Financial Spreadsheet (A Complete Overview)

October 20, 2022

Financial Spreadsheet (A Complete Overview)

Financial spreadsheets are a key tool for anyone working in finance. They can help you organize and manage your budget, plus they’re easy to create and use. They also come in handy when you need to keep track of your personal finances or project quarterly earnings for your business. But how do you create a financial spreadsheet? Well, it turns out that it’s actually very easy.

In this article, we’ll explore what financial spreadsheets are, what kinds exist, why they’re useful, and how to create one in Excel.

What is a Financial Spreadsheet?

A financial spreadsheet is a type of chart used to track your company's financial data. It can be used both for personal and business accounting purposes. Financial spreadsheets are a standard tool for budgeting and modeling financial data. They are also sometimes referred to as "financial models" and "model calculations."

You’ll typically encounter two types of financial spreadsheets: balance sheets and cash flow statements. The balance sheet is a snapshot of your financial situation at one moment in time. It lists all of your assets and liabilities and calculates your net worth (assets minus liabilities). The cash flow statement is a record of how cash has flowed into and out of your business over any given period.

Here's an example of a financial spreadsheet generated by LiveFlow:

How to Read Financial Spreadsheets

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at a financial spreadsheet is the columns. There are normally three, one for assets, one for liabilities, and another for equity/revenue (depending on the type of spreadsheet you’re using).

The rows are the items that correspond to each column. An assets column might have things like cash, accounts receivable, and inventory. A liabilities column will have things like loans, accounts payable, and taxes due. The equity/revenue column would have items like owner contributions and revenue.

When reading a financial spreadsheet, keep in mind that every cell has a dollar sign in front of it. This is how you know that you’re looking at a cell that contains a monetary amount. If there aren’t dollar signs in front of the numbers, they are either non-financial figures or formulas and should not be modified.

Non-Financial Examples for the Use of a Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are often used to track non-financial data as well. For example, project managers often use them to keep track of tasks, timelines, and team members. Project tracking spreadsheets like these help you see what's going on in your projects and keep everyone on task.

For example, you can track your daily tasks and team member hours with a spreadsheet. Many of the tools and techniques used in financial spreadsheets can be used to track non-financial information too. To do so, just modify the layout and formulas used in your spreadsheet.

Can I Create a Financial Spreadsheet in Excel?

Yes! You can create almost any type of financial spreadsheet in Excel. The program is an incredibly flexible and powerful financial tool, letting you create custom financial spreadsheets to suit your specific needs. There are two different ways to create a financial spreadsheet in Excel. You can either create a blank spreadsheet from scratch or start with a pre-made template.

Blank spreadsheets are great for financial modeling, as you can customize and build them according to your specific needs. If you’re looking for a pre-made template, there are plenty of options, including cash flow templates and investment models. These templates can help you get started quickly and avoid a lot of the legwork involved with building your own blank spreadsheet.

How do I Create a Financial Spreadsheet in Excel?

Creating a basic financial spreadsheet can be done with just a few clicks in a program like Excel. To get started, open up the program and click “File” then choose the option that says, “Create New Spreadsheet”. Excel will then generate a blank spreadsheet and you can start filling in the information based on your own financial data. Remember, the basic building blocks of any spreadsheet are the same. There are two main parts: the cells, and the rows.

1. Cells: The cells are where you type in the data you want to track.

2. Rows: The rows are where you type the headers you want to analyze.

So, for example, you might make a spreadsheet with three rows. One row for incoming money, one row for outgoing money, and one row that tallies the difference between the two other rows. Then you would input the corresponding data into each cell within these rows. This is a very basic example, but you could use this simple financial spreadsheet to calculate your net profit/loss each week, each month, or quarterly.

What is the 20% Rule in Finance?

The 20% rule in finance is a rule of thumb that's used to determine how much of your income you should be saving each month. While different financial experts suggest different percentages of income to save, one rule of thumb is to save 20% of your gross income. Gross income is the amount you earn before any taxes, deductions, or other charges are taken into account.

The 20% savings rule is a good benchmark to help people get a feel for how much they should be saving each month. But keep in mind that this rule only applies to the amount of money you’re earning before taxes are taken out. If you’re in a high tax bracket, you’ll want to adjust the amount you’re saving.

Wrapping Up

Financial spreadsheets are a valuable tool when making financial decisions. They offer a way to visualize numbers and make comparisons between different scenarios. If you're new to financial modeling, it might be a good idea to find a mentor who can guide you through the process. If you're already experienced in financial modeling, congratulations! You know how valuable these tools can be.

As the financial world evolves, so do the best practices. No matter what stage of your career you’re at, there’s always something new to learn. Make sure you’re taking advantage of the vast resources that are available to you. Try to stay up to date with new trends in accounting and finance, and remember: no matter how experienced you are, there's always room for improvement!


LiveFlow is one of the best resources for financial spreadsheets in 2022. The platform features numerous templates and helpful tools, such as the new Live Budget vs Actuals tool, which can save you a ton of time when you’re managing your finances. Plus, you can explore all the great features of LiveFlow with a free 30-minute demo, so be sure to check out LiveFlow today.

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