Excel reader challenge

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

August is traditionally a lighter time of year for CPAs, and in that spirit I’m offering another reader challenge designed to test your Excel skills. I’ve published an Excel workbook at carltoncollins.com/stockchallenge.xlsx that contains weekly stock price information for 10 stocks during 2013. Here’s the challenge: Download the workbook, start the 2013 year with $10,000 in cash, and identify no more than 10 buy trades and 10 sell trades that will produce the maximum growth by Dec. 31, 2013. Your goal should be to produce a workbook that returns the top 10 trade recommendations automatically, even if the original source data (ticker symbols and stock price data) are changed. Send your workbook solution to me at carlton@asaesearch.com. Tell me which trades you would make and when, indicate how much your $10,000 investment would be worth at the end of the year, and include explanations and well-labeled cells so I can follow your logic and calculations.

To keep it simpler, I’m asking you to ignore dividends, transaction fees, and commissions related to the purchase and sale of stocks. As I did with last year’s Excel challenge, I will publish and periodically update a summary of your responses at carltoncollins.com/trades.html. Good luck.

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

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2013, 2010, and 2007 versions, unless otherwise specified.

Submit a question
Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to jofatech@aicpa.org. We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.

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.

TAX PRACTICE CORNER

More R&D tax help

"Can I use the R&D credit?" PATH Act enhancements make the credit more attractive to a wider range of taxpayers.

QUIZ

News quiz: Tax-related data breach explained

News about a data breach that affected about 100,000 people, the IRS’s budget for the fiscal year, and the 2018 health spending account limits received attention recently. See how much you know with this short quiz.