A cash flow spreadsheet is very easy to create using a variety of methods. Many businessmen prefer the traditional method of keeping a written ledger to serve as a cash flow spreadsheet, while others use computer technologies to simplify the process. The key to using either method is taking the time to set up columns that will allow the user to track his spending habits quickly. Some software programs can also automate much of the cash flow spreadsheet process.
When creating a written cash flow spreadsheet, it is often a good idea to purchase a pre-made ledger that already has each category defined. In this instance, the user simply has to log each transaction of deposits and purchases, much like he would when using a checkbook. Once the day's transactions have been computed with a calculator, the balance would then be carried over to the next working day.
Consumers can also create a cash flow spreadsheet using any type of notebook as well. Columns should be set up to reflect purchases, deposits, outstanding debt, and other types of incurred daily expenses. From there, the user would replicate that page seven times so that a full week's worth of transactions can be monitored, and a separate page would be created to reflect each week, month, quarter, and year. The benefit of using this method is that a customized cash flow spreadsheet can be as simplistic or as advanced as the user requires.
Computer programs can also be used to create a cash flow spreadsheet. The same steps listed above can be completed within the software application, with the added step of a value being assigned to each column. For example, the application would have to be told that each line from the day's deposits should be added together and then subtracted from any expenses. Although this method may take a substantial amount of time to set up initially, the program will automatically calculate all of the mathematical equations as they are entered. In the long run, this feature will often save countless hours or computations.
Using a computer program to create a cash flow spreadsheet also has a few other advantages. Running totals for the week or the month can be generated in real time, so the user can easily compare cash flow to previous months. The cash flow spreadsheet could also be fully customizable; if the user wished to track certain purchases separately then an extra page could be generated for that specific purpose.