What I Learned From Two Readers

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

WHAT I LEARNED FROM TWO READERS
In the September column (page 80), I reported on an Excel shortcut for putting the equal (=) sign in a formula. Ron Freeman, CPA (inactive), accounting manager for CityForest Corp. of Ladysmith, Wis., suggested another way: Put the equal sign in the toolbar for easy access.

To do that, click on Tools , Customize , the Commands tab and then on Insert . Far down on the drop-down list are all the basic arithmetic functions (see screenshot). Drag the ones you want to the toolbar.

Someone else recently asked me why this screen sometimes pops up when he closes some, but not all, Excel files—even when he doesn’t make a change in the spreadsheet:

Quite frankly, I didn’t know. But reader Alan Hyde, a CPA at the Park West Gallery in Southfield, Mich., went searching on Microsoft’s Knowledge site and discovered that when you close any worksheet with a volatile function—such as SUMIF, NOW, TODAY or OFFSET—the ominous screen will be triggered whether or not you changed anything. So rest assured that the screen’s appearance is not a sign of trouble.

 

SPONSORED REPORT

How to make the most of a negotiation

Negotiators are made, not born. In this sponsored report, we cover strategies and tactics to help you head into 2017 ready to take on business deals, salary discussions and more.

VIDEO

Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed?

The results of the 2016 presidential election are likely to have a big impact on federal tax policy in the coming years. Eddie Adkins, CPA, a partner in the Washington National Tax Office at Grant Thornton, discusses what parts of the ACA might survive the repeal of most of the law.

QUIZ

News quiz: Scam email plagues tax professionals—again

Even as the IRS reported on success in reducing tax return identity theft in the 2016 season, the Service also warned tax professionals about yet another email phishing scam. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.