Excel reader challenge

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS

In the August 2013 JofA, I challenged readers to solve an Excel problem in which a preformatted report fetched an ever-changing last row of data. We received well over 200 solutions from a group of Excel-savvy CPAs. Though each solution was different, all of them worked properly and employed a wide range of creative and imaginative approaches to solving the problem. In summary, the readers employed eight basic approaches, with VLOOKUP being the most popular approach (used by 31.3% of the respondents), followed by the INDEX approach (used by 29.3% of the respondents). The approaches I identified (and their frequency of use) are summarized in the chart below.

 

The solutions submitted showcase the ingenuity and industriousness of this column’s readership, and while everyone who submitted an entry deserves recognition, I identified the solutions submitted by Michael Inouye, Laura Douglas, Larry Moseley, Robert Loudon, Trisha Allen, Brian Carle, and Benjamin Brenner as being especially noteworthy because they were efficiently written, contained clever formulas, and taught me things about Excel that I did not previously know. To view a more detailed summary of the submitted solutions, and to download more than 70 of these solutions (including the solutions from the seven individuals mentioned above), visit tinyurl.com/n56bphh.

J. Carlton Collins ( carlton@asaresearch.com ) is a technology consultant, CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

SPONSORED REPORT

Time to prepare for overtime changes

As an employer, trusted business adviser, or HR professional, you will need to be aware of exemption guidance, record requirements, advice for clients, and typical problems in applying overtime pay.

QUIZ

News quiz: Good news on pay and benefits for accountants

CPAs can find much to like in recent reports, including news that their expertise and skills are in such demand that pay is expected to rise and that their employers value professional certifications.

CHECKLIST

Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.