Feb 18

My Quixotic Pursuit of Microsoft Excel for the Android Platform

by David Ringstrom,CPA   In a move that I can’t imagine occurring during Steve Ballmer’s reign, Microsoft has released Android versions of Microsoft Excel. I don’t have an Android phone, or the inclination to procure one, but I did want to try out the tablet version. On the Apple platform the latest versions of Excel …

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Jan 29

Use Excel to File Your 2014 Form 1040 and Related Schedules

by David Ringstrom,CPA   The brinksmanship between Congress and the Internal Revenue Service seems to ratchet up every year with the ever-present “will they or won’t they” approach to tax legislation. Yet amidst the annual chaos there is one rock-steady constant: the Excel-based version of Excel 1040 published by Glenn Reeves of Burlington, Kansas. This …

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Jan 25

Use Excel to Keep an Eye on Your BMI This Busy Season

by David Ringstrom,CPA   Let’s assume that you’ve bought into the quantified-self craze. Your wearable technology measures every breath you take and every move you make, so now it’s time for new frontiers, as in something other than the fast food drive-thru lane. It’s always easiest to start with low-hanging fruit, such as your co-workers. …

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Jan 20

Analyze QuickBooks Data with Excel Pivot Tables

by David Ringstrom,CPA   When it’s time to crunch numbers in QuickBooks, most users rely on reports within the software, while others turn to analytics programs. In either case, you may still sometimes need to look at your accounting data in new ways. In such cases, pivot tables can make quick work of sussing out …

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Dec 09

How You Can Determine The First Sunday in a Month in Excel

by David Ringstrom,CPA   I was recently asked if there was an easy way to determine the first Sunday in a month. As you might expect, it can be tedious to manually determine the first Sunday of each month in an expense report spreadsheet. But you can do it more automatically: It’s a simple matter …

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Dec 03

Mastering the Conversion of Minutes to Hours/Minutes in Excel

by David Ringstrom,CPA   Working with time values in Excel often gives users fits. This is because Excel stores times as a decimal portion of a day. Thus 12 hours is the same as 0.5. Three and a half-hours is represented as 0.145833333333333. Understanding this decimal concept along with Excel’s time-based number formats will help …

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Nov 18

QuickBooks Statement Writer vs. Excel FSM

by David Ringstrom,CPA   Creating financial statements from QuickBooks data can be a tricky endeavor. Yes, it’s easy enough to chooseReports, Company and Financial, and then Profit & Loss—as long as you don’t mind account numbers embedded into your P&L report. QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition and Enterprise Solutions users have a built–in tool known as …

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Nov 11

Troubleshooting When Excel Goes Awry

by David Ringstrom,CPA   It can be maddening when a trusted program such as Microsoft Excel suddenly starts exhibiting odd behavior. It’s sometimes difficult to tell if the culprit is Excel, Windows, or some sort of malware that’s wormed its way into your computer. In this article I’ll run through my typical list of items …

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Nov 04

Freezing a Middle Row in Excel While Scrolling Above

by David Ringstrom,CPA   Reader Fiona posed an interesting question on my article regarding taking the pain out of freezing panes in Excel. She asked: “I want to freeze a row in the middle of a sheet but have the rows above it and below it to scroll together. Is this possible?” It is indeed, which …

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Nov 04

Charting QuickBooks Data

by David Ringstrom,CPA   You may be surprised to discover that QuickBooks offers over one dozen charts. Some of these are buried within theReports menus, while others appear within the Company Snapshot feature. In this article I’ll show you to fastest way to access charts in QuickBooks, tricks for interacting with these charts, as well …

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Oct 30

How to Convert Spreadsheets to PDF With the Push of Button

by David Ringstrom,CPA   So you regularly create spreadsheet masterworks, but the thought of sharing the details of your genius makes you break out in hives. One way to separate the outputs from your inputs is to save spreadsheets as a PDF file. It’s not hard to do so by way of the File menu, …

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Oct 27

Keyboard Shortcuts for Saving & Emailing Spreadsheets as PDF

by David Ringstrom,CPA   Saving Excel spreadsheets as PDF files has gotten incrementally easier over the years, but can still require more effort than necessary. When saving a document as a PDF, many users go through several mouse clicks on the File menu instead of choosing PDF as the file type in Excel’s Save As …

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Sep 18

Backing Up and Restoring Excel Workbooks

by David Ringstrom,CPA   As you’re likely aware, you can establish automatic, unattended back-ups of your QuickBooks data. Further, if you’re using the cloud based QuickBooks Online, then practically every keystroke you make is backed up as you go. It’s a different world in Microsoft Excel, however. Users sometimes inadvertently lose hours of work on …

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Sep 16

Timesaving File Menu Tricks in Excel 2010-2013

by David Ringstrom,CPA   You probably don’t want to think about how many times you access the File menu in Excel 2010 or 2013. Personally I think Excel 2010 has the best possible File menu arrangement, other than having Print Preview grafted onto it (but you can fix that). I feel that we lost ground …

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Sep 12

Excel Can Help You Choose Where to Get a Meaty Lunch

by David Ringstrom,CPA   The Internet’s viral sensation of August 2014 was an off-menu Arby’s sandwich known as the “Meat Mountain.” For the low, low price of $10 you can get a stack of eight meats and two cheeses. I think even PETA has been too shocked to respond. And what exactly does this have …

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