Excel Tips for Finance & Accounting Professionals

As a finance professional you probably use Excel on a daily basis, but are you using it to its full potential? In this week’s round-up post we’ve featured our top four picks offering lots of useful Excel tips and insights to finance and accounting professionals.

Our first pick shares four Excel tricks that will help you work through your spreadsheets quickly and efficiently:

4 Excel Tricks for Accountants

Whether you work for a public accounting firm or are an accountant at a company, Microsoft Excel is likely an essential part of the work you perform. While I worked in public accounting, I used excel on a daily basis for numerous work assignments.

Do you use INDEX MATCH to find a single value? Perhaps you’re familiar with the formula VLOOKUP instead and you’re wondering how INDEX MATCH compares? This article guides you through each formula and highlights the pros and cons of both:


VLOOKUP is one of the most popular formulas in Excel and for good reason. The ability to lookup a single value from a large set of data based on a single value is incredibly powerful. It might surprise you to find out then that VLOOKUP isn’t the only player in town when it comes to looking up data in this way.

Working with large spreadsheets containing many calculations can leave readers guessing which sets of data relate and how final figures have been reached. This article provides some great suggestions for making your Excel documents more visual, indicating which cells are connected and how data sets relate:

Excel Tip: Illustrate the Flow –

Draw an arrow to visually illustrate that two cells are connected. USER: I have a large spreadsheet with many calculations. Results from section 1 are carried forward to cells in section 2. It would help to graphically illustrate that one cell flows to the calculation of another.

If you’re looking for accuracy in your data (let’s face it, who isn’t?), our final post highlights several methods and built-in tools that can be used to audit and debug Excel spreadsheets:

How to debug Excel spreadsheets

CPAs are often tasked with vetting or working with numbers in a spreadsheet. And while accountants are well-trained to identify and correct accounting errors, spreadsheets bring the danger of many other types of errors. Field audit results compiled by University of Hawaii professor and spreadsheet expert Ray Panko showed errors in 88% of 113 spreadsheets audited between 1995 and 2007.

We hope you find these tips useful! If you’re thinking of making your next career move, feel free to call us – we’d be delighted to help.

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