Invoicing Goes Digital: 5 Ways Excel Simplifies Billing

A digital billing system doesn’t have to mean fancy accounting software. You can create a highly effective system using a program you probably already have on your computer—Microsoft Excel.

Spreadsheets are incredibly versatile and can be set up in so many different ways. There are also many formulae and functions that can make light work of doing your weekly or monthly billing. It can take a bit of time to get set up, but once you are, you can make magic happen for your business.

5 Ways Excel Can Help You With Your Invoices And Billing

Let’s take a look at some of the best functions that Excel provides for improving your billing system:

1. VLOOKUP And Index Match Allow Your Spreadsheets To Talk To Each Other

When you use spreadsheets for your billing system, you can get them to talk to each other. These two functions—VLOOKUP and Index Match—can pull data from one spreadsheet into another.

This can be incredibly useful because you don’t have to keep copying and pasting or filling in details twice. Your invoice can be completed by using a formula that pulls data from previous invoices (extremely useful if you regularly bill for the same thing).

Additionally, you can create invoices in a snap from the data in your spreadsheet that tracks all of your invoices. Once your template is set up, and your instructions for VLOOKUP and Index Match are in place, your invoices will largely be automatically created.

2. Autofill Makes Completing Your Invoice Easier

Excel is excellent at recognizing patterns in your data set, and the autofill function can complete rows or columns without you having to type in the content. This is great if you have a list of consecutive numbers or dates. All you need to do is highlight the row and/or column you want, click on the bottom-right corner of the last cell, and drag downwards for the desired length.

3. Apply Formulae Down Columns Without Hitting Copy And Paste

You can do the same for your formulae in the same way that the autofill function works. If you’ve got a column in your invoice template for a line-item price that is the number of units multiplied by the unit price, you can autofill that formula all the way down the column for your invoice. You need to complete the formula once and then click and drag on the bottom-right corner again.

4. Mathematical Calculations Are Done For You

One of the best advantages of using Excel for your billing system is that you no longer need to rely on handwritten invoices and doing the math yourself. The risk of human error is greatly reduced because you don’t have to do the actual calculations. Excel does it all for you.

Of course, you need to check that the correct figures are entered in the first place. However, Excel will then add up the figures, calculate the tax and the shipping, and provide an accurate total.

5. Use FORECAST To Make Projections Based On Existing Data

Running and building a business relies quite heavily on predicting or forecasting future income, sales, product demand, etc. To create these projections, you need to be able to see what has happened in the past and look for trends in your business operations. Using Excel for your billing system can help you do just that.

There is a FORECAST formula that you can apply to the data in your spreadsheet. It’s best to use this on the spreadsheet where you track all of your invoices because the formula can then pull from a range of data over the last year or even years, depending on how long you’ve worked on your digital billing system.

Make Accounting Even Easier With An Invoice Template

Now that you’ve read about how much easier Excel can make your life when it comes to billing, let’s look at how you can make it work for you.

  • Set Up A Template – Your first port of call is to create your invoices. You can do this quite easily with an Excel invoice template that you adapt and personalize for your business. It’s all about creating a template to include your business needs information. Once you’ve made the modifications and included your branding and business information, you can save this template for use again and again.
  • Create A Tracking Sheet – The next step is to have a method for tracking your invoices. A reliable way to do this is to set up a spreadsheet that lists each invoice you create. The most pertinent information to keep is the unique code for the invoice, the client, the amount, the date sent, and the date payment is due.
  • Build A Schedule – Now that you have the relevant documents, you need to create a schedule for invoicing and following up on payments. If possible, stick to the same day every week or month for your invoices so that you never forget to send one out to a client. You should also try and stick to the same due date for payment to know when to follow up with your clients if you haven’t received it.

You Don’t Need Expensive Software To Digitize Your Billing System

An invoicing and billing system doesn’t have to be complex. It needs to be reliable and easy to maintain and follow. When you use Excel spreadsheets properly, you’ll get an incredibly robust and intuitive invoicing system that will help you stay on top of your billing cycle and help your business flourish.

Priyanka is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.