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Column Alignment Depending on your information you may want to adjust where the information falls within the column. Try left center or right and see how it reads. I generally find that numbers and dates are best centered and that text seems to work with a left justification as full sentences or phrases are read left to right. But again try the different methods and see what works best for the data that you are presenting. Allow sufficient space around the information in the cells by adjusting the column width. Excel offers a feature that allows you to double-click on the end of the cell column and it automatically adjusts to fit all of your information.
This is where the right project management software tool shines and spreadsheets fade. A good project management tool will be database-oriented and should allow for different types of ad hoc reporting across multiple projects. This enables the mining of all kinds of data. You simply cannot do this in a spreadsheet at the same level. If you really really know what you are doing it is possible to tie spreadsheets together and generate some integrated data. But that is not the same thing. You simply cannot on a whim mine into the data represented in your multiple spreadsheets. And in today s environment this is critically important.
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In other words there is no cookie cutter approach because each potential investment has different profit and loss drivers. One of the first things to consider is what kind of data you have to work with in your cash flow template Excel spreadsheet. Ideally you re looking for accurate monthly data including income statement items like revenue and operating expenses and balance sheet items like equipment purchases and cash from financing activities. If you have a longer time frame you can go with quarterly periods but annual tends to be too long. After all how can you predict what is going to happen beyond 5 years with any accuracy unless you re valuing an annuity? Next how much detail do you need in your cash flow template Excel spreadsheet at the individual line item level? Is cash from financing sufficient or do you need equity financing debt financing interest earned etc.
Cell Options If you look under the "Format Cells" menu that appears when you right-click on a cell or selected cells you ll see a multitude of choices as far as borders colors patterns and number options for your cells. Borders should be used to contain your data within the cells and provide nice straight lines for your readers to follow. You can emphasize headings with thicker point borders or even dashed or dotted lines. Try to remain consistent throughout your spreadsheet. If all of the headings have a three point border than continue that throughout the document.