Excel University Blog

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Jeff Lenning

Create Keyboard Shortcuts for your Favorite Excel Commands

By Jeff Lenning | June 19, 2014 |

Generally, you can improve your speed by keeping your hands on your keyboard. But, what do you do if there is no built-in keyboard shortcut to execute your favorite command? Well, one approach is to customize the QAT. This post discusses the Quick Access Toolbar and the related keyboard shortcuts it creates. QAT Shortcuts Microsoft…

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Create Fiscal Year Periods with VLOOKUP

By Jeff Lenning | June 12, 2014 |

I’m a huge fan of the VLOOKUP function, and am surprised by its day-to-day utility for accountants. In this post, we use the VLOOKUP function to convert or translate calendar year transaction dates into fiscal year periods, such as a fiscal quarter. To accomplish this, we’ll first need to investigate in detail the function’s fourth…

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Table Total Row

By Jeff Lenning | June 5, 2014 |

The Table feature of Excel remains one of my favorites. This post explores one very specific aspect of the feature, the total row. Overview One of Microsoft’s greatest gifts of Excel 2007 was the introduction of the table feature. It allows us to convert an ordinary range into a table (Insert > Table, or, Ctrl+T).…

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Format Locked or Unlocked Cells

By Jeff Lenning | May 7, 2014 |

This post explores options for formatting cells that are locked, or unlocked, in an Excel worksheet. Scenario Let’s pretend we have a worksheet that helps a user compare three different loans. The user is required to enter information, such as interest rate and number of years, into designated input cells, but shouldn’t be allowed to…

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Recent CalCPA Article

By Jeff Lenning | May 2, 2014 |

How do you ensure your workbook is accurate? One approach is to set up a structured error check sheet. My recent California CPA Magazine TBRG (May 2014) article discusses the ingredients needed to build a reliable error check sheet. Here are the relevant links: Article: Put Errors in Check Sample workbook: Download Excel File  

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Recent JofA Article

By Jeff Lenning | April 24, 2014 |

Hi guys! Just wanted to draw your attention to my April 2014 Journal of Accountancy article that discusses the power of mapping tables. If you’ve not experimented with this technique, it is worth checking out. In summary, a mapping table sits between the data and report sheets and enables you to translate labels and aggregate…

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Conditional Averages with AVERAGEIFS

By Jeff Lenning | April 17, 2014 |

The AVERAGEIFS function can compute averages for transactions that meet a set of criteria. In this post, we’ll use it to create a report by customer that ignores zero value transactions. Overview Although SUMIFS was probably the most popular multiple condition function introduced in Excel 2007, it wasn’t the only one. Microsoft released AVERAGEIFS which…

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Free Kindle Version of EU V2

By Jeff Lenning | April 10, 2014 |

To help celebrate the conclusion of the traditional busy-season, I’m pleased to announce that we are giving away free digital copies of Excel University Volume 2 on April 16, 2014. You can download the book directly from Amazon and read it with a Kindle device or with the free Kindle app. The book can be used…

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Dynamic Date Report Header For The Period Ending

By Jeff Lenning | March 27, 2014 |

As a general rule, it is a good idea to delegate as many tasks to Excel as possible. Report headers are no exception, especially for recurring-use workbooks. This post explores the functions needed to create a dynamic report header, such as “For the Period Ending December 31, 2015.” Overview Let’s assume we use the same…

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PivotTable Percentage of Parent Total

By Jeff Lenning | March 20, 2014 |

This post demonstrates how to set up a PivotTable to show 100% on the subtotal lines when using the show values as a percentage of parent total option. Overview Before we begin, let’s review our objective. We want to summarize our data by region, and within each region, by rep. We also want to show…

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