A simple accounting spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel

Wage dislikes spreadsheets

Wage dislikes spreadsheets by Dyanna Hyde, on Flickr

Click here to download the spreadsheet

Click here for YouTube video explaining how to use the spreadsheet.

Want to learn more about Excel? My free YouTube course on Excel starts here.

I designed the spreadsheet for a simple business that does 355 transactions a year or less. If you do more transactions, it shouldn’t be difficult to expand it. However, try using a more powerful tool, such as GnuCash, or one of the commercial accounting software packages.

Expense categories mirror those on Form 1040 Schedule C.

You’ll find instructions under the “Help” tab. Also, please keep your data secure.

Good luck!

Also check out my Simple Accounting Spreadsheet in Google Drive

June 2, 2013: Made minor revisions to the spreadsheet. Added YouTube video.

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.

71 Responses to “A simple accounting spreadsheet for Microsoft Excel”

  1. Nice sheet Mark – might be useful for my wifes card making business… small orders, probably 200 or so a year if that. Thanks for the share

  2. Nice post Mark – my wife might be able to use this for her card making spread sheet

  3. Thank you for the download, It is very good given the limitations of Google Docs. Much better I think to design accounting spreadsheets in Excel where there is considerably more functionality. By using the ‘Cloud’ to share and work on your file Excel is in my mind a ‘neater’ solution.

  4. Thanks a lot for putting this Excel doc together Mark. I recently used it for my small business and it made organizing my transactions to calculate much easier.

  5. Thanks for putting this up for download. I’m using it to for my small business after having used Quickbooks for years, and not needing that much hassle.

  6. What a great resource! Two thumbs up Mark!

  7. hello Sir,
    i would like to know how to prepare the speadsheet for a small business unit, How to entere the debit and credit in daytoday entry?
    Please let me know.
    Thanks

    • For a very small business, this spreadsheet doesn’t require knowledge of debits and credits. Here is a YouTube video explaining how to use the Google Docs version of the spreadsheet. (I guess it’s time to get around to preparing a similar video for the Excel version.)

      If you have more than 100 transactions a year, you should upgrade to more standard accounting software, such as the freeware gnucash.

      • Thanks
        I see it will do more than 100 as there are many expenses. but it has a notice that some entries or pages are locked? can I unlock them?
        my web not launched yet.

  8. This is a very dumb question. I love the simplicity of this little gem, but are “Sales,” “Other Income,” and “Interest” the only debit columns? Why aren’t they together? Told you it was a dumb question. Thanks!!!

    • Hi Doc Watson,

      Most small business’ primary concern is reporting income and expenses for taxes. Therefore, I designed the spreadsheet to collect the information that you need to prepare an IRS Schedule C. This is why there are separate columns for Sales and Other Income.

      Mark

  9. Also, I forgot to ask how can I insert another column for income? I have three sources (and still go from week to week–grin). I also see now that “Interest” are not income categories. Thanks.

  10. Thank you very much for this simple accounting spreadsheet. I found it very helpful.

  11. Dear Sir, I am L.B.Subba, who is from Bhutan. I like your software, but can guide me how to operating your software. Please follow my email id limboo2009@gmail.com.

  12. I have been running my business for the last year and am new to running a business and accounting. We have done ok so far and were able to get everything together for last year, but I have been struggling to keep my accounting up to date and ready for taxes for 2013. I have learned the basics of accounting and this spreadsheet was fantastic. We are a C-store so have a LOT of transactions. Would there be a way to use this sheet for each month and then combine them for a yearly report?

    • Yes, it should be easy to do this. In short, you would duplicate the first page 11 times. Then you would create a “summary page” to add together the twelve months. However, if you have this many transactions, you should probably use a real accounting program. GnuCash might be suitable, but you might need to pay for a commercial package.

  13. I forgot to say thanks for this spreadsheet, because I have let my accounting go because I was so intimidated and could not find something that made it easy and clear on how to enter everything. Your spreadsheet did that for me and I have a huge jump on my paperwork. My other question would be, if I have entered all my expenses and sales into the accountinator excel sheet can I import it into GnuCash?

    • I believe there is a way to import the data, but it is not user-friendly. It might be easier to hand-submit the data. That’s why I think you should start off with GnuCash or a commercial package.

  14. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really loved surfing around your weblog posts.

    In any case I will be subscribing in your rss feed
    and I am hoping you write once more very soon!

  15. Hi

    On the spread sheet its saying all my figure are correct but in column a2 I`m still getting oops I have changed a few names on the headers but thats all can you help

    john

  16. I enjoy looking through an article that can make men and women think.
    Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  17. Dear Sir, I am john mollel, who is from Tanzania. I like your software, but can guide me how to operating your software and to prepare acounting packages . Please follow my email id john.mollel64@yahoo.com

  18. Thank you so much for your video and free excel spreadsheet!

    I’m curious about a little accounting practice regarding “Cost of Goods Sold”

    I’m a painter, and I paint on wood. Obviously the paint and wood I purchase are my “supplies” but since I’m essentially selling painted wood, would the expense for supplies fall under “Supplies” or “Cost of Goods Sold.”

    I’m probably over thinking it…

  19. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.
    I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information.
    Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  20. Hi I am a therapist who runs a small business in the UK and have had someone doing my books but unfortunately that has come to an end as she is too busy! I found your simple bookkeeping spread sheet when I was Goggling and feel this is just the job, so thank you.
    Because I don’t really have sales of goods I think I can change that to “Therapies” that would be ok would it? Also some of the other columns are not relevant but I take it I can delete or change them? And one last thing is (sorry to be a pain) the columns to the right are partly hidden and I can seem to move them into view?
    Thank you in advance for your help
    Karen

  21. I have start up costs Purchase price, legal fees, travel costs and personal cask to start. where do I enter these (opening cash or? and how do I pay back the personal money used to buy and start this business.

  22. Thank you very much for your spreadsheet. I am starting a consulting business and this is exactly what I was seeking

  23. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly
    benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to
    shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

  24. Hi Mark,

    I am Jacky Lee, an Accountant. Recently I have developed an Excel Based General Ledger Accounting Application. You may find it valuable in turns of Academic Purposes as well as Small Business. Here it is… http://www.iNbOOK.iCPA.hk

    Any comments is welcome.

    Jacky

  25. Even i also did lot of business excel spreadsheets so you can get back me for my email id so that i can share my excel sheets then you come t know how was my sheets k,

  26. Mr. Holtzman; Thank you very much for sharing your spread sheet. I would like to add two columns for income from two other sources and a column for North Carolina sales tax that I have to report on my sales. How do I add those?

    Additional columns needed:
    Soap Sales
    eBay Sales
    North Carolina Sales tax

  27. I have much more flexible and simple spread sheet 🙂

  28. if some one want even more simple and flexible spread sheet for maintaining complete books of accounts. You can contact me 🙂

    My solution can give you reports up to profit and loss accounts and balance sheet along with individual ledgers.

  29. Hi, you may have a separate Help address, but I’ve not founded it.

    Quick question: Is it possible to do a SORT by date without messing up the formulas?

    I’ve used QuickBooks for years and got tired of its complexity. Plus, when I upgraded my MAC OS, I had not been warned – or didn’t see the warning – and lost the use of QuickBooks plus a lot of other expensive ADOBE programs.

    Thanks much,

    Robert Chandler
    Beverly Hills, CA

  30. Hi, I’m a longtime EXCEL user and perhaps should know this, but

    Is it possible to do a date SORT without losing the Accountinator formulas?

    Right now I’m doing all my entries on a SAVED AS version of your program, which I’ll sort and paste in later.

    But, if there’s a smarter way to do this, would appreciate being told how.

    best,

    Robert Chandler

  31. Hi Mark! This is great.

    How would I use the Cost of Goods sold expense category? Let’s say I spend $100 to create some t-shirts to sale and sell them for $300. How does that work in your spreadsheet?

    Thanks So much!

  32. Thank you so much for this tool. I am a self-employed trucker who owns a truck and leases it to a motor carrier. I hope to use this download and a few other tools, including a spreadsheet template offered by my carrier, to build a bookkeeping solution that does exactly what I need and nothing I don’t. I’m currently using an “application” built using Excel (but somehow distributed as a .exe file, and protected from modification) called “Money Ledgers” that I paid a modest sum for, that is pretty close, but doesn’t allow me to do everything I would like. For example, it won’t let me break down each expense category in terms of cents per mile – a valuable tool in deciding whether or not to take a given load based on its freight rate.

    Once I have my solution completed, I’ll be glad to send you a copy if you like, in case you have any small business trucker clients or think you might find it useful.

  33. Your spreadsheet doesn’t take into account an inventory balance at year end, which would affect the Cost of Goods Sold on Sched. C. Have you made any adjustments for that?

    • Indeed, it does not do this. If you have inventory, then you need to track this manually or use a more sophisticated program. Sorry.

      • 25dcda58@opayq.com November 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        I have used your spread sheet for months and want to thank you it is as you said, for a small business or home business. I find those who want more from it should look to a larger style. My only wish is to insert receipts or payments etc randomly and be able to sort them by date. example – if I find a February receipt in late march I would like to add it in the next blank line and it would move to February area of my ledger?

        Sincerely,

      • Thanks for the comment. That’s a great idea that I might be able to add to the spreadsheet. I’ve been very careful to avoid adding features that would cause errors or confusion, especially for excel newbies. However, this may be a bug improvement. Thanks!

        Mark

      • 25dcda58@opayq.com November 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

        Thanks for reading my praise, In business missing out on credit card or other receipts is my biggest flaw. I travel some and return with many receipts, bills and purchase orders and some just find places to hide. If I go back a month or 2 to insert a line I find it can corrupt the whole formula. If you can find a way to sort by date it will be monumental in preparing for my accountant and lowering my overall tax preparing costs, please let me know if and when you do this.

        Sincerely,Robert

      • If your using excel you can easily do this. Add your missing receipt at the bottom. Then using the row numbers on the left (so it will select the entire row) highlight from the cell BELOW opening balance, use the sort function, custom sort, chose the column that has the date and viola! It sorts them per date but does not cause any errors. All the info is the same in the right place.

      • Thanks – this should work. Just be careful not to sort the lowest row. That may throw off the formulas in the too row.

  34. Mark; God bless you.

  35. I’m very happy to discover this site. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!!
    I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you saved
    to fav to see new things in your blog.

  36. Thank you so much this is just what I need 🙂

  37. Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and in
    depth information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old
    rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including
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  38. This looks like the perfect spreadsheet for a beginning painting therapist. However is there a way to add a column for sales tax (VAT in UK or BTW is Netherlands where I live). I have to send details to the tax man every 3 months!

  39. It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared
    this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  40. Kaylee Tailfeathers Reply January 28, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Absolutely brilliant! I stumbled on this website while looking for an Excel spreadsheet template for a client who would like to be proactive and keep track of revenues and expenses throughout the taxation year, so when he’s ready to file he’ll have all relevant data in one easily accessible place. Not only that, but a place where he can make changes and update his financial information on and on-going basis. I wish I found this website 6 years ago! Keep up the outstanding work! Are you Canadian? It says you have your CPA, which designation would that be? The Certified Public Accountant, the Chartered Professional Accountant, or the Certified Practising Accountant? Have you ever attended CASB? (Chartered Accountant’s School of Business)

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