You can set up a simple business budget using spreadsheet software. For a small business, this alternative might be the easiest and least costly alternative. A spreadsheet budget can be set up with this process:
- A budget is usually done monthly, so use a column for each month and a row for each budget item.
- Start by listing each type of income for your business, in Column A, one type of income per row. Be as detailed as you want; the more detail the more information.
- Then continue in Column A to list each item of business expense, one item per row.
- In Column B, include budgeted amounts for each item of income or expenses.
- In Column C, include actual income and expenditures for each month.
- In Column D, include a calculation for the difference between budgeted and actual income and expenses.
Instead of paying for a program like Excel, you can use the spreadsheet software available by free download from Open Office).
Financial Management Software
If you want more variation in your business budget, or if your business is more complex, you can use financial management software such as Quicken to create and maintain a budget. The advantage of using this software is that you already have the information to create the budget, from your business checking account and other sources that you have input into this software. The software creates the budget according to your specifications and you can change scenarios or budgeted items quickly and easily.
Online Financial Software
A new way to prepare and view a business budget is online software such as Mint or Simple Planning These online applications are set up primarily for personal budgeting but you can use them for business purposes. You will need to let the application access your checking account and credit card account, to pull information on transactions in order to create the budget.
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