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Feb 21

How to Improve Spreadsheet Integrity with VLOOKUP

By David Ringstrom, CPA

 

Building complex spreadsheets without lookup formulas, such as VLOOKUP, is akin to putting a screw in the wall with a hammer. It’s possible, but the results aren’t pretty, and most probably won’t maintain integrity. The same can be said for spreadsheets where you manually reference individual cells over and over again, instead of letting Excel do the work for you.
Let’s say that you want to be able to look up addresses from a list based on a name. Users that are unaware of VLOOKUP often resort to manually copying and pasting the information, or creating simple formulas that point to the information. In the context of an invoice or other form, these “manual” lookups can become tedious. Instead, we can give Excel’s VLOOKUP function four pieces of information:

 

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About the author:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at david@nullacctadv.com  or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link