Hey there, accounting brethren. If you’ve emerged from your version of busy season unscathed and would like to squeeze in a little personal development, we recommend this free on demand webinar from our friends at FloQast: “5 Strategies for Streamlining Reconciliations in Excel.” It’s amazing how much time is wasted within accounting teams due to […]
When Microsoft Corp. released its spreadsheet program, Excel for Windows (Excel 2.0), in late 1987, Lotus 1-2-3 was all the rage. “Among numbers-crunching accountants, corporate planners and business school students, the program has developed the kind of loyal following usually reserved for Madonna and the Boston Red Sox,” the New York Times wrote on Oct. […]
Two years have passed since I wrote a controversial post about ditching Excel. And as fate would have it, no one listened. We are as attached to Excel as ever. Maybe we like dealing with unruly and unresponsive files? But, those rumors about the AICPA integrating Excel into the CPA Exam have finally become a […]
Finally, someone who will give you a trophy (and a sizable cash prize) for your unhealthy obsession with Excel. Certiport hosts an annual international Microsoft Excel championship. Accountants, everywhere, rejoice! Since, while generally, we are not the most athletically inclined (after all, we do spend a lot of time behind a desk), many of us […]
Rumor has it that the AICPA is finally integrating Microsoft Excel into the CPA exam starting in 2018. I’ll admit my initial reaction is “it’s about time” since the generic spreadsheet I used was archaic. Apparently, almost 70% of the CPAs surveyed by the AICPA agreed. Go figure — we are all Excel-aholics who can’t get through the day without busting out a spreadsheet.
Five years ago, hipster accountants were all over the cloud. We were working on clients’ books from coffee shops and Xero was this sketchy startup from New Zealand that no one had heard of. There were meetups and secret forums filled with the cloud elitists and, almost everyone in the scene had beards (except me, […]
The AICPA reports that Excel's ubiquity in the accounting profession caused a bunch of people to suggest, "use of Excel in the CPA Exam to create an authentic user experience." Accordingly, "The AICPA plans to launch a new testing interface utilizing Excel in 2018." If anyone has further concerns or feedback, send a raven. [AICPA]
Let’s assume that you’ve bought into the quantified-self craze. Your wearable technology measures every breath you take and every move you make, so now it's time for new frontiers, as in something other than the fast food drive-thru lane. It’s always easiest to start with low-hanging fruit, such as your co-workers. Body Mass Index is […]
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. There may just be instances where nothing else will do in a set of audit work papers than a steaming brown pile of excrement. This is easy to add in the mobile versions of Excel, but you can also add emoji in the desktop […]
So you regularly create spreadsheet masterworks, but the thought of sharing the details of your genius makes you break out in hives. One way to separate the outputs from your inputs is to save spreadsheets as a PDF file. It’s not hard to do so by way of the File menu, if you don’t mind […]
The Internet’s viral sensation of August 2014 was an off-menu Arby’s sandwich known as the “Meat Mountain." For the low, low price of $10 you can get a stack of eight meats and two cheeses. I think even PETA has been too shocked to respond. And what exactly does this have to do with Microsoft […]
If you’re like most Excel users, you’re likely self-taught. Nothing wrong with that, I got here in the same fashion. However, from my perspective many users learn enough about Excel to wield it as a hammer when often more nuanced approaches are more appropriate. In this article I’ll give you several ways that you can […]
Ed. note: this is third in an ongoing series to help you make the most out of Excel setting-by-setting. If you have a specific Excel demon to slay, you can get in touch for our resident white knight and Excel-slayer David Ringstrom to help you out. If you’ve implemented the changes that I’ve recommended in […]
Ed. note: this is second in an ongoing series to help you make the most out of Excel setting-by-setting. If you have a specific Excel demon to slay, you can get in touch for our resident white knight and Excel-slayer David Ringstrom to help you out. In Part 1 of this series I noted […]
When Excel for iPad finally arrived, my first impression was here we go, yet another 1.0 Microsoft product *insert eye roll here*. As you might expect, Excel for iPad only offers a small fraction of the functionality available in the desktop versions of Excel, but I realized it’s unfair to call it a 1.0 product. […]
Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of Excel functionality…the thrill of victory…and the agony of defeat. The cyber-drama of spreadsheet competition…This is Going Concern’s Ultimate Excel Bracket!
¡Ay, caramba! Our field of 64 has funneled to the Final Four:
Keyboard Shortcuts: #2 Seed Ctrl-Z vs. Other Excel Features: #6 Seed Format Painter
Worksheet Functions: #10 Seed VLOOKUP vs. Data Analysis Tools: #12 Seed Filter
There’s only one more round before the final face off. Here’s how the strong have survived:
We've reached the home stretch of brackets season and we're about to crown four spreadsheet saviors in each of our Ultimate Excel bracket regions. By this point in the tournament you know these contenders well enough so we'll dispense with any further pleasantries. Plus, since we're talking about features of a computer program, there are […]
Oh, snap! #1 seed Pivot Tables is out! Here’s a rundown of the standings: Worksheet Function#10 VLOOKUP#13 LEFT Keyboard Shortcut#1 Ctrl-S#2 Ctrl-Z Data Analysis Tools#2 Table#12 Filter Other Features#6 Format Painter#8 Format Cells Don’t get too comfortable folks, only half of these contenders will advance to the Final […]
With a few subtle changes, you can ruin someone’s day. No, you’re not wasting company time, you’re testing your colleague’s Excel moxy. Feel free to charge prank time as “training” if necessary.
There’s no time to waste worrying about how the weepy fans of Text Box or MATCH/INDEX are feeling, there are 16 SWEET Excel contenders ready to battle it out to see who will move on to their respective regional championship match-ups.
We had a nice mix of upsets, domination and disappointment (I'm looking at you, Goal Seek!) in the first round of the Ultimate Excel Bracket. If you're just getting acquainted with this spreadsheet battle royale, then check out the results in the Functions and Key Shortcuts and Data Analysis and Other Features regions to catch up. You can also read analysis from our resident Excel expert David Ringstrom.
Annnnnnddd we’re back with the second half of your winners from Round 1 of Going Concern March Madness: The Ultimate Excel Bracket. This time Data Analysis Tools and Other Excel Features duked it out amongst themselves, with these features advancing to the second round (see the first batch of winners here):
Ladieees and gentlemen (yes, we’re using those terms loosely), here are your winners from Round 1 of Going Concern March Madness: The Ultimate Excel Bracket. The games began when Worksheet Functions and Keyboard Shortcuts squared off within their respective regions: FUNCTIONS #1 MATCH/INDEX#2 IFERROR#3 SUBTOTAL#6 SUMIF#8 […]
Hello again, spreadsheet fanatics. Have you returned for Excel battle royale? Of course you have. If you're just getting caught up, be sure to go to our post from yesterday to vote in the Functions and Key Shortcuts regions.
Your firm may be able to stop you from streaming March Madness on company-owned devices or with company-owned bandwidth, but they can’t stop you from participating in Going Concern March Madness!
File this under: things you must know as a spreadsheet jockey and sports fan.
Event Date: March 25, 2014 In this session Excel expert David H. Ringstrom, CPA shares numerous techniques that you can use to work with charts more efficiently. David will provide detailed handouts specific to these versions of Excel: Excel 2013 Excel 2010 Excel 2007 Excel 2003 Who Should Attend:All practitioners who may benefit from using […]
You can go complain to the bartender about your problems or you can come over here and let us take a stab at making everything all better. No matter your trouble, we're here for you, just reach out. GC, So I interned at a Big 4 firm this summer in Advisory and was fortunate enough […]
You people with a predilection for tax forms. At least you’re not Glenn Reeves, the guy who has slavishly recreated Form 1040 in Microsoft Excel for the past 17 years. Sick of Lacerte, ATX, Creative Solutions, and their ilk? Figure out how deep the gubmint’s hand is going in your pocket in a spreadsheet instead. […]
Ed. note: we really like David, the Excel guy, and we hope you will, too. He does webinars over on AWeb that we hope you will find useful but if not, he might drop some Excel wisdom around here for you guys if you treat him right. Please give him a proper GC welcome (and […]
Following up on the success of his popular High Impact Excel session, this time around David H. Ringstrom, CPA turns his attention to pivot tables. In one hour you'll learn how to whip unwieldy data into shape, and then quickly build meaningful reports by dragging and dropping with your mouse. David will also discuss techniques […]
Our brother from another mother over at AccountingWEB, David Ringstrom is a CPA and Excel wizard. It's not too late to join him for his December 19th webinar "High Impact Excel," which is worth 1 CPE credit and ∞ Excel expertise. Today, David is kicking down wisdom on how to use strikethrough in Excel… you […]
Listen, it's December, it's not like you have anything better to do. Also: FREE Via AccountingWEB: Event Date: December 19, 2013 In this exciting presentation Excel expert David H. Ringstrom, CPA shares dozens of tricks that he uses to fly through Excel every day. Detailed handouts with numbered steps will be provided for the following […]
Normally something like this would be too racy even for us but we might as well throw caution to the wind and post it anyway because it's also a roundabout way to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS research and prevention which is a cause I support. I have warned you once and I will warn you […]
I'm sure many of you consider yourselves more than mere spreadsheet jockeys, rather true spreadsheet artistes, manipulating one of Microsoft's finest products to satisfy your need for domination over data. And that's OK. But unless you have way too much time on your hands, you're never going to get to this level of Excel artistry. […]
Oh, and we're telling you about him because he is a lawyer/CPA: He doesn't use chopsticks, he doesn't like eggrolls, and his wife thinks the whole idea is "silly," but third-generation Chinese American David R. Chan has made a point of eating at almost 6,300 Chinese restaurants across the country over the course of 33 […]
Bracket season came to close yesterday afternoon on Going Concern and your Busy Season Survival champion is none other than booze. Hooch. The Sauce. Firewater. Whatever your flavor, alcohol managed to overcome it all to win GCBSSF&BvsT. Yes, those of you who cry busy season tears into beers managed to outnumber the BYU alums, CPAs […]
Finally, the champions of the two Busy Season Survival regions — Food & Bevvie and Tech — will meet to crown the ultimate winner of GCMMBSSF&BvsT. It's been a memorable tournament unless you've been committed to Team Booze in practice as well as voting. From coffee's disappointing performance to an inspired run by Email to the exciting […]
If you picked upsets in your NCAA Mens bracket and all the favorites in your GCMMBSSF&BvsT bracket, then you're in pretty good shape today. My hunch is that you went for the opposite strategy.
While favorites Excel and coffee had no problems and the wins by Bagels and Key Shortcuts were very satisfying, the loss by Someone Else's Hotpocket from the Freezer was devastating. DEVASTATING.
As we all pull up a chair at our respective dysfunctional family tables and enjoy the sacrifice of innocent turkeys and can-shaped cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving, let’s all take a moment to express thanks for the things that have kept all of us (including those of us who get to write about this exciting stuff for a “living”) in a job.
Human beings spend, on average, a third of their lifetime sleeping. They spend six total years eating, four years cleaning the house and a little over a year on the toilet. If only someone would do a study to determine how many years the average spreadsheet jockey spends with their nose buried in multiple Excel […]
Take it away, Robert Half! In the latest survey, 5% of executives said they plan to add personnel and 6% said they expect job cuts in accounting and finance. In other words, everyone's just sitting around like boobs. What else is going on? Finding the right people is hard! Finding qualified talent remains a problem […]
The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.
I was having a discussion with a colleague concerning the Excel skills in industry versus public accounting. We agreed that, generally speaking and based on surveys of class participants in our respective Excel CPE classes, industry users are more advanced than public accounting users. Within public accounting, regional firm users are more advanced than local and Big 4 users. Why is that?
We had one computer for about 150 professional staff when I started out in Big 8 public accounting oh so long ago. Back then we were the cutting edge in spreadsheet use. We were consulting with our clients on how to use Visicalc to increase productivity and reduce errors. So how did the Big 4 apparently slide to the bottom of the scale?
Theory number one holds that the Big 4 does all their training from within. They take someone who has perceived advanced skills, and use that person to teach everyone else what they know. The problem is that the in-house trainer may not know some of the advanced features in Excel that would be useful to the group. The trainer may only know slightly more than everyone else. My own experience with selling Excel to a Big 4 firm is that they feel it would be nice to know more about Excel, but it’s not imperative to the job. Rather it is better to focus CPE resources on IFRS or the latest tax code changes.
Theory number two says that associates in the Big 4 are focused in on their in-house proprietary audit software which doesn’t allow incorporating new ideas into the audit process like pivot tables or form control objects. Stick to the audit program because there is no room in the budget to experiment with Excel.
Now that I’m done ragging on the Excel skill level in the Big 4 remember I said at the beginning of the post “generally speaking” and I know there are excellent Excel users in the Big 4. I just haven’t met them yet.
Welcome to the final-humpless-hump-day before the end of tax season. In today’s edition, an analyst and prospective CMA wants to know how to best improve his spreadsheet skills to the point where they’ll jump out of the screen a do a little jig. Aside from reading the Excel manual, how does one go about this?