Error-Proofing Excel Spreadsheets
by - David Ringstrom

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About Course

David Ringstrom, CPA, shares a variety of tricks and techniques you can employ to improve the integrity of your Excel spreadsheets as well as to audit the spreadsheets created by others. In this empowering session, he presents simple ways to prevent errors from being introduced into Excel workbooks. In addition, David explains the benefits and uses of several Excel features and functions, including the Hide and Protect feature, the Conditional Formatting feature, the VLOOKUP function, the SUMIF function, and more.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) version of Excel. David draws your attention to any differences in the older versions of Excel (2019, 2016, 2013, and earlier) during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the webcast.

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based product that provides new-feature updates as often as monthly. Conversely, the perpetual licensed versions of Excel have feature sets that don’t change. Perpetual licensed versions have year numbers, such as Excel 2019, Excel 2016, and so on.

Topics/Areas Covered:

  • Building resilience into spreadsheets by avoiding daisy-chained formulas.
  • Learning a simple design technique that greatly improves the integrity of Excel’s SUM function.
  • Summing disparate sections of a spreadsheet quickly with the SUBTOTAL function.
  • Improving the integrity of spreadsheets with Excel’s VLOOKUP function.
  • Employing the SUMIF function to sum values related to multiple instances of criteria you specify.
  • Using the SUMIFS function to sum values based on multiple criteria.
  • Using Excel’s OFFSET function to dynamically reference data from one or more accounting periods.
  • Using the TEXT function to create report titles that update themselves.
  • Preserving key formulas using hide and protect features.
  • Toggling the locked status of a worksheet cell on or off by way of a custom shortcut.
  • Preventing errors from the start by choosing from thousands of free Excel spreadsheet templates.
  • Using the Conditional Formatting feature to identify unlocked cells into which data can be entered.
  • Enabling selected users to access protected areas of a worksheet by way of the Allow Users to Edit Ranges feature.
  • Protecting workbooks to prevent users from renaming, hiding, unhiding, or otherwise affecting worksheets.
  • Limiting access to sensitive workbooks by way of password protection.
  • Saving your spreadsheets as templates so users always start with a fresh copy.

Learning Objectives/Why You Should Attend:

  • Identify techniques and features that will improve the integrity of Excel spreadsheets.
  • State how to hide and unhide multiple worksheets in Excel with a single command.
  • Describe how to use the Conditional Formatting feature to identify unlocked cells into which data can be entered.

Target Industries:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business
  • Excel Users
  • Consulting
  • IT
  • Auditing
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Government
  • Tax

Target Job Title:

  • Accountants
  • CPAs
  • CFOs
  • Controllers
  • Income Tax Preparers
  • Enrolled Agents
  • Financial Consultants
  • IT Professionals
  • Auditors
  • Human Resource Personnel
  • Bookkeepers
  • Excel Users
  • Marketers
  • Government Personnel

About the Instructor:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. David’s mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you,” so he focuses on what he sees users don’t, but should, know about Microsoft Excel. His goal is to empower you to use Excel more effectively. To learn more about David, you can view his LinkedIn profile and follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@excelwriter).

About Expert

David Ringstrom

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David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. David’s mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you,” so he focuses on what he sees users don’t, but should, know about Microsoft Excel. His goal is to empower you to use Excel more effectively. To learn more about David, you can view his LinkedIn profile and follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@excelwriter).

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