Developed specifically for accountants, this course discusses the Excel features, functions, and techniques that are practical, relevant, and sure to save you time.
My Excel University series of books are available online in paperback and digital Kindle versions. My online Excel University courses teach the content of the books in video format. Now, for Udemy, I've combined the book text and the lecture videos of Excel University Volume 1 and made them both available in this Excel for Accountants Volume 1 course.
Each course section will begin with the lecture video. You can work through the sample Excel file to practice. Each section also provides the text of the book which reinforces and enhances the content presented in the lecture video. I then provide additional resources and related Excel University blog posts and articles. These elements provide an effective training experience.
Author and award-winning instructor, Jeff Lenning, is a certified public account and Microsoft certified trainer, and has helped thousands of accountants use Excel more efficiently.
This chapter discusses my Top 5 favorite Excel shortcuts. We’ll cover others later, but for now, please commit the following five shortcuts to memory and begin using them immediately:
An Excel Named Reference is a friendly name that refers to a cell, range, or other item.
The benefits of using names are numerous:
The simple way to insert a name is to highlight the cell or range, type the name in the Name Box, and then press the Enter key on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can enter a new name, as well as edit or delete an existing name, by activating the Name Manager.
An Excel Table is essentially any range of data that has been defined as a Table. It is easy to convert a normal range of data into a Table by using the following command:
Now that the normal range of data has been converted into a Table, it contains many special properties, including:
Excel's Data Validation feature allows you to control what a user can type in to a cell.
To apply Data Validation to a cell (or range), begin by selecting the cell (or range). Next, activate the Data Validation dialog box with:
You’ll find that the Data Validation dialog box has three tabs, Settings, Input Message, and Error Alert.
Excel's Conditional Formatting feature allows you to control the format of a cell based on the value of the cell. The basic idea is to first identify the cell to be conditionally formatted. Then, define the condition(s), or rule(s). Finally, define the format to apply when the cell value meets a condition.
To apply Conditional Formatting, simply highlight the cell or range of cells, and then activate the Conditional Format dialog box by using the following:
There is a function in Excel that is better for summing than the SUM function for accountants. In fact, I use it instead of the SUM function almost all of the time.
The SUBTOTAL function excludes other SUBTOTAL functions in its sum range.
SUM no more!
The Skinny Row is any blank row between the data region and the formula row. The row height is decreased so that it is skinny. I typically use a row height of 4, but you can also use other values, such as 3, 2, 1 or .75. Since the row is skinny, it is not noticeable on printed versions of the sheet. After you create the Skinny Row, you must write your formula to include it.
Sometimes, the workbook administrator may include notes, settings, assumptions, or other data that is not relevant to the user. In some cases, the productivity of the user may be increased when this extraneous information is hidden (that is, “out of sight, out of mind”).
It is often convenient to place your admin data on a worksheet, and then hide the worksheet so that it does not appear to a user. Once the sheet is active, navigate to the following command:
Identifying the cells that require a user’s input will result in workbooks that are more efficient, because they will take less time to update. Also, these workbooks will generally be more accurate because formula cells are less likely to be overwritten by user input.
Once the cells have been selected, apply the style by using the following command:
Award-winning instructor and author of Excel University, Jeff Lenning CPA has helped thousands of accountants work more efficiently with Microsoft Excel. Jeff is a Microsoft Certified Trainer and a Microsoft Certified Excel Expert. He has provided continuing education to CPAs for the past 10 years, and many of his Excel articles have been featured in industry publications such as the Journal of Accountancy and California CPA Magazine.
Jeff began his career in the audit practice at Arthur Andersen. He was a senior financial analyst at Gateway computers and the accounting manager at Interpore Cross International. In 2000, he founded Click Consulting Inc., a technology consulting firm. In 2012, he launched Excel University.
He has served in a variety of leadership positions in the California Society of CPAs, including president of the CalCPA OCLB Chapter, chair of the CalCPA State Technology Committee, chair of the CalCPA OCLB Chapter Technology Committee, board member of the CalCPA OCLB Chapter, and a CalCPA Council Member.
He provides Excel training to Fortune 500 companies and is an instructor for the AICPA, the California CPA Education Foundation, and other organizations. A Microsoft Office Certified Excel Expert, he is a nationally recognized speaker and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He was recently recognized with the California CPA Education Foundation’s Award for Instructor Excellence.