My Excel book, The Excel Project: Excel for Accountants, Business People … from the Beginning, is ready to buy now and here is the summary contents … look in the menu for pages with the detailed contents.

Click here to buy the book.

Part One: Foundations Contains the fundamentals. Really, we will begin right at the beginning. I know that a lot of Excel users hated the ribbon that came with Excel 2007. I mean that literally, too: they hated it and Luddite like, point blank refused to upgrade from Excel 2003. Part one of this book addresses the ribbon: give in one or two hours and all of your fears will evaporate. The rest of chapter one takes you through many basic aspects of Excel. Chapter two is concerned with charting, including some things that you will probably never have thought about, let alone used: very useful for accountants and business people, though! Chapter three introduces the vital Pivot Table: again, accountants and business people should be Pivot Table literate.

Chapter1: Basics
Chapter 2: Charting
Chapter 3: Introduction to Pivot Tables

Part Two: Data Analysis Introduces the concept of the lookup: how to set up tables and relationships where basic programming will save a lot of time and will make your life much more interesting and efficient. We take a further look at Pivot Tables … yes, they really are important! Finally in part two we look at the analysis of accounting and financial information. Throughout this part you will find that we use a very wide variety of ideas and techniques. We use a lot of practical examples to explain and explore too. In fact, this is a recurring theme of the book: the use of good quality examples to explain and explore.

Chapter 4: Looking up data: the LOOKUP functions
Chapter 5: Pivot Tables 2
Chapter 6: Ratio and Other Company Analysis
Chapter 7: Statistical Analysis

Part Three: Decision Making Takes us into the realm of the work of the accountant and management accountant. We use Excel to solve problems in a range of areas: the behaviour of costs, break even analysis, stock valuation, traditional and activity based costing and budgeting. This presents a lot of work in four chapters but by now the theme and essence of the book ought to be clear: you will be introduced to these ideas, concepts and topics and led through the foothills; but then we think you will scale the rest of the mountain on your own … providing you take the work seriously.

Chapter 8: Behaviour of Costs
Chapter 9: Break Even Analysis
Chapter 10: Stock Valuation and Traditional and Activity Based Costing
Chapter 11: Budgeting
Chapter 12: Excel Techniques for Analysis and Decision Making

Part Four: Beyond the Ordinary Begins with an exploration of how to use Excel’s decision making functions to greatest advantage: we use elementary examples to begin with quickly encourage you to move on to intermediate and more advanced examples. The we look at two fascinating topics that come with Excel 2010: sparklines and pivot table slicers. Even though sparklines and slicers have been around for two years, they are not so widely known even though they offer us all some fantastic opportunities for some inspirational work: allowing accountants and others to communicate in a much more realistic and modern way. Benford’s Law is a fascination and I have devoted a chapter to that: this chapter is aimed at financial accountants, cashiers and auditors as they strive to keep control on costs and cash. Finally, I have constructed a chapter from entries in my blog: topics and ideas that I think are really useful for you all! More blog is regularly updated, by the way, so you are encouraged to keep visiting it!

Chapter 13: Sparklines and Slicers
Chapter 14: Benford’s Law
Chapter 15: From the Blog

Duncan Williamson

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