Microsoft’s Excel is an incredibly robust piece of software. You can use it to manage your books, create invoices and keep track of your sales numbers. It often serves as the first accounting platform a business uses. Some business step up to QuickBooks as they grow, because the platform can automate some processes and offers easy tools to develop many of the same sheets and reports as Excel. QuickBooks can help companies keep better track of finances as their customer-base expands.
Spreadsheets for All Needs
Excel is the spreadsheet software that many users are familiar with because of its long history with Microsoft products. For new computers, it is included on the Windows RT platform, but Windows 8 users must purchase it separately. Excel supports a wide range of financial and accounting options, but very few have their own dedicated buttons. Excel can offer your business a free way to build basic accounting and record keeping files, but you will need to physically verify the entries as correct and will need to manually troubleshoot any equations or calculations that are not working properly.
QuickBooks is true accounting software. The big things it adds to your record keeping, which Excel can’t, is integration of data across all forms and from other sources, such as bank accounts. Beyond this integration, QuickBooks offers much of the same functionality – from balancing your books to noting delinquent accounts – but it automates many of these processes with buttons and pre-made reports. For large organizations, QuickBooks also has the benefit of creating an auditable record that can be verified by others.
QuickBooks offers more in-depth functions than Excel does at first blanch when it comes to invoices. The service has a set of easy-to-customize invoice templates that offer drag and drop options to add in your logo or change your company information. After that, QuickBooks will integrate your sent invoices with your overall finances. Excel allows some of the same formatting, but does not automate any of the process. This means that you need to add images and text into the right locations and then do all of the adjustments to get it properly in place. You will also have to manually update your other financial sheets in Excel, or if you are an advanced user, write your own code to have it automatically share information between worksheets.
Excel has some advantages over QuickBooks when you’re looking at uses outside of business accounting. For creating lists of any sort, Excel offers a variety of functions that QuickBooks doesn’t, because data entered into QuickBooks has to be applied in a financial calculation. This means that your Excel spreadsheet can contain lists of products, phone numbers, quick contact information or even a to-do list. Think of Excel as your all-purpose spread sheet.
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