Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for creating summaries of all varieties. Unfortunately, it can be pretty complex to navigate — especially for those of us who don’t consider ourselves Excel wizards — so setting up a summary spreadsheet can quickly become a nightmare.

That’s why Excel summary templates are so vital. Templates in Excel allow leaders to create summaries — be they reporting on the efficacy of social media advertising efforts or simply budget templates to lay out a financial plan — without having to learn the myriad formulas and formatting tricks Excel has to offer.

In this article, you’re going to discover the huge benefit you can gain from using an Excel summary template and learn from several common examples. Plus, we’re going to take things a step further and share with you a free summary template built on monday.com and show you why our Work OS is second to none when it comes to summary reporting. Let’s answer the most essential question first.

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What is an Excel summary template?

An Excel summary template is a pre-built and customizable Excel spreadsheet designed to help you put together the kind of summary you’re interested in creating. Let’s say, for example, that you want to put together a summary of the utility bills your organization owes from last month.

A utility bill summary report template in Excel might look like something like this, with columns for each of the common utility bills you’re likely to receive and rows to fill in the monthly cost of each.

example of an excel summary template for utility bills

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There are many reasons why you might want to use an Excel summary template to create a summary.

Why use an Excel summary template?

First of all, Excel is not exactly known as a simple, user-friendly piece of software. To its credit, it’s fairly complex and is capable of putting together some pretty impressive reports, but you really need to know how to drive it if you’re going to get the most out of Excel.

An Excel summary template allows you to skip this steep learning curve by offering you a helpful framework with predefined fields and calculations programmed right in. That means you don’t need to muck around looking for the right formula, and you no longer run the risk of plugging in the wrong one and messing up the entire summary. With a template, you can simply plug in the relevant figures and let the spreadsheet do its magic!

Using an Excel summary template helps you work more efficiently and reduces the risk of human error, but it also offers an additional benefit: professional presentation.

Excel spreadsheets in and of themselves aren’t exactly beautiful, and it takes a bit of design prowess to turn that gray and white grid into a color-coded masterpiece that makes interpreting data child’s play. But with a predesigned template, all of that work is taken care of for you, so you can show the report to your manager and feel confident that you’re presenting work that is both professional and easy to interpret.

Excel summary templates can be used when creating many different kinds of summaries.

What are some examples of Excel summary templates?

Tax summary report template

Excel templates are often used to produce tax summaries, such as the one you see below. This tax summary template allows you to plug in top-line figures — such as tax amounts paid for each month — or pull these in from other Excel spreadsheets. It also includes columns for both budgeted amounts and actuals so that you can compare real-life performance against expectations.

example of an excel summary template for tax reports

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Stock summary report template

A stock list template for Excel is an easy way for store managers to keep track of the stock they have on hand, determine when to order new inventory, and minimize loss.

As this is a daily stock summary report, consider creating a new document for each month and then add a new sheet within that document each month.

example of an excel summary template for stock reporting

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Utility bill summary report template

This Excel summary template can keep track of business utility bills such as water and electricity. This can be a helpful process for identifying areas of wastage and determining which days are contributing most to utility costs.

example of an excel summary template for utility bills

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monday.com’s Excel summary template

Ready to get started putting together a summary in Excel? Our expense summary template has all of the necessary headers, formulas, and category total fields to present a concise summary of your monthly business expenses without having to study the Excel manual.

Our expense summary template

We’ve discussed a number of sample templates so far, but all of them have one problem in common: they’re disconnected from the rest of your work management tools. Because Microsoft Excel is a standalone platform, it’s isolated from the various other software you use to get work done on a daily basis. It doesn’t integrate with your accounting software — like Quickbooks — or your marketing platforms — Mailchimp, for example — so you’re unable to pull data instantly from these sources. That is, you have to enter it all manually.

That’s why we’ve also built you a powerful summary template on the monday.com Work OS. With our monday.com template, you’ll be able to:

  • connect with a wide range of tools that you’re already using to directly import crucial data
  • collaborate and communicate with colleagues in a single online workspace
  • schedule automated email reports to send your manager a copy of the expense summary each week — or another specified period of time
  • visualize your expense summary in multiple styles, including table and graph views
  • set automated alerts when particular expenses rise above a specified threshold
  • automatically update your expense summary report by connecting the template to your expense tracking board

Of course, the list of features monday.com offers goes on. Check out just a few more here.

example of an Excel summary template with Gantt view

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Related templates

Business executive summary template

A business executive summary template is an effective template for business leaders looking to put together a brief executive summary as part of their business plan or funding application. The one-page document is divided into six key sections with prompts to help you write your summary and answer important questions.

template for business executive summaries

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Excel spreadsheet for business expenses

Are you looking to track weekly business expenses in Excel, but have no idea how to wrestle with the various formulas and calculations required? This Excel spreadsheet for business expenses includes fields for common expenses such as mileage, lodging, and transportation costs, so your employees can quickly fill in the expense report, submit it, and get reimbursed.

excel template for business expenses

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Financial statement

A financial statement template makes it easy to put together quarterly or annual financial statements. Because it’s built on the monday.com Work OS, you can easily pull data from your revenue and expense management boards or connect to your accounting software via Zapier and import data automatically.

example of a template for business financial statements

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Project management template

Are you thinking about planning and managing a project in Excel? You don’t have to. We’ve designed a free project management template on the monday.com Work OS that makes it easy to collaborate remotely with project stakeholders and individual contributors, report instantly and project progress, and communicate timelines easily with our additional Gantt chart templates.

example of a template for project management in excel

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Before we wrap up, we’ll address some popular summary template questions.

FAQs about Excel summary templates

Where can I find free Excel templates?

Microsoft offers a ton of great templates for Excel.

  1. Head to Office.com
  2. Click Templates in the top navigation bar
  3. Select Excel on the Templates page
  4. Choose the template you want to use and get started!

How do I create a report template in Excel?

  1. Open up a new Excel spreadsheet
  2. Save the template file as [Report Name (Template)]. For example, Quarterly Tax Summary Report (Template)
  3. Add the relevant information to the top row
  4. Select the top row and freeze it, so you can scroll through the report without losing your header row
  5. Add appropriate formulas relevant to the specific report you’re creating
  6. Make sure to save a new copy each time you use the template!

If you’d like a bit more flexibility in your template creation, monday.com’s template might be a better choice. With monday.com, you don’t need to worry about remembering to save your customized template because it will automatically save with each update to you draft.

Can I download Excel templates?

Yes, there are plenty of helpful free Excel templates available to download at Office.com.

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