Microsoft Excel, Save Time

4 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Microsoft Excel to Save Time and Resources

Do you own a small business? If yes, cost-cutting measures are a top priority, right? Every dollar you save makes a significant impact on the bottom line.  

Well, we are here to give you some fantastic money-saving tips. And, you will not spend a cent to implement these measures. Do you want to know why? Because the tool we will be discussing is Microsoft Excel.  

Here is the truth. We can attest to the fact that Microsoft Excel can be pretty daunting when it comes to more advanced functions. Mastering and applying some of the formulas can feel like an uphill battle. 

But, don’t forgo the fantastic functionalities because there is a solution. Sign up your team for online or offline Excel training opportunities. The experts will guide the team on how to use Excel. 

And, it does not matter the level, whether beginner or those needing more advanced skill. The main advantage is the level of personal attention trainees get. 

Each department gets to learn the Excel functions that will be most beneficial to the completion of tasks.  

Now, let’s look at some ways Excel can save your business time and resources.  

1. Take Care of Accounting with Excel

Are you thinking of investing in expensive accounting software? Well, we could save you some money by showing you how to use Excel. The teams can:

  • Prepare statements and budgets with the tons of templates available. These include profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and budget templates. 
  • Spreadsheet for data management and easy calculations. The use of Excel macros allows for the automation of more repetitive, time-consuming tasks. 
  • Graph or charts for visual reporting. Such presentations are easier to digest than numbers and text.  
  • Expense tracking and analysis with functionalities like SUMIF. Let’s take the example of a spreadsheet with different categories. These could include inventory, shipping, utilities, and so on. If you are only interested in shipping, the SUMIF can isolate the shipping from thousands of entries. Imagine trying to do that using manual processes. Read this article to get more insights on SUMIF.
  • Easy organizing of financial data with functions like pivot tables.
  • Invoice generation and expense reporting is easy with the available templates
  • Cash flow tracking and forecasting, and so much more.  

Microsoft Excel has all the tools you need for small business accounting. Invest in training the team on how to use Excel. This Excel course from Acuity Training has you covered. It teaches topics like:

  • Managing, formatting, and manipulating data with Excel
  • Data visualization using complex formulas and functions
  • Creating charts and graphs for presentations
  • Data analysis, creation, and filtering.

There is a lot more to uncover with such training opportunities. It allows you to truly explore all the potential Microsoft Excel has for your business.    

2. Business Analysis with Excel 

The only way to know whether your business is doing well or needs improvement is through business analysis. It involves the collection of data to provide insights. 

Data comes from multiple sources. These include the sales department, marketing, accounts, HR, and even customer care. 

There has to be a way to convert all the data into digestible information. And that is where Excel will play a big role. The company can:

  • Generate profit and loss reports to show how much is coming in and where it could be losing money.
  • Trends analysis can help with forecasting. Take the example of daily profit reports. It could show which days bring in money and which ones don’t. That can help management decide which day to remain open or have full teams on board. Less profitable days can remain shut or have fewer team members. 
  • Competitor analysis based on geographical location, annual revenue with IF formulas. 
  • Easy data retrieval with VLookup and HLookup. 

3. Save Money and Time with Excel in the HR department 

Another big beneficiary of Excel functionalities is the HR department. You can:

  • Filter employee databases to look for specific information. These include salaries, job titles, and much more.
  • It is possible to track time and attendance with employees reports.
  • Calculate total salary expenses with SUMIF function.
  • Count the total number of employees within each department with COUNTIF function.
  • Determine service periods for employees with TODAY or DATEDIF function.
  • Find specific employee information with VLookup.
  • Report generation with Pivot tables, and so much more. 

Let’s take the example of managing payroll.  Templates are available, meaning you don’t have to start from scratch. Customize the template with information specific to your business. These include the number of employees, base salary, acquired benefits, and deductions.  

You will need to add or delete columns depending on your business needs. Input necessary headers for any columns you create.  

The next step is to populate the spreadsheet with the necessary details. This should include employee name, hourly rates, annual salary, and federal income tax. 

Remember, you must also set up your payroll tax information. These include state and federal tax rates and workman’s compensation.  

Now, all you need to do is use the right formulas depending on what you want to do. And, remember, Excel macros can take care of some of the repetitive tasks.  

Also Read: 6 Reasons an ERP System is Important for Your Business

4. Project Management with Excel

Project managers have Excel templates that can simplify the job. Time cards, for example, help with tracking the amount of time the teams spend on the different tasks. It provides a fantastic reporting tool.  

Team leaders can create Kanban boards to help run projects. They can also prioritize tasks, track progress and keep an eye on the time that goes into each aspect. Everything is in one spreadsheet, thus easier access to information.

The centralization of information allows for quick sharing with team members or management. And it will also be a big help if someone needs to take over the project midway. 

The progress, expenditure, resource allocation, and reports are all available to anyone who needs them. Project managers can also create budgets and forecasts with Excel. They can manage inventory or expenditure, thus keeping a close watch on budgets.  

Final Thoughts 

There are so many ways Excel can save small businesses money and time. We looked at various departments within the organization and the benefits they can get from the different functionalities in Excel.  

There are lots more to uncover. But, this is only possible if you know how to use the package. That is why you should invest in training your team in Excel. The one-off cost is not comparable to what you will spend purchasing software for each department. 

Think about it this way. Why spend money on what you already have in your Microsoft office package? All you need to do is explore and uncover the potential of Excel. 

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