Excel University: Microsoft Excel Training for CPAs and Accounting Professionals: Volume 1

Excel University: Microsoft Excel Training for CPAs and Accounting Professionals: Volume 1 PDF

Author: Jeff Lenning

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent


Publish Date: July 23, 2012

ISBN-10: 1456441833

Pages: 200

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface


I developed the Excel University series to provide a comprehensive collection of the features, functions, and techniques that offer the most benefit to CPAs and accounting professionals. In my live CPE training sessions, I’ve been fortunate to help thousands of CPAs leverage the power of Excel.
I’ve witnessed their joy and excitement as certain features and functions are presented. I wrote this series of books to help more people leverage the power of Excel. I wrote it to reach the people who I won’t have the opportunity to meet in one of my CPE sessions. I wrote it to help you.


If you are reading this book, chances are you work in the accounting field. Much of your work is probably done, or could be done, with Excel. It is also likely that you are overwhelmed with the amount of work you have, especially when compared to the amount of available time. You probably find that your work life encroaches on your personal life, which creates anxiety. Your two worlds are colliding, and you are caught in the middle and stressed out. I know, because I was there.
The good news is that this situation doesn’t have to persist. Without hiring any additional staff, and without working any harder, you can get your work done in a fraction of the time it takes you right now, just by using Excel. You will soon see how to delegate many of the mechanical tasks you perform manually to the fastest, most accurate, and most efficient worker that I know—Microsoft Excel.


I’ve held four positions during my career as a CPA: an auditor in public accounting, a financial analyst in industry, an accounting manager at a public company, and a consultant. In each of these roles, I learned a variety of Excel features, functions, approaches, and techniques that enabled me to get my tasks done more quickly. The most dramatic example occurred when I was an accounting manager; I was able to streamline our monthly close, reducing it from about two weeks to two days. I obtained this efficiency by delegating mechanical tasks to Excel. Blown away by the power of Excel, I decided to tell others about it. So, in 2000 I began to share what I had discovered.
It started with an article that I submitted to the Journal of Accountancy. It highlighted a simple Excel feature: hyperlinks. The article was eventually named “Financial Reports in a Snap” and was published in April 2000. Since then I’ve tried my best to show others how to save time by approaching their workbooks with proper design, technique, and the correct Excel features and functions. Fortunately, I am able to show accountants how to use Excel more effectively by providing training sessions to corporations and live CPE seminars to individual CPAs through the AICPA and the California CPA Education Foundation. While those sessions are successful, they do present constraints, namely time constraints. Typically a session is 8 hours, and that just isn’t enough time to cover everything. So the Excel University series represents a comprehensive catalog of everything that I think is useful to accounting professionals. If you and I sat down together, and you asked me to tell you everything you need to know about Excel, this series of books would be my answer.
The goal of Excel University is to allow you to perform your job tasks in a fraction of the time they currently take. Excel has been my secret weapon for years, and I hope it can be yours as well. May the force be with you, my friend.


Due to the volume of content, the Excel University series is split across several books. They should be read in a sequential order, as each book provides additional building blocks of knowledge. The series presents content in the following structure:
• First, I cover the features, functions, and techniques that I use all the time— those that I think are useful to all accountants regardless of the type of work they do.
• Next, I explore additional features and functions, while also revisiting and expanding on items covered previously.
• Toward the end of the series, I review many advanced topics and sophisticated automation techniques. These generally require a level of proficiency with Excel.
If you work through the entire series and complete all of the exercises, you’ll be able to do all of your Excel tasks faster. You’ll be an Excel expert. Your appreciation and love for Excel will grow. Plus, you’ll probably be better looking.

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