A simple bookkeeping spreadsheet in Google Drive

I developed a simple Google Drive template that will allow you to keep a set of books for a simple business.  This will work for a simple business that has a few similar transactions a month.  You can access the template here:


The following video shows you how to use the template:

Here is the same template in Microsoft Excel format: http://accountinator.com/2012/07/25/simple-accounting-spreadsheet-excel/

Both spreadsheets updated on April 21, 2013.

About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.

47 Responses to “A simple bookkeeping spreadsheet in Google Drive”

  1. You are so talented. This is wonderful. It is so organized.

  2. Thank you for making this. I am starting a business this year and this has been really helpful

  3. Is this template viewable only? do i have to set up my own excel from this sample? I can not fill in any info of my own..

  4. I’m re-purposing your simple spreadsheet to work for a small non-profit. I’ve changed the account columns to more closely reflect the business model but now I’m stumbling over the error-checking logic for the ‘Oops’ message.

    There is one version of that formula for the top left cell and then a variation for all the rest. The formula you used seems to reflect that the first four ‘account’ columns are Sales, Returns & Allowances, COG and ‘Other’ with the rest of the columns summed as expenses.

    Can you help me with the logic in the formula to calculate equivalences in column A and that shows the out of balance entries?

  5. I like your mom’s comment and I like your free spreadsheet for Google Docs. I’m sure there are many who can use it. I, too, have a bookkeeping spreadsheet I’ve been selling for many years. It has been tweaked to perfection. It is a step up from your free bookkeeping spreadsheet and works great for the do-it-yourself types. I would be glad to show you a remote demonstration of how it works.

  6. Excellent and just what I needed for a small company based in South Africa … Believe it or not, you have gone global. Thanks!!!!

  7. Mark
    Would love to use your template within google docs but when I click the link it takes me to your spreadsheet but it is in Read only view. Do I need to do something to get it to work????
    Warm regards

  8. This appears to have quit working in google docs as of today. I son;t think I did anything too it, but it now does not show ok/oops even when I know it should be one or the other. Also it sits on ‘saving’ indefinitiely.

  9. Thanks so much! One thing I’m confused about:
    On the reports page, why are items a27:a32 summed up as INCOME instead of expense deductions? I can manually make them deductions myself in the formula, but I didn’t want to do that if there is some details I am missed for when I file my business taxes. Thanks,

  10. Thanks for the spread sheet. I have a simple craft show business. I have been ‘fee-d’ by intuit one to many times. I have determined that I am eliminating Quick Books from my life and business. It is an over kill for what I do and need.

    • Deb, this’ll work if you have 100 transactions a year, or less. It’s not difficult to upgrade it to handle more transactions. However, if you have more transactions, you might want to try gnucash. It’s not as pretty as quickbooks, but it’s free and it won’t load up your desktop with extras.

  11. Hi Mark!

    Thank you for your very helpful website! I have been using it to do the books for my small green cleaning business.I specifically have been using your Accountinator Beta spreadsheet, and I love it but I have reached the 360 transaction maximum. I have figured out how to fix the totals bars to show the correct total but I can’t figure out how to make the “ok” “oops” bar to correctly work past the 360 slot. Would you mind letting me know how to fix that? An reply via email would be very helpful.


  12. Brilliant thank you so much!!! 😀

  13. This is exactly what I was looking for. I appreciate your effort!

  14. Thank you. I am very solid with math and have no training at all in accounting. I needed exactly this.

    I am using this as the first step in accounting for a very small non profit. We shouldn’t need the full 990 for a few years, but will send in the 990-N. A local accountant recommended a spreadsheet until we get bigger.

    I saw in a previous comment that another user (Peter Wendell) was using this for a non profit. Did you change things significantly for him and can you share what you did? If it seems appropriate, you could email Peter with my email and ask if he is willing to share what he has done.

    Really appreciative of you posting what you have. Thanks again.

  15. Thanks for this. I’m a startup in need of bookkeeping.

  16. This is exactly what I was looking for. It could not get any simpler. Working on starting a Courier service this year and I had no idea how I was going to keep proper records. Thank you for doing this.

  17. Hello Mark!
    I love your tool.

    My sales represent several different revenue streams that I’d love to keep separate for purposes of tracking over time. Do you think that would be possible using the spreadsheet? If not, that’s okay too. I just wanted to ask.

  18. Dear Mark, Thanks for the great spreadsheet again. I am using the google docs version and I am getting an error “Oops” message in cell A2 but no where else. I am used to seeing that alongside another one indication where I made the mistake but this only showing up in that one cell. I am almost sure that I did everything correctly. Please advise. Thanks in advance….Kirt

  19. excellent submit, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of
    this sector don’t understand this. You must continue your
    writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  20. This spreadsheet is so simple yet incredibly helpful. Thank you for sharing. I do have some questions (and proposed solutions which I’ll need help to affirm or correct):

    1) If I purchase inventory for but is not sold immediately, how do I enter this into the books? I’m thinking it would just be as COGS and a negative number.

    2) If at the end of the year there are items in inventory not sold and not written off, how would I show it in the reports so that its not expensed and net profit would look better and be more accurate? Thinking I’ll do a physical stock take, compute the value based on purchased price and add back to reports as a positive number?

    3) How do I enter inventory purchases if it is based on a 30 day term? Does it make sense to insert a column called “credit” say in column E and update the formula in column A to be: =if(D4+E4)=F4-G4-H4+I4-sum(J4:AF4),”OK”,”Oops”)? And when the term is paid off, it would be entered as a negative number under cash and positive number under ‘credit’. Correct?

    4) How about If sales are sold with a 30 day term? I’m thinking, we’ll insert a column (F) and call it “receivables” and enter the amount here instead of “cash”. When paid, we enter the amount in cash and deduct it deduct it from ‘receivables’. The formula in column A will now be: =if(D4+E4+F4)=G4-H4-I4+J4-sum(K4:AE4),”OK”,”Oops”). Makes sense?

    5) How do I enter funds raised from an owner or investor into the books? I’m thinking I could add a column (not sure what to call it, “equity” perhaps?). The totals for ‘equity’, however, will not be factored in when summing up the net profit.

    • They spreadsheet is not set up to handle regular inventory or receivables – you probably need full-blown accounting software. If you want to save money, you can try GnuCash. However, GnuCash is not well set up to handle inventory either – you will probably need to buy a commercial package.

      The program could be rigged to handle occasional inventory and receivables transactions, by adding columns for these amounts. However, if you have any more than a few of these transactions a year, you’re asking for trouble.

      Sorry I can’t help you more.

  21. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  22. Just started my first business, which won’t make more than 100 transactions in the first year or so and this will save me a lot of headache. Thank you for making it available.

  23. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on
    just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  24. Thank you for making this! Very easy, clear and useful, unlike most of the crap I found looking for something like this 😉

  25. Joshua,

    Thanks for the link. Please feel free to send me any questions: mark@accountinator.com. Mark


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