Finance VLOG Series Tip #4: Embrace Excel

By Clinton Jones on March 2, 2016

VLOG #4: Embrace Excel

In this 4 of 5 part Finance VLOG series, I’ll review why you should embrace Excel. IT hates it, management consultants do too – but what they don’t appreciate is why you love it! Almost all finance professionals use Excel for something or the other, and of course there is a massive audience outside the finance team too. Excel courses are cheap so taking one or as many as you and your team need to become Excel gurus is advisable. While I don’t advocate becoming a macro developer, there are tremendous benefits in learning about all the Excel functions and how they can be used. The better equipped you are in the art of Excel spreadsheet development and management – the less time you will need to spend messing around with your data, unintelligible macros and formatting issues.

"
Watch the VLOG

Embracing Excel Video Transcription

Hi my name is Clinton Jones and I am a Director of Product Management at Winshuttle and today I thought what I’d talk to you about is just the whole concept of embracing Excel. So industry analysts and gurus who effectively who comment on the industry, Finance in particular, seem to have this real aversion to Microsoft Excel – they believe it is the great evil thing that is used in the back office. But the reality is that actually pretty much everyone knows how to use Excel, and everyone pretty much loves to use Excel! It could be something as simple as creating a shopping list or creating a list of names, you can speak much speak to any wedding planner or anyone who is organizing a birthday party and they’re creating lists. So they may just as easily create that list in Excel as just created on a piece of paper or in a Word document. And some of the reasons why Excel of course is very appealing as a method for gathering data, is that not only is it presented to you in a gridded format, but it also allows you to do things like filtering – so one of the options you have is to set up a filter and that allows you to build a much bigger list of items and then only see the ones that you’re most interested in. It also has this concept of conditional formatting and of course all of the features that typically come with a Microsoft Excel product – you can bold things, you can build formulas within Excel as well, you can do formulas within grids actually within other Microsoft office products like PowerPoint and Word, but its particularly good in Microsoft Excel. And then of course it goes to a completely different level when you take the data that you have in here and then you do things like creating charts. One of the things we see frequently happening with our customers at Winshuttle, is that they take the data out of a system like SAP, they drop it into Microsoft Excel, and now all of a sudden they have the ability to do things like light weight reporting. And then if they’re using Transaction recordings they could push the data back into SAP after they transform it. And doing transforms in Excel is very straightforward very easy, it is a very nice lightweight ETL tool, and not something you should be afraid of.  I think if you’re going to be cautious about Excel, the number one thing to be cautious about is don’t start using Excel as the alternative to your main system of record. Embrace Excel as the tool that it is, a tool to enhance your productivity, and then just use it accordingly.

 

Don’t miss the previous VLOGs in this series:

VLOG Series: 5 Tips to Improve Finance Operations Efficiency

Finance VLOG Series Tip #2: Automation

Finance VLOG Series #3: Flow of Work


Questions or comments about this article?

Tweet @uploadsap to continue the conversation!


About the author

Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.


Related posts


Did you enjoy this article?

Please share it with others and on your social media channels.