When Microsoft introduced its suite of desktop products under the title “Microsoft Office”, it seemed that they had packaged a nice collection of word processing and spreadsheet programs. It offered a mail and contact package along with a slick slide presentation program for the office worker who works on the sales side. There was also Access, the database program that could do virtually anything you asked of it as long as you could figure out how to ask and how to enter your data appropriately.
What was missing was a program for the employee on the P&L side, the employee who could analyze what the salesman was bringing in and company operations was putting out. What was missing was an accounting system, and then in 2017, Microsoft introduced their Microsoft Office Small Business Accounting (SBA) program. Microsoft’s SBA was truly targeted at the small business operator. This new program would benefit the entrepreneur who had outgrown Excel’s limited book keeping functionality but had not yet reached the level requiring Microsoft’s Small Business Manager Accounting, which at the time was a more sophisticated and far more expensive program.
Office SBA effectively ties together the limited functions of the other Office programs into an integrated small business set of books. Invoices created in word and sent to a contact name in Microsoft Outlook are logged in an Excel spreadsheet using the engine contained in the Small Business Accounting software. The software also offers capabilities for tracking sales and customer accounts receivable, disbursements and vendor accounts payable, and banking and financial reporting.
You can create customized forms through Microsoft’s Small Business Accounting software, providing that desktop-created professional look. SBA even has a program for converting appointments logged in Outlook into billable hours, which is the principal product for may attorneys and other consulting professionals.
You can run a payroll accounting system through Microsoft SBA that utilizes Excel as the platform. But the three principal accounting functions that the software provides are
: Creating invoices and purchase orders, Recording purchases, receipts, bank deposits, and bill payments Generating financial statements and other reports.
Small Business Accounting also will create flowcharts that provide the visual aid for following business transaction records. The newer versions of the software have converted some of the Outlook functions into a Business Contact Manager function.
The 2017 version of Microsoft Small Business Accounting opens with a setup record that walks you through the process of setting up your business accounting structure. This is an invaluable function, saving hours of headaches for the entrepreneur who is new to and confused by the book keeping functions of small business. You can select a type of business during the setup process, and the wizard will set up a chart of accounts designed to manage that type of business. You can import your contact list, or portions of it into the chart of accounts and already you have established the core of your business monitoring operation.
With a little practice, you’ll learn to utilize the flow charts and other analytical tools to predict business behavior. Microsoft Small Business Accounting, now several iterations old, has become a solid competitor in the small business accounting software field.