Small Business Comprehensive Guide

Quick Start Guide

These workflows will help you get set up using Tiller for managing your business finances. This quick start section helps you install a business dashboard, asks you to think through your category schema, and spend time categorizing transactions. The subsequent sections in this doc (accessible via the right side navigation) are optional workflows you may find useful as a small business.

1. Install the Simple Business dashboard

The Simple Business dashboard immediately provides insights on your business inflows and outflows as well as the current balances for all accounts linked to the spreadsheet. Gain even more clarity around your business finances by following these recommended steps.

With the Tiller Labs add-on you can install the Tiller Simple Business dashboard:

  1. Install the Tiller Labs add-on
  2. Open the add-on and choose “Add a Solution”
  3. Click on “Business Dashboard”
  4. Choose “Add to spreadsheet”
  5. Dive in!

Note : to install the Tiller Labs add-on click on “Install” in the upper right of the Gsuite Marketplace store listing via the link above.

2. Refine your categories

Set up your own custom categories or copy in our example business categories.

  1. Open the example business categories
  2. Copy/paste the categories from the sample Categories sheet into your spreadsheet

Start out by reviewing your Transactions sheet to help you refine your Categories list. A useful way to quickly see your most common merchants and transactions is to sortby the Description column.

3. Check in on your automated transactions

Tiller automatically adds transactions from linked financial accounts to your Transactions sheet each day. Tiller can pull up to 90 days worth of data for most institutions.

Use these tips if you need to add more historical data.

Categorizing your transaction data brings the Dashboard to life and fuels the data for your business reporting such as a profit and loss statement.

4. Quickly gain insights

Once you’ve categorized your transaction data your insights are ready. Check in on your dashboard to quickly see a breakdown of your income vs expense for a selected time period, zero in on spending or earning for a specific category, pinpoint your cash flow, and understand spending and income breakdown by group.

Learn more about insights on the Tiller Simple Business Dashboard.

Generating a P&L report

One of the most fundamental business reports for bookkeeping and accounting is a profit and loss statement (P&L Report). You can easily generate one with the Business features in the Tiller add-on for Google Sheets.

Read more on how to create a P&L report

Generating a Category report

The Category Report allows you to drill down and get the transaction details, organized by description, for a single category over a specified time period with granular control over the amount range included in the report.

Read more about how to create a Category Report via Tiller Labs

Reconcile manual scheduled transactions

Tiller keeps all your business financial data in one place for you by automatically pulling in transactions and balances into your Google Sheet. The Tiller Labs add-on goes a step further by allowing you to manually add transactions through our add-on, flag them for reconciliation, and then later reconcile and merge them when Tiller brings in the match. It also offers workflows for balancing your bank statement to your transactions list.

These are optional steps that you may or may not need or use depending on your business’ workflows and reporting needs.

Read more about Adding and reconciling manual transactions

Reconcile bank statements

Another key to keeping your business finances in sync is verifying that all the transactions that appear on your bank statement are also available in your Tiller transactions sheet. Statements reconciling helps flag checks that haven’t been cashed yet, unexpected charges, and human & machine errors and is a common business financial workflow.

Read more about Reconciling Statements

Track business receipts

If you’d like to track your business receipts add a column called “Receipt” to your transactions sheet. You can right click any column and choose “Insert 1 left or right.” Use this column to pair transaction line items with attachments stored in the could. When URLs are placed inside Google Sheets cells, they can be clicked for instant access to cloud content— like a detailed record of a purchase.

  1. Create a folder on your Google Drive for “Receipts”. Each time you make a purchase take a picture of the receipt, or save it to PDF, and then save it to this folder on your Google Drive.
  2. Paste the URL of the receipt image in your “Receipts” folder into the Receipts column on the Transactions sheet.

Estimate Quarterly Taxes

The Tiller Labs add-on also offers a Estimated Quarterly Tax dashboard perfect for contractors, freelancers, and simply structured businesses.

Read more on how to get the Estimated Quarterly Tax dashboard

Generate a Category Rollup Report

Category Rollup report is a great way to visualize your categoric spending over a specific time period with some advanced filtering options. If you want to dive into line item detail for a specific category or generate a line item deduction report for business tax reporting this is a great option.

Read more about how to generate a Category Rollup report

Migrating from the Tiller Add-on

The original versions of many of the above workflows, including the Simple Business Dashboard, were available via the Tiller add-on. Beginning March 1, 2020 the simple business workflows and features will no longer be available in the Tiller add-on. Use the below steps to transition to using the Tiller Labs add-on for these business needs.

Manual Adding & Reconciling Transactions

You can tell you’re using the old method if your Transactions sheet has a “Source” column. To use the Tiller Labs add-on to reconcile existing manually added transactions when they are automatically added you’ll need to complete the below steps.

Adding and populating the Account ID column in the Balance History sheet

  1. Open the Tiller-powered Google Sheet where your manually added transactions exist.
  2. Open the Balance History sheet (it’s hidden by default. Open the View menu > Hidden Sheets to unhide).
  3. Insert a column into the Balance History sheet. (Right click any column letter and choose insert 1 left or right).
  4. Title the column Account ID in the header row (row 1).
  5. Select the entire column by the column letter and open the Format menu and chose Number > Plain Text
  6. Open the Tiller Console and click to expand the Account Summary
  7. Click the pencil icon to edit the name (no actual edit is needed). Click the checkmark to save. Do this for each account connected to the sheet. This will create a balance history entry to populate that column. If you’re using a Tiller Money Feeds sheet you’ll need to launch the add-on from the Add-ons menu in the Google Sheet and click “update sheets” in the sidebar. Feed Bot sheets should update within a minute or two.
  8. Check the Balance History sheet to make sure an account ID is populated for each account connected.

Adding a manual transaction using the new method

This workflow ensures you have the appropriate columns, understand how to manually add new transactions using the new tool, and helps you appropriately enter data so the tool understands transactions are flagged for reconcile.

  1. Install or open the Tiller Labs add-on (from the Add-ons menu > Tiller Labs > Open. If installing, you will need to refresh the browser window after install before the add-on will appear in the Add-ons menu. You may also need to “Adopt” a few sheets if this is the first time run of the Tiller Labs add-on in your sheet.
  2. Navigate to Tools > Manual Transactions > Add Manual Transaction
  3. Accept the prompt to add a metadata column (and possibly a Transaction ID column if it doesn’t already exist).
  4. Add a test or real manual transaction flagged for reconcile. (If entering a test transaction you can delete this one later.)
  5. Copy the contents of the Metadata column for this transaction. (This will hang out on your clipboard for a while).

Filter and update your Transactions sheet for manually added transactions

  1. Open the Transactions sheet in your Google Sheet
  2. Turn on the filter in the entire sheet. (Steps here.)
  3. Filter the Source column to only show transactions that have a source of “Manually Added” - these are transactions that you’re waiting to reconcile when Tiller brings them in automatically.
  4. Make sure the Transaction ID column is visible if you don’t see it. If not visible, click the small black left/right arrows in the column letters to unhide columns.
  5. Enter a transaction ID for each manual transaction that has “Manually Added” in the Source column using the following format manual:00001. Tip: use the Quick Fill square to quickly pull and enumerate the manual Transaction ID values to all visible manually added transactions.
  6. Paste (should still be copied from step 5 above) or enter {"manualTransaction":{"reconcile":true,"ignoredIds":[]}} into the Metadata column for all manual transactions waiting for reconcile. (Tip: click a cell, hold shift, and click the last cell to select multiple cells at once).
  7. Turn off the filter in your Transactions sheet.
  8. If you added a test transaction using the Tiller Labs add-on you can delete it.

From now on, when you want to add manual transactions to reconcile, use the Tiller Labs Add-on as you did in the steps above. You can also manually add transactions not flagged as reconcile.

Read more about manually adding and reconciling transactions.

Restoring your Simple Business Dashboard

There is a newer version of the Simple Business Dashboard available in the Tiller Labs Add-on and the restore functionality previously available in the Tiller add-on for this dashboard is no longer available in that add-on.

There is no requirement to install and use the newest version of the Simple Business Dashboard. If you’re happy with the current dashboard, and it’s working for you, stick with it. If your dashboard is broken and you need to restore, or you’d like to take advantage of the managed version and restore features offered with Tiller Labs follow the below steps.

The latest version requires the Accounts V2 sheet so you’ll need to transition your Accounts sheet to using the newest version in order to be able to restore your business dashboard if your sheet was created before August 26, 2019.

If you need to upgrade your Accounts sheet:

  1. Follow this guide to upgrade your Accounts sheet to the latest version.
  2. At step 8 in the guide choose the Business Dashboard option.

If you’re already using Accounts v2, but have a Simple Business Dashboard installed via the Tiller add-on

  1. Install or open the Tiller Labs add-on (from the Add-ons menu > Tiller Labs > Open. If installing, you will need to refresh the browser window after install before the add-on will appear in the Add-ons menu. You may also need to “Adopt” a few sheets if this is the first time run of the Tiller Labs add-on in your sheet.
  2. Choose to “Add a solution” in the sidebar
  3. Choose “Business Dashboard”
  4. Choose “Add to sheet”

The Business Dashboard will show under incompatible solutions if you’re not using Accounts v2.

Now you’ll be able to restore or update the dashboard using the Tiller Labs add-on under Managed Solutions.

Upgrading Statements

There is a newer version of the Statements sheet available in the Tiller Labs add-on. There is no requirement to update your Statements sheet to the newest version. If it’s working for you, stick with it. If the sheet is broken, or you’d like to take advantage of the managed version, updates, and restore features offered in the Tiller Labs add-on follow these steps.

The latest version requires the Accounts V2 sheet so you’ll need to transition your Accounts sheet to using the newest version in order to be able to use the new Statements sheet if your sheet was created before August 26, 2019.

If you need to upgrade your Accounts sheet:

  1. Follow this guide to upgrade your Accounts sheet to the latest version.
  2. At step 8 in the above guide choose the Balances solution.

If you’re already using Accounts v2 and want to upgrade your Statements sheet

  1. Install or open the Tiller Labs add-on (from the Add-ons menu > Tiller Labs > Open. If installing, you will need to refresh the browser window after install before the add-on will appear in the Add-ons menu. You may also need to “Adopt” a few sheets if this is the first time run of the Tiller Labs add-on in your sheet.
  2. Rename your existing Statements sheet “Statements-archive” (right click or double click the tab name to rename)
  3. In the Tiller Labs add-on choose “Add a solution” > “Statements” > “Add to spreadsheet”
  4. Copy/paste your existing statement details from the “Statements-archive” sheet into the new Statements sheet. Pay close attention to column order as it may be different in the new version.
  5. Change the format of the statement name to use the MMDDYYYY and Account # option in the upper left of the Statements sheet. This should ensure that all your existing statement assignments in the Transactions sheet are recognized.

Anytime you need to “restore” or “update” the Statements sheet via the Tiller Labs add-on, make sure you choose to Archive the Existing sheet.

Troubleshooting

Restoring your dashboard

You can restore the Business Dashboard using the Tiller Labs add-on.

  1. Open the Add-ons menu at the top of the Google Sheet
  2. Choose Tiller Labs
  3. Choose “Manage a solution”
  4. Restore sheet

Restore sheet will the dashboard sheet and replace it with the newest version on Tiller’s servers, so be aware that restoring a dashboard means you will lose custom changes you may have made to the dashboard sheet. (Other sheets will remain unaffected.)

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