FREE Webinar – Financial Functions

Excel has many functions dedicated to financial calculations. These functions take three or more arguments and there are a few things you need to know to use them correctly.

Most involve loans or calculations associated with the time value of money.

This session will cover the following functions

  • PV – Present Value
  • PMT – loan payments
  • CUMIPMT – cumulative interest for loan schedules
  • RATE – interest rate
  • FV – future value
  • NPER – number of period

The session finishes with a loan model that calculates the “missing” value for a loan scenario.

These sessions fill up very quickly, so please register early to secure your place.

Date: February 26, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM AEDST
Event: FREE Webinar - Excel Financial Functions
Topic: Financial Functions
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Comparing Measures

Katherine S. Rowell, M.S., M.H.A.

If you are ever tempted to start a column (bar) chart at a point other than zero, please read this post.

It also has suggestions for alternative chart types to handle comparisons.

Filtering Tip

Make your headings bold.

This tip applies to tables and to the structures you use for charts.

Excel looks for the bold format when it reviews tables and layouts to figure out if your table has a headings row.

You can use Ctrl + Shift + L to add or remove the filter icons to a data table. There is also an icon on Data ribbon tab.

This will work more reliably if the headings are bold.

I use the following keyboard combination on the top left corner of the table.

Ctrl + Shift + right arrow (this selects all the headings)

Ctrl + b (this applies bold to the headings)

Ctrl + Shift + L (to turn on filters)

This combination can be done very quickly.

You can just use Ctrl + Shift + L within the table, but sometimes this applies the filter to the wrong row.

You Can Undo After You Save

I am amazed how few people know this.

Way back in Office 2007 Microsoft changed the Undo List so that it is NOT cleared whenever you save a file.

You can use Ctrl + z or the Undo icon to undo things you did before you saved the file.

If you close the file that obviously clears the Undo List.

Please let people know this as I find so many people in my training sessions do not know things have changed since Office 2003.

This applies to all MS Office apps.

Make Excel VBA Pause

Sometimes when running a macro you need to make sure Excel has had time to do something before progressing.

This is typically in large models were it can take time (a few seconds) to do a specific task eg removing a filter or updating an external data source.

You can pause a macro to allow Excel to do something by using the Wait command.

Application.Wait (Now + TimeValue("0:00:02"))

The above code will pause the macro for 2 seconds.

Ctrl + Alt + F5 Not Working

The keyboard shortcut to Refresh All in Excel is

This refreshes all the data connections in the file in one step.

The problem is that on some systems (like mine) this conflicts with an Intel Graphics hot key.

To turn off the graphics hotkeys right click the Desktop and choose Graphics Options, then Hot Keys then Disable. See below.

Big thanks to StackOverflow for covering this issue – link below.

It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which, more than anything else, will determine its successful outcome.

William James (1842 – 1910)

VBA to Clear a Filter

Using Excel’s built-in filtering can speed up your VBA code.

It is important if you are applying filters that you clear any existing filters before you apply a new filter. Otherwise the existing filters will usually affect a new filter you apply.

The line of code below will remove filters on Sheet1 (Sheet1 is the sheet code name that you see on the left side of the VBA screen – it may not be the sheet tab name).

If Sheet1.FilterMode Then Sheet1.ShowAllData

The .FilterMode property is True if a filter is in place on the sheet and False if not.

The .ShowAllData method will return an error if no filter is in place – hence the use of the If statement.

Instant Format in Excel

You may know the two keyboard shortcuts below for currency and percentage.

But what you may NOT know is a technique that has been around since the early versions of Excel.

The technique allows you to automatically apply these two formats after you type an entry.

It you type $1000 into a cell and press Enter. Excel will automatically apply the $ format to the cell. The $ sign will not display in the Formula Bar – see below.

If you type 2.5% into a cell. Excel will automatically apply the standard % format to the cell. The % sign will display in the Formula Bar – see below.

As I mentioned these are really old skills that have been lost over the years since we no longer have Excel manuals – shows my age.

Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies (Wiley, 2017)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to review.
This book is a great introduction to Financial Modeling.
The content is easy to follow and gets you started on the right foot with lots of best practice advice.
The only downside of the book is the screen shots tend to include the whole screen rather than zoom in on the important part of the screen – many images are hard to read.
The book is a great primer for Danielle’s first book which allows you to learn even more about financial modeling.

It takes less time to do a thing right than if does to explain why you did it wrong.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882)

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Pearl S. Buck (1892 – 1972)

Top 5 Books

A recent email from CPA Australia listed my Excel book (Advanced Excel Reporting for Management Accountants) in the top 5 of all books – see list below.

Members of CPA Australia can access electronic books for FREE via ProQuest – links are below.

You will need to log in to the CPA Australia site to be able to access them.

The accounting books CPAs love

Which books have your fellow accountants found most helpful in advancing their careers? You may find the results surprising, with their top five covering everything from Excel and analytics to forecasting and getting your own way. Try these ebooks for yourself.

Your Excel survival kit: Your guide to surviving and thriving in an Excel world

Killer analytics: Top 20 metrics missing from your balance sheet
Persuasion equation: The subtle science of getting your way
Advanced Excel reporting for management accountants
Financial forecasting, analysis and modelling: A framework for long-term forecasting