Using a spreadsheet can help you keep track of expenses. Many people make the mistake of just using their general ledger, but a spreadsheet works better for this type of project. You can use your existing accounting software with a spreadsheet. There are dozens of free or low-cost spreadsheets available on the Internet, which can be used to create detailed records of every expense.
Here are some tips for tracking expenses on a spreadsheet. First, you should have an inventory in the same way you would in a ledger. Many people will use more than one inventory. The benefit of this is that you will be able to compare the difference between the sales made at different times of the year. By looking at sales as a percentage of the product inventory, you will be able to see if your expenses are increasing.
Next, create a column for your inventory by selecting “Sales by Product” from the menu and then setting the Inventory to 0. This column should also show the percent by which you make each sale. If you have a product with an unusually high-profit margin, you can also consider using a column that shows the profits made per unit. If you are selling toys, for example, you could track this by showing the profit per ton sold. There are many other columns you can use to track your expenses.
Add a series of columns called Charts, and insert a chart titled “Sales by Category.” You can use one of the many “Sales by category” charts available on the Internet. For this particular spreadsheet, you want to include sales by manufacturer and sales by customer.
Now, go into the “Sales by Category” sheet and use the drop-down boxes to change the order of your Sales by Product. Try to focus on one product category at a time. You want to include sales in each category, but do not worry about including every single product category.
Once you have entered all of the product categories, select the “Sales by Category” column and then enter a date for the first month of operation. Then, click the “Calculate” button. This will calculate all of the sales for each of the categories.
Finally, enter sales for each of the product categories for each month in each year. This will provide a general summary of how much money you have spent on each product each month. You should print this out for future reference.
Using a spreadsheet to track expenses can give you a more detailed picture of your business. It is also a good idea to add comments and notes to this spreadsheet as you go along.