How to develop and expand your staffs Excel skills

Microsoft Excel has become widely regarded as the most popular spreadsheet generation tool in the world and its applications are wide and varied. Excel has become the go-to tool for most offices to generate accurate numerical information and graphs. And ever since its release has been a staple program in the world of financial management and invoicing. But now its applications have spread so far and wide it can actually be quite difficult to keep up.

So you and your employees need to be on the ball in terms of understanding and using the various features of Excel. This is harder than it sounds as the program on face value can appear to be confusing and its main applications are not completely apparent to somebody who is not trained in its use. It’s therefore highly recommended that your staff has some kind of structured Microsoft Office Training to truly help them make the most of the program. And if your company doesn’t have the resources, skills or manpower to do this yourselves then you may want to look into finding a provider of excel training and workshops.

Invoice Automatically

invoiceAccounts and bookkeeping are most likely to be at the forefront of Excel use in your company and it totally makes sense that that would be the case. If you look at the work that is done with these spreadsheets you will quickly realize that it is perfect for data entry and bookkeeping.   This is due to Excels ability to automatically execute different mathematical processes. Some of these are simple like adding together all values in a column and dividing by a set value and others are extremely complicated and require a certain degree of knowledge of the different formulas that power Excel.

For example, you can give Excel text commands like asking it to evaluate all of the cells in a selected range and see if they all have corresponding values. It will even “answer” you in text form, either TRUE or FALSE. A great use that you accounting block should be aware of is automatic invoicing where every month due accounts bills are calculated and an invoice is generated ready to send, saving accounts the time of manually calculating and writing up the invoice.

Make graphs with ease

graphsMost people will be familiar with this skill, making graphs and charts out of numerical data is what most people educated in the past 10 years will be most familiar with and it’s one of the easiest and “satisfying” applications of Excel. Seeing all of that hard data you have spent hours organizing into different columns instantly transformed into a visually attractive and easy to read chart is a nice feeling and does, in a way, allow you to be creative with data, as you have the freedom to choose chart and graph style, colour and format.

This, however, also requires a little bit of knowledge to execute effectively as different charts will require the information to be input differently.  For example, with the latest version of excel came the ability to create not only 3D graphs but also 4D which requires the input of some very specific data and a solid foundation of understanding of how the program works in order to create them. However, the sheer amount of information and the clarity of a 3D chart really cannot be beaten.

Expand on what you have learned

achievementOnce you are knowledgeable about Excel’s use it is then possible to go further with its applications and come up with creative automated spreadsheets to help you with day to day tasks.  Comfort with the intricacies and reasoning behind using Excel becomes spurs you on and makes you want to expand your knowledge and use it for more and more complicated and flashy uses. Which can also get you noticed by management if you consistently come up with the most user-friendly and easy to understand visual aids for presentations.

For example, once you know the relevant subtract and divide commands it can be a breeze to create an automatic ROI calculation spreadsheets. Wherein all you do is enter the values in the appropriate column and it will automatically calculate the wisdom in an investment. This can really help with you closing presentations as it shows the client in real time how wise of an investment they are making by showing them, scenarios.


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