Easy Financial Year Formula

To get the Australian financial year from a date you usually use an IF function based on the month number.

I recently learned a new hack from Matt Allington of Exceleratorbi.

You can add 184 to the date and then use the YEAR function. See table and formulas below.

The formula in cell B2 is

=YEAR(A2)

The formula in cell C2 is

=YEAR(A2+184)

Both formulas have been copied down.

A simple solution to a frustrating issue. Thanks Matt.

Excel and Outliers

New functions make it easier to find them

Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers is a great read – I reviewed it here. Its premise is that some outliers (events that are far outside “normal” expectations) have causes and hence are worthy of investigation. Excel have some functions that can help identify outliers in your data.

Selecting a column

To quickly select a column of data in a formatted table you have a couple of options.

Keyboard

Select a cell in the column and press Ctrl + Space Bar.

This will select the column of data. If you want the heading too, press it again.

You can also select multiple columns before using the shortcut.

Mouse

This technique can take practice if your headings are in row 1.

If the heading starts in row 2 or below it is easier. See image below.

If you point to just above the heading row you will see a downward facing, black arrow. Click this once to select just the data. Click it again to include the heading.

When the heading row is in row 1 you need to do the same but make sure the column letter doesn’t highlight.

The image below is the correct arrow – this will select the column in the table only.

In the image below the arrow shown (because the column letter is highlighted) will select the whole column, not just the data in the table.

Entering Date and Time in Excel

There are shortcuts to enter

  • the current Date Ctr + ;
  • the current Time Ctrl + Shift + :

There isn’t one to enter both.

You can use them in sequence to achieve a date and a time entry.

In sequence press

Ctrl + ;

Space bar

Ctrl + Shift + :

The space separates the date and time and Excel will recognise the entry as a date and time.

Creating a table of all combinations in Excel [Video]

Power Query solution

Let’s assume you have three state codes and four department codes and you want to create a table of all the possible 12 combinations (3 x 4). How do you do it so that it is flexible? i.e. if you add a new state or department it must be easy to update the combination table.

Filtering blanks made easy

In Excel the “Blanks” option is usually at the bottom of the list. This slows down selecting it.

If you have a lot of entries you need to scroll all the way down to bottom of the list to choose it – see image below.

But the word “Blanks” is searchable, so if you type b in the Search box – your work is done – no scrolling required – see image below.

If your column contains text you might need to type in bla.

Copying a Date Down a Long List in Excel

Two techniques make it quick and easy

There are a number of mouse and keyboard shortcuts for copying. But there is one type of copy that can be frustrating. Copying dates can be challenging because, in general, Excel wants to increment them, not copy them. There is a simple technique to instruct Excel to copy a date.

Handling DR and CR at the end of numbers in Excel

Sorting out debits and credits

Some systems add DR and CR to the end of numbers when they export into Excel. This renders the values useless for normal calculations. You can use data cleansing techniques to remove the characters using formulas or Power Query. There is one function however that can perform calculations on these types of entries.