Articles

SUM() No More

What is your #1 most-used Excel worksheet function? Is it the SUM function? Believe it or not, there is an Excel function that is superior to SUM and once you discover it, you’ll hardly use SUM again. I’m referring to the SUBTOTAL worksheet function and if you haven’t explored it yet, I would strongly encourage […]


Be Excel-lent

Publication:

California CPA Magazine

Date:

May 2011

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Microsoft released Excel 2010 about a year ago and, while you may have upgraded by now, you may be like me. Sometimes I’ll upgrade an application, but not take the time to learn about its new features. So I continue doing my work on the “DILLY” method—you know, Do It Like Last Year. But each […]


Excel Rules

Publication:

California CPA Magazine

Date:

May 2010

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Two enhancements introduced in Excel 2007 may have slipped past you: multiple condition sum with SUMIFS and Tables (not Pivot Tables). It’s my hunch that once you discover them, you’ll fall in love with them the way I have. Please note: this Author’s version contains additional screenshots and info. For the Published version, please visit […]


Simplify and Improve Your Office System

Publication:

Journal of Accountancy

Date:

April 2009

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Put your workstations on a diet, and let your server do the heavy lifting.Talk about pressure—and not just in tax season. Keeping office computer systems up and running in small and medium CPA firms is an enormous and unending responsibility. Without reliable computing and communication capabilities, your staff, your clients and your business are dead […]


Defining You

Publication:

California CPA Magazine

Date:

June 2008

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Don’t be Generic; Get Yourself a Domain Name As Published in: California CPA Magazine Technology & Business Resource Guide 2008   Do you have a generic e-mail address? For example, jeff@hotmail.com, jeff@yahoo.com or jeff@aol.com. If so, you may have had the desire to upgrade your e-mail to a more professional address—something like jeff@clickconsulting.com or jeff@yourfirmname.com. […]


Technology Q & A

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

January 2008

Author:

Jeff Lenning

We have gathered recent technology related questions, and compiled their answers in one article.   Question: I am a small firm, and would like to scan copies of documents to pdf, but worry about finding them later. Please advise. Answer: While large firms can invest heavily in the technology infrastructure necessary for scanning, digitizing, organizing, […]


Add Muscle to Excel

Publication:

Journal of Accountancy

Date:

August 2007

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Have you ever wanted to do something in Excel only to find that it has no function for that task? That shouldn’t stop you, because Excel has a built-in ability to help you customize your own functions. The key is Excel’s macro tool, which uses software code written in Visual Basic for Applications, or VBA. […]


Mobile Computing- More Securely

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

June 2007

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Overview There is a strong possibility that you already have access to your corporate network while out of the office, or that you would like to. If you already have remote access, is it secure? Especially given the confidential information stored on your corporate network. This article discusses one security-enhanced approach to mobile computing. Mobile […]


Latent Electronic Documents and Discovery

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

March 2007

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Latent electronic documents on computer networks can present problems for attorneys and their clients. These documents can be a problem for attorneys since they represent information their clients may not have realized existed. Old versions of documents, drafts, outdated revisions, and embedded comments typically do not accurately reflect the conclusions, and sometimes do not properly […]


Protect Your Domain Name

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

September 2006

Author:

Jeff Lenning

An often overlooked computer security issue is protecting your firm’s (and your clients’) domain name. Your firm’s domain name is your address on the internet, and has likely become extremely important to your firm’s day to day operations. For example, it helps direct email intended for you to your email server, and web traffic to […]


Technology Q & A

Publication:

Journal of Accountancy

Date:

August 2006

Author:

Jeff Lenning

SEARCH OUT FILES ACROSS A NETWORK WITH GOOGLE   : In theory, going paperless is a great idea. In practice, however, the biggest obstacle, at least in my office, is not the work to convert documents into electronic files; it’s finding them afterward and retrieving them. We try to get everyone in the office to […]


Get the Word Out

Publication:

Journal of Accountancy

Date:

July 2006

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Get the Word Out How do you distribute financial reports to clients, shareholders and key people in your organization? If you’re low-tech, you probably mail them. If you’ve been following my suggestions of several years ago, you create hyperlinks in Excel files and e-mail the files so clients can drill down into them for details […]


Email Defense: Stop Spam and Viruses

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

June 2006

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Overview Protecting employees from “bad” email is becoming more and more difficult. Yet, it remains the responsibility of the employer. Although laws have been introduced recently to control spam (unsolicited commercial email), it seems as if the spammers are unaware of them and thus continue operating at full force. There are many problems with spam, […]


Wireless Networks

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

April 2006

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Summary Wireless networks are popular due to their relative convenience and low cost of implementation. However, in an effort by manufacturers to make their wireless devices easy to setup, most wireless routers are shipped with security disabled. Since many assume that if the wireless is working, then it is working properly (securely), few ever go […]


Secure Email

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

March 2006

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Summary Corresponding through Email has become an integral part of daily business life. For many email messages, the content is not confidential, and security is not an issue. However, there are certain email messages that do contain confidential information and securing those communications is essential, especially given client/attorney privilege. Fortunately, there are a variety of […]


Automate Excel Functions

Publication:

Journal of Accountancy

Date:

January 2005

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Easy-to-create macros can take over many manual processes.   Key to Instructions To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we use two different typefaces: Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs. Sans serif type indicates commands and instructions that users should type into the computer and the […]


Bulletproof Backups

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

July 2004

Author:

Jeff Lenning

SUMMARY Bulletproof backups are possible. Backing up your computer data is important, and you know that. This article strives to inspire you to action by showing you how easy and reliable backups really can be.   INSPIRATIONAL STORY There are only 3 rules of computing: (1) backup (2) backup and (3) backup. However, based on […]


Remote Access

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

February 2003

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Overview Like most professionals, your personal life and your professional life are blurred. When you are at home, you probably think about work and often try to get a few things done. However, working from home is inconvenient because of the crude methods used to transfer computer files from the office computer to your home […]


Network Security

Publication:

Orange County Lawyer Magazine

Date:

December 2002

Author:

Jeff Lenning

Overview A secure computer network is of paramount importance in today’s technology climate. Securing your network does not need to be expensive or confusing. Protecting the confidential data that exists on your network is critical for business success. The compromise of confidential client information could result in litigation. In addition, significant business interruptions can occur […]


Automate Shortcuts

Publication:

Journal of Accountancy

Date:

July 2001

Author:

Jeff Lenning

ccountants spend hours working at computers, and usually much of that time they’re doing repetitive tasks—such as opening the same group of spreadsheets or creating the same header or formatting for each new workbook and document. Wouldn’t it make sense to invest a little time to create programs that perform these repetitive jobs with just […]