Excel for Accountants: Volume 1
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Excel for Accountants: Volume 1

Learn how to complete your job tasks more quickly and build a strong foundation.
4.0 (25 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
583 students enrolled
Created by Jeff Lenning
Last updated 12/2014
Price: $95
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 76 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Recall at least 3 shortcuts to improve your speed
State how to name a cell with the name box
Recall the special properties of tables
Identy the feature that can create an in-cell drop down
State which feature will format a cell based on the value of a cell
Recognize which feature can simulate a bar chart
State why the SUBTOTAL function is preferred to the SUM function in many situations
Identify a technique that helps ensure that a new row inserted between the last data row and the formula row is included in the total row formula
State whether or not values on a hidden worksheet are available to formulas on other sheets
Recall the cell style name introduced for input cells
State the purpose of an error check worksheet
Identify whether or not it is a good idea to split the data from the report
Recognize at least three workbook design principles
View Curriculum
  • To work on the exercises, please have Excel 2007/2010/2013 for Windows.

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.

Course Format

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.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is designed for accountants seeking to use Excel to complete their tasks more quickly.
  • This course is not designed for people seeking generic Excel training, as the features covered are relevant to accountants.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 92 Lectures Collapse All 92 Lectures 03:28:21
Chapters 1-5: Overview
3 Lectures 13:27

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapters 1-5
2 questions
Chapter 6: Selected Shortcuts
7 Lectures 17:17

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:

  • Arrow keys - Navigate worksheet; Ctrl=Jump; Shift=Extend.
  • F2 - Edit
  • F4 - Cell Reference
  • Doubleclick - Fill Down
  • Ctrl + PageUp/PageDown - Next worksheet; Previous Worksheet
Chapter 6: Selected Shortcuts Lecture Video

Exercise 1 - Arrow Keys

Exercise 2 - F2

Exercise 3 - F4

Exercise 4 - Double-Click

Exercise 5 - Ctrl PageUp / PageDown

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapter 6 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 7: Named References
6 Lectures 13:01

An Excel Named Reference is a friendly name that refers to a cell, range, or other item.

The benefits of using names are numerous:

  • Easier to navigate (select the name from the Name Box to instantly navigate to the range)
  • Easier to write formulas (because you don’t need to navigate to a sheet and select a range)
  • Easier to understand formulas (names make it easier to interpret function arguments)
  • Faster to insert names into formulas with the paste name (F3) key
  • Easier to define a Data Validation list source
  • Easier to define the source for PivotTables and charts

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.

Chapter 7 Named References Lecture

Exercise 1 - Name a Cell Quickly

Exercise 2 - Name a Range Quickly

Exercise 3 - Navigate

Exercise 4 - Name Manager

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapter 7 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 8: Tables
9 Lectures 18:31

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:

  • Insert > Table

Now that the normal range of data has been converted into a Table, it contains many special properties, including:

  • Table Name
  • AutoExpansion
  • Structured References
  • Automatic FillDown
  • Automatic Totals
  • Column Label Replacement
Chapter 8: Tables Lecture

Exercise 1 - Table Name

Exercise 2 - Auto-Expansion

Exercise 3 - Structured References

Exercise 4 - Automatic Fill-Down

Exercise 5 - Automatic Totals

Exercise 6 - Column Label Replacement

Exercise 7 - Other Ribbon Settings

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapter 8 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 9: Data Validation
8 Lectures 24:32

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:

  • Data > Data Validation

You’ll find that the Data Validation dialog box has three tabs, Settings, Input Message, and Error Alert.

  • The Settings tab is where you set the rule that defines a valid entry: for example, any whole number between 1 and 1000 or any date between 12/1/12 and 12/31/12.
  • The Input Message tab is where you optionally define a message that will pop up when the cell is selected: for example, “Please enter a whole number between 1 and 1000.”
  • The Error Alert tab is where you optionally define a message that will pop up when the user enters invalid data, for example: “Error: Please enter a whole number between 1 and 1000.”
Chapter 9: Data Validation Lecture

Exercise 1 - Decimal

Exercise 2 - Whole Number

Exercise 3 - List on Same Sheet

Exercise 4 - List on Different Sheet

Exercise 5 - List with Named References

Exercise 6 - List with Table

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapter 9 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 10: Conditional Formatting Basics
7 Lectures 15:40

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:

  • Home > Conditional Formatting
Chapter 10: Conditional Formatting Lecture

Exercise 1 - Greater Than / Less Than

Exercise 2 - Equal To / Not Equal To

Exercise 3 - Duplicate Values

Exercise 4 - Data Bars

Exercise 5 - Icon Sets

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapter 10 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 11: Better Summing
5 Lectures 11:58

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!

Preview 08:03

Chapter 11 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 12: Skinny Row
6 Lectures 11:40

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.

Chapter 12: Skinny Row Lecture Video

Exercise 1 - Customer Sales

Exercise 2 - Department Report

Exercise 3 - End of Data Regions

Exercise 4 - Skinny Columns


Chapter 12 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 13: Hide Worksheets
3 Lectures 05:02

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:

  • Home > Format > Hide & Unhide > Hide Sheet
Chapter 13: Hide Worksheets Lecture Video

Exercise 1 - Hide Admin Sheet

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapter 13 Quiz
2 questions
Chapter 14: Highlight Input Cells
6 Lectures 09:23

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:

  • Home > Cell Styles > Input
Chapter 14: Highlight Input Cells Lecture Video

Exercise 1 - Monthly Payment

Exercise 2 - Journal Entry

Exercise 3 - Reporting

Exercise 4 - With Data Validation

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Chapter 14 Quiz
2 questions
6 More Sections
About the Instructor
Jeff Lenning
4.3 Average rating
1,536 Reviews
23,173 Students
4 Courses
Microsoft Certified Trainer

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.

Professional Involvement

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.