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MS Excel Tutorial - Introduction To Microsoft Excel
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Today we're talking about Microsoft Excel. You've seen many spreadsheets in my web casts. There are many that we've worked on that serve various purposes from tracking credit card debt so you can get it paid off to a credit card summary that lets you see all of your credit cards at a glance. There is the inventory template that I still get requests for a year and a half later from my 2009 Tax Day web cast. My video log for all of the web casts I do is a great example of how you can keep a list of things organized so that you can access the information quickly. My rule is that if I can't find something in 30 seconds or less then it is not organized properly. You may have even seen the financial modeling template from my forecasting your QuickBooks Statements in MS Excel web cast.
This web cast is for you if you look at a blank spreadsheet with a blank stare. You might be asking yourself, "What do I do with all of these little boxes?" Hopefully I can answer that question for you in this web cast. The quick and simple answer is that each of the little boxes is called a "Cell". Each of these Cells has an address. A1, A2, B1, B2. The address is denoted by Column (letter) and row (number). So A1 is colum A, Row 1. It works just like graph paper in terms of how you link a point on the graph using the X & Y axes.
Each Cell can hold information. Text, numbers, and formulas. Formulas are a way of performing calculations. When I was an Auditor (my first job out of college) in 1992 the office I worked in were all using MS Word for their work papers. These work papers sometimes contained detailed calculations and I couldn't understand why they weren't done in MS Excel. If one number was to be changed in the calculation you had to follow the flow from one place to the next, changing every affected portion along the way. It didn't make sense to me why they didn't do it in excel. In excel you set it all up with formulas and this way when you change one number the entire rest of the calculation updates instantly. I did start to re-do their work papers and did them in excel as much as they would let me. At one point I was able to take an entire cost report and replicate it in MS Excel and they actually had a companywide conference to review it. It was sort of a proud day in a really bad time in my life (that's another story). Still I think my supervisors resented the fact that I was doing this. The time came when we were handed a new work paper form for a new cost report and my supervisor made it a specific point to tell me NOT to do it in excel -- that someone in Milwaukee (that was where the home office was) was already working on it.
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