

Regardless of what stage your business is in, whether you’re keeping your own books or have a team of financial analysts on board, Microsoft Excel is indispensable since almost every corporate budgeting and financial task begins in the software. What’s more, for many use cases, it’s possible to skip building your spreadsheets from scratch, as financial templates for Excel make a business owner and finance professional’s tasks even easier, thanks to prepopulated formulae and column formats.

Here are four templates that are indispensable for businesses.

Balance Sheet

An organization’s balance sheet lists all of its assets, liabilities, and equity. While cash flow is the lifeblood of a business, the balance sheet lists the company’s book value and net worth. Without it, business owners won’t know where they stand.

Unfortunately, creating balance sheets from scratch is a tough task. Data in a balance sheet comes from the company’s income statements, cash flow statements, and general ledger. Deciphering the amount of cash and equivalents in the bank is a simple task. However, documenting inventory levels and determining their value is a tough task that accounting professionals routinely deal with.

A template simplifies this process since pre-populated fields make it simple for business owners to identify which data they need to collect. If the balance sheet template is linked to other templates or your dynamic databases in the cloud, then filling the cells on the balance sheet becomes even easier.

All of this results in better working capital evaluation, which business owners can use to plan their next moves.

Business Budget Templates

Every business is different. Expenses tend to be unique depending on the nature of the business, and at first glance, it’s hard to think of a single template that can apply to every organization. However, budget templates tend to have a lot of common expenses, even if businesses refer to them by different names.

For instance, every business has capital expenditures and operating expenses. The line items under these categories might be different, but the categories remain the same. Similarly, employee-related expenses or petty cash expenses tend to exist, no matter the nature of the organization.

A budget template solves an important problem. Creating a budget from scratch and building pivot tables to track expenses against category limits is a time-consuming task. A template comes with all of that logic built-in, and finance departments or business owners only need to enter the data.

Some templates tend to dive to highly granular levels, while others offer surface-level automation. Whatever their nature, there’s no doubt that a business budget template is an essential addition to any organization’s finance processes.

Profit And Loss Statement

The profit and loss statement, or income statement in accounting terms, helps business owners keep track of their margins and expenses. As such, the numbers in a budget statement flow directly into this statement. The premise of a P&L statement is simple: It exists to help business owners understand what they’re spending money on and how it compares to what’s coming in.

Compiling P&L statements can be a tough task when done from scratch, since it has many moving parts. Like a balance sheet, it uses inputs from other financial records attached to the business, and it’s easy to get lost in the weeds.

A template simplifies the process by clearly stating which data fields need population, and business owners can quickly identify what they need to gather. In addition to this, a template can come with inbuilt automation that connects to other templates and simplifies data collection. This makes small business accounting simple.

As the record of a business’s top and bottom lines, the P&L template is a must-have for businesses of all sizes.

Cash Flow Statement

A cash flow statement records a company’s cash flows, both in and out. While the P&L statement (or income statement) accounts for non-cash expenses like depreciation, the cash flow statement looks at the actual cash position in a business.

This makes it a critical component of the business, especially the ones that have to account for significant non-cash items. While the profits can decrease due to large non-cash expenses, thereby making the business seem unprofitable, the cash flow statement highlights the real state of a business’ margins.

In addition, the cash flow statement also highlights the capital expenditures a business has to account for, something the income statement neglects. Thus, the cash flow statement provides a highly accurate look at how cash flows in and out of the business and the owner’s true earnings.

A template simplifies the process of creating a cash flow statement. Given this report’s critical importance to the business, it makes sense to reduce time spent on clerical work like preparing the columns in an Excel file and outsourcing it to a template. This leaves more time for employees to analyze data and boost a business’ profits.

Key Templates For Mandatory Functions

There is no end to the number of financial templates that a business can create in Excel. However, the four templates highlighted in this article are critical and cut right to the heart of a business’s health. Owners, FCOs, other executives and financial team members who use these templates will reduce the time it takes to gain insights into the company’s health.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.