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Spreadsheets can be your most effective and powerful tool in your business arsenal if you take advantage of the multitude of options and features available. Learning how to appropriately use these features will not only make your presentation stronger but also provide you with a simple means of sorting and organizing data. The data is important but will mean nothing if it isn t presented in a palatable form. Spreadsheets are the king of project management support tools because they are the most convenient tool to use and the most frequently used tool.
The end result was that I just did not want to use this particular spreadsheet despite its useful calculations. So what could have been done to make it better? Here are 7 tips that will help you create more user-friendly spreadsheets. 1/ Consider the End User Who is going to use the spreadsheet? Are they knowledgeable about Excel? Are they knowledgeable about the contents of the spreadsheet? The answers to these questions will determine the layout security issues the amount of help provided and possibly the formatting. 2/ Get the Layout Right Often it helps to put pen to paper and sketch the rough layout of a spreadsheet beforehand.
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Both the hardcopy columnar pad and an electronic spreadsheet version of my financial books were accepted by Revenue Canada. (BTW the audits disclosed more ways for me to claim back additional taxes for the previous three years! Now that s my type of audit!) In your new start-up business venture you likely will generate somewhere between 10 to 30 accounting transactions per month. These transactions would be items like Expense Revenue (sales) Liability (Loan) type transactions and Sales Tax (Federal + State/Provincial) Collection/Deductions. These transactions are further broken down into various Business Accounts.
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.