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.

 

NEWS

IRS sets start date for tax season

The IRS announced that tax season will start in late January and that it will issue refunds to taxpayers despite the partial shutdown of the federal government.

PODCAST

Why CPAs can’t wait on automation tools

What do accounting firms waiting on others to develop AI, automation, and data analytics tools have in common with a baseball fan sitting in a stadium filling with water at an exponential rate? The answer could determine your firm’s fate.