Here at Excel Spreadsheets Help we're always looking for new and exciting uses of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. We recently had the opportunity to talk with Sunil, author of the Extra Money blog, about how he uses Excel in regard to his personal finances, entrepreneurship, and internet marketing. I'd like to thank Sunil for taking the time to answer a few of our questions.
ESH: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you and what do you do?
Sunil: I am the author of the Extra Money Blog (www.extramoneyblog), a blog that discusses expedited wealth building through entrepreneurship, solid personal finance and internet marketing. I strongly feel true financial abundance can only be achieved when solid personal finance principles and discipline is/are combined with entrepreneurship. Saving will only get you so far, but creating additional income streams will get you anywhere you’d like as fast as you'd like.
I wear several hats. I own over 20 profitable niche sites, 20+ ebooks on various platforms online and currently in the process of establishing a local SEO firm. I am in the process of developing several iPhone applications as well. Outside the online platform, I am involved in real estate investments as well as small business investments (brick and mortar).
ESH: When did you first begin using Excel and how often do you use it?
I've been using excel since University. I used it extensively early in my professional career working in mergers and acquisitions (heavy number crunching and analysis). Today I use it for various purposes, including recording, tracking and analyzing income from various online endeavors. Heck, sometimes I use it for note taking as silly as it sounds. I am addicted to spreadsheets :)
ESH: I know exactly what you mean! Could you please describe your income or expense tracking spreadsheet and processes?
Sunil: I designed the spreadsheet I use today and started using it myself. Today I have trained a VA to compile it for me monthly/quarterly. The sheet/workbook has several tabs, each representing a "business". All tabs roll into the main tab (through formulas / links). The main tab also has general expenses which are apportioned to each business (based on formulas). I plan on discussing this in depth on my blog. I may also share this spreadsheet for those interested in a relatively hands off business model.
ESH: Wow, great. You’ll have to let us know when you make your spreadsheet available for download. How important to your businesses is it to track all sources of income and expenses?
Sunil: It's important. Without tracking you don't know how you are truly doing. Tracking also enables the calculation of ROI, which influence future decisions involving projects to pursue. Finally, regulatory compliance and laws mandate clean and clear tracking (think income taxes, statutory reporting, etc.)
ESH: Do you prefer using Google doc's spreadsheets or Excel files? What are advantages of using one or the other?
Sunil: Both. Excel is good when I am toying around on my own. Google docs is great for share use and project management purposes. It's also available anywhere you have internet access. Docs can be clunky at first if you are used to Excel, but it's a great tool. Excel on the other hand is a lot more powerful than many believe or know. You don't know what you don't know at the end of the day.
ESH: Have you ever created or encountered any unique uses for an Excel spreadsheet?
Sunil: Yes, I have embedded macros into them and developed small programs. I have used excel to value mutli million and billion dollar companies utilizing several evaluation models. These involve complex formulas. This is as "unique" as I have gotten. I have seen some very robust / intense workbooks that are linked to massive data warehouses. The workbooks download the information/data from the warehouses, and automatically slice and dice the data based on user preference (sometimes macros are involved - the click of a button allows the workbook to fly with it)