Financial reports typically consist of financial statements that provide an overview of a company's financial position and performance over a given period of time. In this blog post, we will focus on how to use Excel to create financial reports.

In Excel, you can use features such as mathematical functions, sorting options, and spreadsheet formatting tools to aid in the production of financial reports. You can also create visualization techniques such as pie charts, bar graphs, and line graphs to better present data in your reports.

Continue reading to learn more about how to utilize Excel's features to easily create financial reports.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilize Excel features for production of financial reports
  • Use mathematical functions and sorting options to aid analysis
  • Include data visualizations such as graphs and charts
  • Create an engaging presentation of financial data

Benefits of Using Excel to Build Financial Reports

Excel is an effective software for creating financial reports from data. When used correctly, it can create custom reports easily and cost-effectively, allowing investors to make sound financial decisions. Here are some of the biggest benefits of Excel for building financial reports:

Easily Accessible Software

Excel is an incredibly powerful program and is already present on most computers. It is widely used, which makes it easy to access and understand throughout the business world. Excel can be used when creating financial reports without large costs or complexity, making it a favorable option for many businesses.

Ability to Create Custom Reports

Unlike other software, Excel has powerful analytics capabilities. With Excel, you can quickly add, update, and filter information. This makes it possible to create custom reports based on specific data or metrics. Excel also allows users to customize the appearance of their reports, making them easier to read and interpret.

Favorable Return on Investment

Compared to more expensive software solutions, Excel has a lower financial burden attached to its use. This makes it possible to invest some of the money back into the company or to use it for other initiatives. Additionally, Excel is relatively easy to use, meaning that businesses can start creating reports quickly with less training.

Components to Consider When Building Financial Reports

Financial reporting requires individuals to consider several components during the process of presenting financial data. In order to provide meaningful and accurate financial reports, organizations or individuals must thoroughly review the components for their financial reports.

Accounting Standards

Professionals must use up-to-date accounting standards to develop financial reports. The applicable accounting standards define the accounting conventions, rules, principles and practices which must be followed in order to correctly present and analyze financial data. Professionals must consider whether their financial reports should follow U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) or other applicable accounting standards, taking into account special considerations for reporting financial results.

Data Sources

One of the components of financial reports is data, the other components being financial reporting technique and tax analysis. When selecting data sources for financial reports, professionals must consider their reliability and quality. High-quality accurate data must be used in order to correctly prepare financial statements. Professionals should consider external and internal sources, such as financial and non-financial data, when selecting data sources.

Accounting Methodology

The accounting methodology used to prepare financial reports can influence the accuracy and completeness of the information. The two main accounting methodologies used in the U.S. are the cash-basis and accrual-basis accounting. In cash-basis accounting, income and expenses are recognized when the cash flows in or out. In accrual-basis accounting, income and expenses are recognized when the transaction has been recorded, regardless of cash flows. Professionals should consider the appropriate accounting methodologies to be used when preparing financial reports.

Building Financial Reports with Excel

Excel is a powerful application used in data analysis as well as reporting and business intelligence. With Excel, you can quickly and easily build financial reports. This article will provide a step-by-step guide to build financial reports with Excel.

Set up the Data Source

The first step in building a financial report with Excel is to set up the data source. To do this, you will need to identify where the data is coming from and how to access it. Generally, the data source for a financial report will be a database such as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Once you have identified the data source, you need to set up the connection and extract the required data from the database. This can be done with an Excel Query or an Excel Table.

Map the Data

Once you have the data extracted, you need to map the data. Mapping the data simply means arranging the data in a logical structure that enables you to easily generate the financial report. To do this, you need to determine which data is needed for the report, how the data should be grouped and formatted, and how the data will be calculated and presented. Generally, when mapping data in Excel, you will use a combination of formulas, PivotTables, and other tools.

Create the Report

The final step in building a financial report with Excel is to create the report. This involves selecting the appropriate report layout, formatting the data, and adding visuals to the report. While adding visuals is often optional, it is useful for understanding the data and quickly summarizing results. Excel offers a wide range of chart types, graphs, and tables that can be used in financial reports. Additionally, you can customize the report layout by adding headers, footers, logos, and more.

Tips and Best Practices for Building Financial Reports

Building financial reports with Excel can be advantageous for any business. Not only is it a free software used by a large user-base, but it can also be highly customized to match the needs of any organization. Having accurate reports is essential for effectively managing finances, whether its for a large corporation or a small business. In order to better understand how to properly create financial reports in Excel, here are some tips and best practices to get started.

Keep Reports Up To Date

It is important to ensure that any financial report created in Excel is correctly updated on a regular basis. This is because financial information changes on a daily basis and any reports based on that information need to be as accurate as possible. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the data within the reports is up to date and the report reflects the current situation. Additionally, when a change is made to the data, it should be done so manually to ensure accuracy, rather than using automated scripts that could introduce a typo or other error.

Check for Accuracy

The accuracy of any financial report created in Excel is of the utmost importance as it directly affects the business. All calculations should be checked repetitively in order to ensure they are correct. Once the report is complete, an extra check should be done to verify the accuracy of the data. This can help to detect any typos or other errors and thus save time and money in the long run.

Use Automation and Visualization Tools

Excel provides numerous useful tools to help automate and visualize financial reports. Automated formulas can be used to quickly create projections, quickly calculate expenses and revenues, and compare different scenarios. Many of these are easier to manage than manual data input. Additionally, Excel allows for the creation of visualizations such as charts and graphs in order to quickly view important information and distinguish trends.

Considerations for Accessibility and Regulatory Compliance

The financial reports generated from Excel can provide tremendous value to an organization. In order to ensure that the report produces the most benefit for users, it is important to consider accessibility for different user types and regulatory compliance.

Ensure Accessibility for Different User Types

Some organizations have individuals with different levels of experience and expertise. Excel financial reports should be designed and structured in a way that everyone can use and access it. The conventional structure of spreadsheets with columns and rows make it easy to organize data, however they can be difficult to comprehend and make sense of. Consider adding helpful descriptions and producing graphs and charts.

Stay Compliant with Regulations

In some industries, there are specific regulations regarding the way financial data is presented. Make sure that the report is compliant with these regulations, including any reporting or tracking requirements.

It is important to ensure that the financial report generated from Excel provides as much benefit as possible. Consider accessibility for different user types and stay compliant with relevant regulations to ensure that the report will produce the greatest value for the organization.


Financial reporting is an essential process for businesses of all sizes, and Excel is a powerful way to compile and structure data for reporting. Excel allows business owners, managers, and financial advisors to construct detailed reports with text, formulas, and visual data sets. This guide has discussed some of the essential concepts and procedures for building financial reports with Excel, including working with cells, data types, formulas, and more.

Summary of Building Financial Reports with Excel

Using Excel to build financial reports requires a basic understanding of spreadsheet fundamentals and standard business reporting formats, as well as key Excel features and functions. Excel empowers users to create reports with accuracy, speed, and visual appeal. Financial reporting provides individuals and businesses with the data they need to ensure sound investments, manage resources, and understand their financial health.

Discussion of Benefits and Considerations

Building financial reports with Excel offers many advantages. The software is simple to use, and its flexibility makes it an ideal choice for businesses of any size. Excel is also highly compatible with other software platforms, allowing for seamless document sharing and collaborative working sessions. Additionally, Excel is one of the most powerful analytic tools available, allowing users to quickly analyze data and make confident financial decisions.

There are, however, some considerations to keep in mind when working with Excel. The complex calculations that financial reports require often demand an advanced knowledge of Excel. Users must also be mindful of errors and typos, as these can lead to faulty calculations or misleading results. Finally, it is important to keep financial reports secure, as sensitive information can be highly valuable to malicious actors.

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