It comes as no surprise that many small business owners tend to use Excel for their inventorying needs, as it is often referred to as the "industry standard" for spreadsheets and many users already have access to it if they subscribe to Office 365. Although the offering does pack a lot of features and can get the job done, is it the right accounting platform for you?
Shift Your Mindset
As an entrepreneur, the main thing that should always be in the back of your mind is "what can I do to cut costs?" Clearly money is important to keeping any business afloat, but what better way to cut costs, than by making the best use of your time? As noted by fictional restaurateur Mr. Krabs, "...time is money and if you're wasting time, then you're wasting money!"
The unfortunate truth is that you are likely not a subject matter expert in every aspect of business. Even though you may have a clear vision, are proactive in attracting customers and ultimately take advantage of growth opportunities, you may not be technologically savvy or familiar with the generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, just like everyone else, you still need to file your taxes, so it pays to be prepared.
No Shortcuts, Technically
At the end of the day, you need to decide for yourself whether you have the know-how to manually construct and track all the financial aspects of your business, or if you would rather use a pre-built system like QuickBooks. While Excel may allow for more customization, it does have a lot higher of a learning curve. Likewise, while QuickBooks does easily integrate with other apps, which may reduce data entry errors, and can generate common financial reports that will bring a smile to your accountant's face, it is limited in terms of both user access and stability.
If you were hoping for a concrete solution, then I am sorry to disappoint. This ultimately boils down to personal preference because both programs are susceptible to data loss and security issues. If you are still on the fence for what option to choose, then simply enlist the services of a professional and avoid the unnecessary effort altogether. By choosing the latter option, not only will you be able to focus more on other more pressing matters, but you will have the reassurance that your books are being handled by someone with the proper background to accomplish the task at hand. The only question left to ask is when are you available to start?