Another Better Way

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

In the February 2006 item “ Overcome Excel’s Sort Function Shortcoming,” reader Rick Childs, CPA, CFA, a Crowe Chizek executive, suggests using Excel’s custom format to overcome its Sort function limitation. He selects the 0 format category (see screenshot below) and then adds the necessary letters in front of the numerals. He also uses this method to add text after a numeral, such as turning 17.0 in the 17.0x (a P/E number) or by adding the word Yrs. to numerals.

This method has a major advantage: Since the cell information still is a numeral, it can be both sorted and included in a formula. Now that’s an elegant solution.

Stanley Zarowin, a former JofA senior editor, is now a contributing editor. His e-mail address is zarowin@mindspring.com .

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to contributing editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at zarowin@mindspring.com or regular mail at the Journal of Accountancy, 201 Plaza Three, Harborside Financial Center, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.

Because of the volume of mail, we regret we cannot individually answer submitted questions. However, if a reader’s question has broad interest, I will answer it in a forthcoming Technology Q&A column.

On occasion you may find you cannot implement a function I describe in this column. More often than not it’s because not all functions work in every operating system or application. I try to test everything in the 2000 and XP editions of Windows and Office. It’s virtually impossible to test them in all editions and it’s equally difficult to find out which editions are incompatible with a function. I apologize for the inconvenience.

SPONSORED REPORT

Keeping client information safe in an age of scams and security threats

A look at the Dirty Dozen tax scams and ways to protect taxpayer information.

TECHNOLOGY Q&A

How to create maps in Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 has two new mapping capabilities. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, demonstrates how to make masterful 2D and 3D maps in Excel 2016.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS enforcement, a hot job, and audit value

The IRS’s 2016 Data Book, a “hot job” of particular interest at this time of year, and insight into how executive and audit committees view the insights from financial statement audits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.