Instead of listing the items on a paper list the items can be just as easily listed on a spreadsheet which will add up the items as required without the requirement to double check the adding up is accurate. Such a list has a history in accounting term as a sales day book and a purchase day book. To achieve the required analysis of sales and purchases all that is required is to write into the top of each of the spreadsheet columns the titles of the analysis headings required. Then repeat the value of each transaction in the total column into the analysis columns. Use the spreadsheet technology to add up each column and you have an effective bookkeeping spreadsheet. Preparing such a bookkeeping spreadsheet might and often does suffice the needs of the smallest business enterprise and is a close step towards achieving a valuable tool for this purpose, bookkeeping software. Bookkeeping software can be as simple as a home produced spreadsheet but with additional facets that can have significant financial benefits to the business.
Bookkeeping software produced on spreadsheets would normally be a series of spreadsheets with the columns preset and titled and formulae written into the sheet to automatically add up each column. In addition the columns used would normally be restricted to general headings to include a full analysis of all items. Small businesses that might produce their own spreadsheet would often do this on an annual basis. Bookkeeping software is much more likely to provide these bookkeeping spreadsheet templates on a monthly basis to enable a degree of financial control to be exercised by the small business. That is the second real value of bookkeeping spreadsheets, the ability to provide the business with financial information and through that data financial control over the business activities. The first value is of course the simplicity of listing with automated summation of the figures.