The best ways to utilise Excel spreadsheets for accountancy and finance

When it comes to accounting and finance software, one platform that does not need any sort of introduction is MS Excel. Microsoft has created a number of different programs for individuals and businesses to use, and Excel – their spreadsheet software – is undoubtedly one of the most popular. However, simply installing Excel is not enough. You need to know how to use this platform effectively in order to get the best possible results. Read on to discover more…

Learning all of the important financial formulas

There are so many different formulas you can use on Excel, and so this is a great place to start! For example, you can use the debt ratio formula. This is the total amount of debt your company has in comparison with the assets you have. All you need to do here is divide the debt figure by the total assets figure, which is easy to do, as you just select the cells and use ‘/’ for the division sign. 

This is just one of many different functions you can use Excel for. For example, you can play around with loan lengths and interest rates by using the =PMT function. It really is worth taking the time to learn what all of the different shortcuts and functions mean, and you will then be able to make Excel work for you. 

Analyse financial data effectively

In your role as an accountant or financial advisor, you may be asked to evaluate data from one system to another. The perfect tool for this is VLOOKUP. This is a function that enables you to look for data and retrieve it from a certain column within a table. The formula you need is =VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_number, [range_lookup]) for the VLOOKUP function.

Familiarise yourself with Excel’s FV functions

finance report in excel

Future value (FV) functions make up a big family of different financial formulas that can be utilised on Excel. The most basic is future value of money. This is a concept that can be applied to business investments, such as an advertising campaign, as well as financial investments, for example, investing in the stock market. This is a growth projection based on assumed growth rate or initial investment amount, interest, and time.

Use pivot tables to manipulate client data

When you have a detailed and large set of data, using a pivot table is recommended because you will be able to manipulate this data with ease. These tables are interactive. They help you to assess data so that patterns can be detected and comparisons can be made. All you need to do is use the built-in PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard to get started, which can be found in the ‘Data’ menu. 

So there you have it: some useful tips that can help you to make the most of Microsoft Excel. If you have this software for spreadsheets as part of your MS Office package, then be sure to request Excel help to ensure you are making the most of everything that it has to offer.