The Importance of Understanding and Using Excel as a Financial Tool

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The Importance of Understanding and Using Excel as a Financial Tool

By Anthony Richmond

Summary

This reference comes from my personal career experience as well as from my written lectures. I’ve taught Excel as a stand-alone management accounting system for seven years and I’m not claiming to be a guru. Nor will I bore you with detailed definitions, fancy pictures, and excerpts. I just want to express an opinion to persuade readers that Excel should be a skillset to achieve.

Part 1 – Learning Excel

Not certain if you are a student majoring in Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Computer Information Systems, or some other discipline, but you will soon see, that Excel can be a tool to aid you in your career as well as personal endeavors. As for this quick reference, I am writing from the career mindset. Most everyone will utilize some form of financial or data reporting tool during the normal course of daily business. This is the key to keeping the business solvent and running effectively. Unlike yesterday’s Accountants and Financiers their profession has grown from basic bookkeeping to complex account management systems & controls. It is up to them to keep the truth, remain compliant, and grow the business. Therefore, the need to have a strong grasp at developing and manipulating data with Excel Worksheet/ Workbooks is vital. The majority of computer software systems in use today import & export data through Excel. Additionally your reporting efforts will be efficient and well organized.

The first steps to learning Excel are quite easy. Almost all training manuals provide you with a quick explanation of the tools associated with the worksheet. Next you’re taught to understand the development of the worksheet and the processes/steps that allow you to begin manipulating the cells for formatting. From that point you begin the fun part, learning the formulas that allow you to create what I like to call your canvas. With a strong understanding...
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