A Better Way

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

In the July issue (page 96), I suggested a technique for partially hiding numbers in a spreadsheet that you need to keep private— such as Social Security numbers. Steve Gordon, CPA, internal auditor at Northwest Natural Gas Co., Portland, Ore., pointed out a weakness in the idea. He said that the concealed data will come out of hiding if you simply copy and paste the information into another worksheet. One way to improve safety when you protect the sheet (Tools, Protection, Protect Sheet) is to be sure to deselect the checkbox next to Allow all users of this worksheet to: Select locked cells (see screenshot above). Recognize, still, that a determined person can usually find a way to overcome Excel’s security.

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.