Tips for Explaining Strategy & Outcome Using Management’s Discussion & Analysis

Provide Context and Guidance to Financial Statements

Financial statements provide broad information about the financial position (balance sheet), results of operations (income statement), and cash flows (statement of cash flows) of a business.  While these basic financial reports give a snapshot of the business at a given point in time, they fail to communicate much of a message to financial statement users.  In fact, financials by themselves merely present figures, ratios, and charts […]

Financial Reporting Tip: Intangible Assets

As a sole proprietor CPA, the value of my practice is comprised of intangible ideas, relationships, and processes.  By its nature, the monetary value of this “asset class” is difficult to quantify or communicate in an objective manner.  This disconnect has never sat well with me, as I always feel shortchanged by financial statements that omit my most valuable […]

Reporting Value of Digital Assets

In Spite of Inadequate Financial Regulations

It is becoming increasingly apparent that current accounting standards and financial reporting regulations are inadequate for reflecting the value of intellectually-capitalized firms of the knowledge economy.  Critics of the current system are steadily on the rise, and their voice is constantly growing louder. These rules and regulations are based on a system that was created more than a century ago, and […]

QuickBooks Guide: Entering & Paying Bills

Accounts Payable Subsidiary Module (a.k.a., "Vendor Center")

As you purchase equipment, supplies, products, and services to run your business, you will receive bills that need to be paid.  Entering these bills in QuickBooks enables you to not only track information about your purchases, but also to pay these bills.  You can run reports that reflect your unpaid bills at any given point, […]

QuickBooks Guide: Receiving a Payment

Accounts Receivable (Customer Center) Subsidiary Module

When you receive money from a customer, you must receive the payment in QuickBooks so that it records the transaction and marks the invoice as paid.  Upon receipt of a payment, the accounts receivable records are updated, and the payment is ready to be posted as a deposit into an account (i.e., generally a bank […]

QuickBooks Guide: Creating an Invoice

Accounts Receivable Subsidiary Module (a.k.a., "Customer Center")

When your customers don’t pay you in full at the time you provide the product or service, you should keep track of the amount owed.  You can use invoices to keep track of amounts owed from your customers (i.e., your “accounts receivable”). Invoices list all the details about the sale, including the services you’re providing […]

Creating Amortization Schedules using Excel Templates

Microsoft Excel provides a variety of amortization schedule templates that make it easy to calculate principal and interest portions of loan payments.  This user-friendly tool is an efficient means for creating schedules, and they do not require specialized knowledge often associated with Excel formulas and macros.

Follow the steps below to create an Excel Amortization Schedule:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel,
  2. Create a new spreadsheet by selecting the “New” option from the left-hand sidebar,
  3. Perform a keyword search of the term “amortization schedule”, followed by clicking the magnifying glass (screen-shot below displays results of this query),
  4. Select a template from the options provided.

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I regularly use the template titled Loan amortization schedule (from left to right; it is the third item listed in the picture above), as it generates complete schedules efficiently and effortlessly.  In addition, the schedule can be printed to create a high-quality resource that I like to include in my work-paper file.  Below is a screen-shot of the design layout for this amortization schedule template. 

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