Historic ledger book from the late 1880s. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
The General Ledger is the core of every accounting application but there could be valid reasons for managing your GL in Microsoft Excel as opposed to using a formalized accounting application. For example, Microsoft Excel may be beneficial for helping to understand a GL account structure prior to an ERP implementation. Or perhaps you simply need an Excel template to help analyze a small part of your financials.
Regardless, there is probably no reason to start from scratch as there are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of Microsoft Excel General Ledger templates available online for free.
Below are some of the more popular ones we found with a quick search.
• General Ledger Templates by ExcelTemplates.net
• 15 General Ledger Templates by WordMsTemplates.com
• 12 General Ledger Templates by GetExcelTemplates.com
• 9 General Ledger Templates by GetWordTemplates.com
There are also plenty of how-to videos available on YouTube to help you create Excel-based General Ledger templates. Some of the more popular videos are listed below.
• How to Make a Business Account Ledger in Excel: Advanced Microsoft Excel by eHowTech
• MS Excel: Accounting Basics – Debits/Credits, Equation, Example Files by ArcologyDesigns
• GL Summary Trial Balance made easy with Excel Pivot Tables by How To Dynamics GP
• How to create General Ledger and Trial Balance with Excel by Learn With Purpose
If you need to brush up on other General Ledger topics then try Lynda.com where I found close to 50 different training videos about general ledger accounting. Many of these are product specific but should provide a basic understanding of the general ledger role in accounting.
While many companies can get by with an Excel template for General Ledger, most are much better served by utilizing pre-packaged accounting applications. And while it’s easy to create customized reports in Excel, business intelligence applications make it much more reliable to create and manage reports connecting data from multiple database sources and various applications removing the element of human error to provide greater insights into your business.