Harrietta Hind September 7, 2020 Spreadsheet
Accounting software is used by accountants to enter many complex financial transactions into the financial books of account and is almost invariably based upon double entry bookkeeping principles. A major advantage to those companies and the finance staff is the extent to which financial information contained in the database can be queried for financial control purposes. An accountant needs to not only ensure the financial records are accurate but also retrieve any part of the accounting records to answer accounting questions on the accounts, provide a legal basis for the transactions and report the financial statements at regular periodic intervals.
The fourth component to look for in a real estate investment spreadsheet is the ability to input growth rates. Instead of manually keying in different numbers, say for utility costs or rental rates, simply changing a periodic growth rate is much faster and easier. Most good investment models will allow the user to change the important input factors via growth rate variables. This substantially reduces the time to analyze different scenarios and allows the spreadsheet model to be semi‐automated.
The small business has different accounting needs which are better described as bookkeeping than accounting. For non limited companies that do not need to produce a balance sheet then a simple income and expenditure account can be produced much simpler using single entry bookkeeping principles. Less financial control is often required from small business accounting software as the bookkeeper is often the owner manager who already has an intimate knowledge of each transaction. Books are still required for tax purposes and a solid requirement of preparing a set of financial books for tax purposes is that each entry is supported by third party evidence.
We want to look at costs, so we reserve a tab in the real estate spreadsheet for that. Here, you have a decision. You can either make a large list of standard rehabilitation and operating costs or a smaller list of costs specific to this property. The first option allows you to use the Excel spreadsheet for other properties which are probably not the same. The second option keeps things small and tidy and might work if this is a once‐off investment. Either way, you will want to include all of the costs in a timeline schedule by week or month. This would include the re‐roofing, paint, plumbing, electrics, landscaping, electricity if you are responsible for it, insurance, etc. The financing costs are likely to be the most complex because you need to estimate not only the interest rates of the loan or loans you get, but the principle amortization, mortgage insurance, etc. This can be complex from a calculations standpoint. How granular you get with costs is up to you.
Employee spreadsheets are a very important resource tool in the hand of a manager, but the skill and dexterity with which he/she uses it is up to them. These spreadsheets are like the blood system in our body. They carry information in and out of the organization. So consciously designing them is the best alternative for operations and for business in general.
The need for new and/or different systems to support a company‘s growth is not avoidable. Just plan to address them before the pain at each juncture is so great that your people start leaving for a company that has better, more efficient systems in place. When you do start this planning phase, be sure to use experts that are not tied to a particular solution. You know the old saying... When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In the past, the easiest way to share a small database was to create a spreadsheet and email it to your collaborators. This time‐tested method has withstood more sophisticated competition for several reasons.