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

Revenue recognition: A complex effort

Implementing the new standard requires careful judgment. Learn how to make significant accounting judgments and document them and collaborate with peers for consistent application.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

News quiz: Taking an economic snapshot and looking to the future

Recent news included IRS actions that affect individuals and partnerships and a possibly influential move by a Big Four accounting firm.Take this short quiz to see how much you know about the news.