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08
Dec

Excel Accounting Latest Tips For 2021

As per the report, 63 percent of U.S. companies rely on Excel, down slightly from a year ago. While the program is used by organizations of all sizes, smaller companies (69 percent) find accounting with Excel especially valuable. Even the American Institute of CPAs has replaced its generic spreadsheet with Excel beginning with the 2018 CPA exam.Excel is the preferred tool for budgeting and planning across accounting and finance functions, according to the Benchmarking report. As one of the CFOs surveyed said, “For anything that is innovative or creative or requires that you bring some gray matter to the table, the spreadsheet cannot be beaten."Here are 13 tips and features to bring more agility, functionality, and usability to your Excel spreadsheets. Share this with your team as you work on upskilling your employees and temporary workers.1. Fill cells quicklyExcel now has the power to finish your tedious info-typing session. Just start typing in the column to the right of your data.Excel will then gather suggestions to fill the rest of your cells after typing a few examples. To accept Microsoft’s suggestions, press enter.2. Format spreadsheets fasterWhen working on a spreadsheet, there are ways to add special formatting to different cells, columns, and rows with less effort.After applying any formatting to the spreadsheet — such as making a cell yellow or adding borders to a group of cells — you can use the format painter function to copy that formatting to other cells. If you double-click on the format painter icon, you can lock the function and single-click on any parts of the spreadsheet that you want to format. When you’re done, hit escape to unlock your cursor.For circumstances when you need to format a large amount of data, Excel offers time-saving shortcuts for many common formatting functions. Experiment with these handy ones:Format numbers to include two decimal places: Ctrl+Shift+1Format as time: Ctrl+Shift+2Format as a date: Ctrl+Shift+3Format as currency: Ctrl+Shift+4Format as a percentage: Ctrl+Shift+5Format in scientific/exponential form: Ctrl+Shift+63. Use Sparklines to display dataSparklines are a built-in feature of Excel that allows you to display small charts inside individual cells. These can be line charts, bar charts or simple win/loss charts. To create a Sparkline chart, select the range of numbers you’d like to include, click the “Insert” menu, then choose one of the chart options. Select a location range, which must be located along a single row or column in the same worksheet as your data range. Sparklines can help you easily display trends in your data in a compact format.4. Splice data easilySlicing allows you to filter data easily.To do so, select any range in a table or PivotTable, (refer to tip #5 for more information about PivotTables), and then go to Insert > “Slicer,” in the top right corner. Then, select the column you want to filter by.5. Manipulate data with pivot tablesWhen you have a large, detailed data set, pivot tables allow you to easily manipulate your data. These tables are interactive and can help you analyze data, detect patterns, and make comparisons. Creating a pivot table is as easy as using the built-in PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard, located in the “Data” drop-down menu. The wizard helps you choose the data to include in your PivotChart and format that information in a meaningful manner.6. Go formula-free Getting a total without an equation might just be one of Excel's most valuable features.To get your total formula, click anywhere inside the Excel table. Then press Ctrl+Shift+T, and Excel will add the total to your total row that you created.7. Move between formulas and resultsTo efficiently switch between the cell data and formula, use the Ctrl+tilde (~) keystroke. This allows you to rapidly check formulas when working in a large spreadsheet.8. Use the status bar without a formulaThe status bar shows counts, sums, and averages, without typing up any formulas.Just select the cells in your table and look to the bottom right of the Excel window. You’ll see instant stats about the cells you selected.9. Hide zero valuesHiding zero values can be helpful within large data sets by allowing you to see data more clearly. To hide zero values, you simply need to change the options in your Excel setup. Navigate to this function by clicking the “File” drop-down menu, and choose “Options.” Then choose “Advanced” from the left-hand menu and uncheck the box for “Show a zero in cells that have zero value.” (Mac users: Go to the “Excel” drop-down menu and choose “Preferences,” then uncheck “Show zero values.”)10. Use Excel templatesTemplates are available for any version of Excel. If you want to create an amortization table using a template, right-click on a blank worksheet and gain access through the “Insert” command. Under the “Spreadsheet Solutions” tab, you will find various templates, including an amortization schedule, which can then be inserted into the spreadsheet. You can also create your own templates by saving a worksheet as an Excel template.11. Chart your data quicklySelect any cells in your data range/ table and then press ALT+F1 on your keyboard. Now you have an instant chart.12. Save time looking for worksheetsIf you access the “File” menu or “Office Button” in Excel — depending on the version you are using — there’s a handy button called “Recent.” Using this function, you can quickly generate a list of the workbooks you recently worked on.In the “Advanced” section of the “Options” menu, you can expand your view and adjust the number of recent documents shown. You can change the number to 50 for better access to recent folders and files.13. Create tables quicklyYou can turn data cells into a table quickly!All you have to do is click within the parameters of your data and press Ctrl+T. Now you have an instant table displaying your data.Now that you have some helpful features to reboot your Excel skills and those of the accounting professionals you manage, you will get more done, and before you know it, you’ll be expanding your team!
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11
Nov

Hiding and Unhiding Multiple Sheets without using Macros

One of the first “tricks” an Excel user learns is to hide and unhide a sheet. This is an exceptionally useful feature as it allows us to store data in a sheet, such as lists and tables, but keep the user of the workbook from seeing, manipulating, and more importantly, corrupting the information on the hidden sheet. As with most things in Excel, there is more than one way to hide a sheet or multiple sheets.  One of the easiest methods is to select a sheet (or select multiple sheets using standard Windows CTRL and Shift selection techniques), right-click the sheet tab then select “Hide”. You can hide a worksheet and the user would not see it when he/she opens the workbook. However, they can easily unhide the worksheet if they want (as we will see later in this tutorial). But what if you don’t want them to be able to unhide the worksheet(s).Let’s see how to hide a worksheet in Excel so that it can easily be unhidden, or can not be unhidden.
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12
Oct

Excel For Small Business Accounting

Excel Spreadsheets are now being the most loved item after calculator for accountants to manage basic accounting tasks. Depending upon your accounting and finance requirements, excel helps with basic tasks like bookkeeping, invoice management, etc.Small business finance managers use excel as one of the most vital accounting tools. In comparison to large enterprises, small businesses need to handle lesser financial data. And for that excel is the best choice as it allows to focus on basic accounting tasks like forecasting and budget planning etc. Small business owners can do all of their bookkeeping in Excel.Benefits of using excel for small business accounting –Mass Data Entry – Using small business accounting software is very easy but when you consider mass data entry then no program is better suited than excel. Macros can spit out hours of human’s work in moments. To automate tasks, business owners can create macros such as formatting, filtering, and running basic analysis. Accountants can easily import large transaction datasets into accounting software.Financial analysis through charts – Accountant can create pie charts to show business financial analysis visually. It can be used by both Nonprofit and profit companies to create annual reports with this visual aid to communicate in a convenient way.Ease of Sharing - One of the most important benefits of excel is – ease of sharing. When it comes to sharing financial data with any investors or lenders then business owners can send them either a PDF or Excel file.Compare financial data - Excel helps to compare financial datasets like total accounts payable versus receivable to calculate cash flow volume within a given period. You will get clear data, where company’s money is going and by using some of the functions you get data, which groups generate the most revenue for your business.Customizable reports generations – You can easily create template-based reports included with tables and charts. Further, it can be reused for tasks like invoice management and estimating cash flow volumes. With the increasing need to add more data, you can customize report without having to create a new template from the scratch.Excel Features Used for Small Business AccountingPivotTables - This is the most powerful excel feature, based on a selected cell range it summarizes complex datasets. It recognizes data in more logical way. This tool is used by accountants to process financial data. When it needs to summarize raw accounting data and sorting it into different categories then you can use this feature.Formulas – Excel formulas significantly increase speed of business expense tracking and analysis.What-if analysis – This tool will help to forecast results by changing datasets in a formula. It means without changing or removing the primary dataset, you can get a new result by using this. It helps in cash flow management and the overall budget and forecasting processes. Test various budget estimates in a graphical format and change the forecast for these estimates based on the modification made in budget data.Forecast sheets – It helps users forecast data trends based on historical values. Instead of simply changing data values in a cell, you can predict trends in a graphical format. It is useful when you have cash flow data.Templates – There are many ready-made templates in excel for sorts of accounting functions like invoices, budgeting, and more.How to use Excel for your small business accounting needsCreating Invoice – With the use of Excel, you can easily create professional bills (Invoice). Excel invoice templates automatically sum invoice line items, reducing the risk of human error.Budgeting – Excel budgeting feature is more preferable than any accounting software. Simple to create and manage. As you move further with more business finance then you can create granular sub-budgets that roll up into business’s master budget.Create expense reports – There are hundreds of expense report templates to choose from. Create and manage business expense.Accounts receivable and accounts payable - Many small businesses track who owes them and whom they owe with an Excel spreadsheet. Business take records of money takes in and out. Excel can easily handle list of outstanding client invoices and business’s unpaid bills.Bank reconciliations – This is the basic of bookkeeping. You need to compare company’s accounting records with its bank statements. You can put both side by side in Excel and quickly inspect any disagreements. Because of its no-frills interface, Excel prefers over any other accounting software. Expand Your Microsoft Excel KnowledgeTo start using excel for small business accounting, you must have knowledge of Excel. Excel for accountant provides you comprehensive knowledge on how to use different Excel features and formulas in accounting. Excel skills for accounting must be improved with the latest update. Learn Some Excel Accounting Tips. As you become familiar with the function of program, you can use it to manage business accounts easily.
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23
Sep

Top 15 Data Analysis Functions in Excel

If you’ve ever used Excel, then you’ve probably experienced the agony of choosing an incorrect formula to analyze a data set. Maybe you worked on it for hours, finally giving up because the data output was wrong or, the function was too complicated, and it seemed simpler to count the data yourself manually. If that sounds like you, then this Data Analysis in Excel top 15 is for you.There are hundreds of functions in Excel, and it can be overwhelming trying to match the right formula with the right kind of data analysis. The most useful functions don’t have to be complicated. Fifteen simple functions will improve your ability to analyze data, making you wonder how you ever lived without them.Whether you dabble in Excel or use it heavily at your job, there is a function for everyone in this list.1. CONCATENATECONCATENATE is one of the easiest to learn but most powerful formulas when conducting data analysis. Combine text, numbers, dates and more from multiple cells into one. This is an excellent function for creating API endpoints, product SKUs, and Java queries.Formula: =CONCATENATE(SELECT CELLS YOU WANT TO COMBINE)2. LEN=LEN quickly provides the number of characters in a given cell. As in the example above, you can identify two different kinds of product Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) using the =LEN formula to see how many characters the cell contains. LEN is especially useful when trying to determine the differences between different Unique Identifiers (UIDs), which are often lengthy and not in the right order.Formula: =LEN(SELECT CELL)3. COUNTA=COUNTA identifies whether a cell is empty or not. In the life of a data analyst, you’re going to run into incomplete data sets daily. COUNTA will allow you to evaluate any gaps the dataset might have without having to reorganize the data.Formula: =COUNTA(SELECT CELL)4. DAYS/NETWORKDAYS=DAYS is exactly what it implies. This function determines the number of calendar days between two dates. This is a useful tool for assessing the lifecycle of products, contracts, and run rating revenue depending on service length – a data analysis essential.NETWORKDAYS is slightly more robust and useful. This formula determines the number of “workdays” between two dates as well as an option to account for holidays. Even workaholics need a break now and then! Using these two formulas to compare time frames is especially helpful for project management.Formulas: =DAYS(SELECT CELL, SELECT CELL) OR =NETWORKDAYS(SELECT CELL, SELECT CELL,[numberofholidays])5. SUMIFS=SUMIFS is one of the “must-know” formulas for a data analyst. The common formula used is =SUM, but what if you need to sum values based on multiple criteria? SUMIFS is it. In the example below, SUMIFS is used to determine how much each product is contributing to top-line revenue.Formula: =SUMIF(RANGE,CRITERIA,[sum_range])6. AVERAGEIFSMuch like SUMIFS, AVERAGEIFS allows you to take an average based on one or more criteria.Formula: =AVERAGEIF(SELECT CELL, CRITERIA,[AVERAGE_RANGE])7. VLOOKUP=VLOOKUP is one of the most useful and recognizable data analysis functions. As an Excel user, you’ll probably need to “marry” data together at some point. For example, accounts receivable might know how much each product costs, but the shipping department can only provide units shipped. This is the perfect use case for VLOOKUP.In the image below we use reference data (A2) combined with the pricing table to have excel looking up matching criteria in the first column and returning an adjacent value.Formula: =VLOOKUP(LOOKUP_VALUE,TABLE_ARRAY,COL_INDEX_NUM, [RANGE_LOOKUP])8. FIND/SEARCH=FIND/=SEARCH are powerful functions for isolating specific text within a data set. Both are listed here because =FIND will return a case-sensitive match, i.e. if you use FIND to query for “Big” you will only return Big=true results. But a =SEARCH for “Big” will match with Big or big, making the query a bit broader. This is particularly useful for looking for anomalies or unique identifiers.Formula: =FIND(TEXT,WITHIN_TEXT,[START_NUMBER]) OR =SEARCH(TEXT,WITHIN_TEXT,[START_NUMBER])9. IFERROR=IFERROR is something that any analyst who actively presents data should take advantage of. Using the previous example, looking for specific text/values in a dataset won’t return a match. This causes a #VALUE error, and while harmless, it is distracting and an eyesore.Use =IFERROR to replace the #VALUE errors with any text/value. In the example above, the cell is blank so that data consumers can easily pick out which rows returned a matching value.Formula: =IFERROR(FIND“VALUE”,SELECT CELL,VALUE_IF_ERROR)10. COUNTIFS=COUNTIFS is the easiest way to count the number of instances a dataset meets a set of criteria. In the example above the product name is used to determine which product was the best seller. COUNTIFS is powerful because of the limitless criteria you can input.Formula: =COUNTIFS(RANGE,CRITERIA)11. LEFT/RIGHT=LEFT, =RIGHT are efficient and straightforward methods for extracting static data out of cells. =LEFT will return the “x” number of characters from the beginning of the cell, while =right will return the “x” number of characters from the end of the cell. In the example below, =LEFT is used to extract the consumer’s area code from their phone number, while =RIGHT is used to extract the last four digits.Formula: =LEFT(SELECT CELL,NUMBER) OR =RIGHT(SELECT CELL,NUMBER)12. RANK=RANK is an ancient excel function, but that doesn’t downplay its effectiveness for data analysis. =RANK allows you to quickly denote how values rank in a dataset in ascending or descending order. In the example, RANK is being used to determine which clients order the most product.Formula: =RANK(SELECT CELL,RANGE_TO_RANK_AGAINST,[ORDER])13. MINIFS=MINIFS is very similar to the min function except it allows you to take the minimum of a set of values, and match on criteria as well. In the example, =MINIFS is used to find the lowest price each product sold for.Formula: =MINIFS(RANGE1,CRITERIA1,RANGE2)14. MAXIFS=MAXIFS, like its counterpart minifs, allows you to match on criteria, but this time it looks for the maximum number.Formula: =MAXIFS(RANGE1,CRITERIA1,RANGE2)15. SUMPRODUCT=SUMPRODUCT is an excellent function to calculate average returns, price points, and margins. SUMPRODUCT multiples one range of values by its corresponding row counterparts. It’s data analysis gold. In the example below, we calculate the average selling price of all our products by using sumproduct to times Price by Quantity and then divide by the total volume sold.Formula: =SUMPRODUCT(RANGE1,RANGE2)/SELECT CELL
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22
Sep

Essential Excel Skills to Help You Stand Out In Your Next Interview

Ask any accountant in any field which software they use on a daily basis, and the most common answer will be Microsoft Excel. The spreadsheet tool is perfect for anyone working in the finance and accounting fields due to its versatility and specific financial applications.At this point, it’s expected that you are proficient in Microsoft Excel even in an entry-level position, which was part of the AICPA’s decision to include Excel as the spreadsheet tool in the CPA Exam. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the field for some time, being able to efficiently navigate through a data set in an Excel file and use formulas to make sense of the data should be one of your top priorities. To help you become an Excel user, we’ve put together a listing of the top 10 Excel skills you need to know if you’re going to excel in your accounting career1. Copy and PasteThis may seem like a rudimentary skill, but knowing how to copy and paste correctly can actually save you a fair amount of time. Excel has a variety of paste special options; you can paste formatting, paste the formula, paste the values, paste the validation, transpose, and various other options. If you don’t know how to use these correctly, you may spend time typing out individual formulas and values, or going through and changing the formatting of individual cells when you can simply utilize paste special.2. Sort and FilterKnowing how to accurately sort and filter is the gateway to data analytics. The sort feature allows you to sort a specific set of data by a specific column. The filter allows you to only see data lines that adhere to your filter or filters. This is perfect for accountants who work with large data sets and need to narrow them down to extract the correct information.3. Using the “Formulas” TabWhen you first start using Excel, the number of formula options available for data analysis can be overwhelming. Excel helps you to figure out what you need to use via the Formulas tab on the toolbar. This tab lets you search through every Excel function, as well as show you the most used formulas. It explains what a specific formula is used for and even walks you through how to set the formula up. It’s a great resource when you’re first learning the ins and outs of Excel formulas and is even useful once you jump into advanced formulas.4. Cell Reference FormattingCell referencing is referring to a specific cell in another cell or formula. Knowing how to reference cells correctly ensure your formulas and derived numbers make sense on your Excel spreadsheet. There are four types of cell references:A1 – Keep both row and column moveableA$1 – Keep row constant and column changeable. This helps when you want to drag a formula down a column.$A1 – Keep column constant and row changeable. This helps when you want to drag a formula across a row$A$1 – Keep both row and column constant. This helps when you want a formula to always reference a certain cell.5. Using F4 to Repeat the Last ActionThis is a nice timesaver that allows you to repeat the last action you took in a new cell or group of cells. For example, if you highlighted a cell yellow, you can select another cell and select F4 to highlight that cell yellow. As an accountant, you’ll constantly be updating the format of cells, adding formulas, and generally working toward the most readable and understandable format within your Excel sheet. This shortcut will help you quickly change things in your sheet without having to use your mouse or toolbar.6. Conditional FormattingThis allows you to set specific formats for the value within a cell. For example, if you’re trying to see if you have any blank numbers in a sales tax column, you can add conditional formatting to the column to say “if cell is empty, make cell color red.” Anomalies will easily stand out and you’ll quickly identify if something is wrong in your sales tax column. Conditional formatting can be used for a variety of purposes and knowing how to use it will help you quickly identify specific values in a data set.7. Graphs and ChartsVisually analyzing data is very helpful for accountants, especially if they’re presented with large data sets. While a table can show a vast array of data, a graph and chart can show what the data actually means; trends may surface that wasn’t easily identifiable in a table format. Accountants who are proficient in using graphs and charts in Excel can visually communicate data both internally within the organization and to clients in a more effective way.8. VLOOKUPWhen I started my first job in public accounting, it became increasingly clear that I needed to learn how to use a VLOOKUP. This formula helps you find data in a range of cells by row. For example, say you have a large data sheet with names and CPA Exam scores on it. You can use a VLOOKUP to find a specific score for a specific candidate on a specific exam. The basic formula looks at one field, but you can nest VLOOKUPs into SUMIF formulas or add field criteria to make them even more useful. This formula is especially helpful for analyzing large data sets, which is done in a variety of accounting positions, from data analysts to auditors.9. Pivot TablesOften considered an advanced Excel skill (but used often by accountants), pivot tables take your data and organize it for you so you can organize it in a variety of data tables. You can sum specific data, put specific line items in rows or columns, and only include the data you need. Pivot tables allow you to take a huge sheet of data and turn it into a readable format that allows you to draw conclusions from the data.10. Keyboard ShortcutsI was always jealous of colleagues who could use keyboard shortcuts; they could navigate between sheets, re-format cells, and add formulas without lifting a finger to put on the mouse. The best part about keyboard shortcuts is they increase your efficiency and reduce the time it takes you to do a task in Excel. As accountants, we work in Excel pretty consistently every day. Using shortcuts will help you cut down on the time it takes to complete tasks while also making you the envy of all of your friends.If you haven’t jumped into mastering MS Excel skills, now is the perfect time to start. Excel Accountant offers a wide range of NASBA Approved Excel Courses, which can be purchased as a standalone course. Either way, Excel is a powerful tool, and learning it will be invaluable to your career. Taking a course now will help you become an asset in any accounting profession as you continue or start your accounting career.
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17
Sep

Must Have Excel Skills for Accounting & Finance Professionals

If you work in the accounting or finance fields, you are almost guaranteed to spend some time in Microsoft Excel. This quintessential spreadsheet program has remained relevant for decades, mainly due to its flexibility, versatility, and user-friendly design. Excel can also provide data-driven insights that can help facilitate business decisions and client recommendations. Plus, it has calculation capabilities built-in, making it extremely convenient in a wide range of scenarios. However, to work as an accounting or finance professional, you do need to understand some of Excel’s more advanced capabilities. If you want to ensure career success, here are a few Excel skills you must have.Formulas and FunctionsExcel’s mathematical capabilities are what helped the program rise to prominence in the fields of accounting and finance. Having a firm grasp of the available formulas and functions is a must for accounting and finance professionals. If you aren’t comfortable with them, it’s wise to increase your skill level to help you advance your career.Pivot Table AnalysisPivot tables and pivot charts allow accounting and finance professionals to gain meaningful insights from data. They can access multiple information sources and support a deep dive into the data. Being able to perform a pivot table analysis should be seen as an essential Excel skill for anyone working in a finance-oriented role.Charts and VisualizationsAt times, trying to derive meaning from rows and columns full of numbers is a challenge, particularly if you are dealing with a substantial amount of data. Charts and visualizations help make the information more accessible by creating a graphical presentation of the data. This not only helps with analysis but also with showing the data to another party, especially those who may not be as familiar with financial concepts.Conditional FormattingWith conditional formatting, you can adjust the look of particular cells based on whether they meet certain conditions, making it easier to track critical details or examine the spreadsheets for specific information. For example, outgoing payments (represented by negative amounts on a balance sheet) could be displayed in red, meaning the number is negative. Similarly, approaching due dates can be color-coded or bolded to draw attention to the cells.Ultimately, all the Excel skills listed above should be considered must-haves for any accounting or finance professional. If you would like to know more or are seeking new employment opportunities, the team at The Squires Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our accounting and finance industry expertise can benefit you.
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