Reader challenge: Test your Excel IQ

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

This month I am turning the tables; it’s your turn to face the challenge. A reader sent me the following Excel question, and I am submitting it to you for a chance to solve his problem:

Q: I have created an Excel template in which we enter employee information and pension data, and as we enter this data, I want the last row automatically displayed in a ready-to-print formatted report (a rough example of which is pictured in the image below). My problem is that as this list grows longer, I can’t figure out how to automatically reference the last row of data in the ready-to-print, formatted report without editing the formulas to refer to that ever-changing last row.

Reader challenge: Your objective is to fix the following problem: As new data are entered and the list of data in columns B through J grows longer, how can we get the pension plan statement (specifically, the cells in columns P and Y containing the Last Name, First Name, Address, Phone, City, State, Zip, Plan, and Balance data) to automatically display the last row of data as the data continues to grow? Do you have the solution? If so, here’s your chance to shine. Download the uncompleted template at carltoncollins.com/test.xlsx and see if you have the answer. Send me your solution, and look for my answer to this problem in the September JofA.

SPONSORED REPORT

Post-busy season checklist

Now that tax season is over, pause for some introspection to guarantee that next year’s busy season is even better. Bonus: “Dirty dozen” scams list to share with your clients. Sponsored by Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg BNA, Bloomberg BNA // Software and Wolters Kluwer.

QUIZ

News quiz: Risks are top of mind in finance

Americans are worried about risks to their financial security. Accountants also see risks to their organizations and their careers. See how much you know about recent news and reports with this quiz.

CHECKLIST

Auditing risks in culture

Cultural flaws can seriously damage an organization. Here’s how internal auditors can reduce risks by embedding culture audits into existing audit programs.