Advanced Excel

Our spreadsheets range from sales and takings reconciliation spreadsheets used by many of our retail clients (which automatically link into the Quantus Financial Accounting system) to complex budget and modelling (what if) systems.

We all know about Excel and how brilliant it is. It can be the accountants best dream or worst nightmare. The problem with Excel is that it is a free for all. You can do anything, change anything, delete anything and as far as financial records are concerned that is not always a good thing.

If you run good computerised accounting software it will have an "audit trail" and it will not allow you to delete things. Yes you can cancel or undo something but deleting is forbidden.

So we try to provide some controls in the Excel environment as well. They are there to help the novice user to not make mistakes and to not lose work. Our spreadsheets save themselves before they exit, they have buttons to print specific areas, they have buttons to shrink the page down to the area which has actually been used (and of course to get back to a normal view), and they are covered with pretty colours to guide you. Yellow is for input,  Orange is for not normally used (but available), red is for results (no input) etc. Oh, and they are all locked up and protected so you can't mess them up.

Here is a snapshot of a spreadsheet which we made for a lovely hairdresser who knows very little about computers, nothing about accounting, and the idea of PAYE is terrifying. But she is a brilliant hairdresser. She has had a successful first year and now knows a bit more about computers and running a business. She has an excellent salon management system but the sales and takings reconciliation is all done in our spreadsheet. This makes sure that the credit card sales, debit card sales, and cash actually add up to the revenue recorded in the salon management system, which of course sometimes it does not - after all we are all human. The point is that if you do it every month (actually she works on weeks not months - 4, 4, 5 weeks makes a 13 week quarter) then any mistakes can be quickly rectified. She is now a fluent user of our Excel spreadsheets - although she knows nothing about any formulas hidden behind the protection.

And our client did not have to pay anything for this because we have a library of many different spreadsheets already prepared.