Project Tracking Spreadsheet
Your business revenue and losses are reported as part of your annual personal income tax. For this small business start-up you won t need to buy fancy accounting software like Quick Books or AccPac to track your business. Only as part of incorporating Bizfare Enterprise Inc in 2005 was it a requirement to engage an accountant. My accountant did insist on using Quick Books software for my business accounting. Up until then using a simple spreadsheet template served my business accounting needs for over ten years. This simple spreadsheet accounting stood the test of multiple audits by Revenue Canada (CRA and Revenue Canada Goods and Services Tax.
At some stage these prime bookkeeping documents need to be processed. Processing the financial documents related to a business enterprise basically means they need to be listed. For taxation and financial control purposes the invoices also need to be added up and analyzed. The most basic method would be to simply make a list of the sales income and a second list of the purchase expenses. Using a manual method of listing the information falls short of the analysis required and is more time consuming that using a little technology to both ensure the summation is accurate and the analysis simplified.
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Unfortunately manual insertions led to cheating tricks which involved clocking into work by proxy. In this case an individual would ask a co-worker to insert their cards one after the other into the time clock. Thus it would look like the first employee also clocked in early but in truth it was almost ten o clock when he sat down at his desk. However the recent developments in computer technology have turned this "cheat" and others like it into a relic of the analog-dependent past. Now there s a more reliable method in managing the monthly payroll that s free from overt manipulation of actual hours worked.
Here was a spreadsheet that had been created by someone with a good knowledge of formulas and functions. But... it was not obvious at first glance what to do with it. Do I click on one of these buttons? Do I need to enter some data? Where do I enter the data? On closer examination these were the problems that made it difficult to use: - There was no heading or title. - It was very dense in terms of the number of cells showing on screen. - Ranges of cells were formatted in five different colours. What did it all mean? - Help provided was limited to brief comments in some cells and some of these were in hidden columns. - The sections for data entry and the sections for results were not clearly separated. - Macro buttons were square in shape.