Microsoft Excel CPE Course for CPAs
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While the resources available to CPAs continue to expand steadily, thanks to the fast technological advancements, Microsoft Excel continues to be one of the most widely used tools in the accounting and finance landscape.
When it comes to modeling and forecasting financial performance, managing budgets, and analyzing data, Excel is the number one choice among accountants. Although most CPAs possess good knowledge of using Excel, gaining excellence with it isn’t an easy task.
This is where Excel CPE courses kick in. Developing superior Excel skills with the help of Excel CPE courses for CPAs can bring a plethora of advantages your way.
It’s quite understandable if you, as a CPA, find it difficult to focus on developing a particular skill amidst fulfilling your CPE requirements. But considering the importance of Excel skills, you should put your best foot forward to master them.
Fortunately, these days, Microsoft Excel CPE courses are offered in both offline and online formats by many CPE sponsors. So, you can choose one according to your requirements and preferences.
In this post, we’re going to discuss all essential aspects related to Excel CPE courses to help you understand their true importance. We’ll also see the differences between offline and online Excel CPE courses.
Having started its journey in 1985, Microsoft Excel remains the backbone of many industries, especially in those where professionals regularly work with a lot of numbers. Here’re some reasons why it pays to take Excel CPE courses online or offline.
· It’s the tool of choice
No matter if you’re working as an independent advisor, running your own firm, or working for an organization, having good knowledge of Excel is a must in every position. Apart from its value as a fundamental tool in the domain of accounting and finance, the seminal spreadsheet tool received even more popularity when the AICPA added Microsoft Excel to the Uniform CPA Examination.
It may sound a little surprising, but CPAs who use end-to-end financial suites typically turn to Excel spreadsheets for doing financial analysis at the end of the day. As one of the most powerful tried and true resources, Excel has achieved a permanent in the finance and accounting world.
· It helps to perform heavy analysis
When it comes to performing intense qualitative analysis, Microsoft Excel has the ability to let you do it comfortably. You can input and output massive volumes of data and manipulate them based on your requirements.
CPAs who work in intermediate-level positions are expected to efficiently use things like pivot tables, HLOOKUP, and VLOOKUP functions. More experienced CPAs should know doing visual basic programming and writing macros. Regardless of the position you’re working in, you can master required Excel functions by pursuing Microsoft Excel CPE.
· It helps to climb the corporate ladder fast
Countless accounting firms leverage the power of Excel to help their clients in decision-making and forecasting and facilitating their businesses’ growth. When it comes to taking on more responsibilities in an accounting firm, employees, who can use the platform with utmost efficiency, often get preferences.
In short, if you want to increase your employability and strengthen your position in the field, you need to master Excel skills or at least have a good understanding of most advanced functions.
Although mastering Excel skills requires time and energy, it can prove to be one of your core strengths and, over time, open the door to a new world of opportunities.
Excel, being a vast program, appears with a huge number of functions that you can master. However, there’re several functions that you may not need to use on a regular basis. On the contrary, there’re some Excel skills that you must possess.
Here, we’ve prepared a list of the must-have Excel skills that you should learn when taking Excel CPE courses. This is a generic list and not tailored to any particular position, so you can choose the skills that are most relevant to you.
· Creating sparklines
Sparklines are small charts within individual cells in Excel. Accountants often use these charts to demonstrate variation in the dataset or a trend over time. Although these are small charts with limited functionality (in comparison with standard charts in Excel), they’re highly helpful in making your reports more reader-friendly.
· Filling and formatting
These are two of the skills that all Microsoft Excel CPE courses will help you acquire. By auto-filling the cells and enabling special formatting in cell batches, you can dramatically shorten the time you spend on doing data entry.
When choosing Excel CPE courses for CPAs, see which ones will help you master the shortcut keys and the new automation features of Excel. These will greatly help you increase your efficiency when working with the platform.
· Utilizing pivot tables
While pivot tables are widely considered highly complicated, they’re extremely powerful functions. With them, you can easily extract meaning from an apparently endless volume of numbers. You can group your data in multiple ways to draw useful conclusions easily.
Fortunately, pivot tables are one of those Excel functions that become much easier to comprehend when you actually start using them. Just be sure to choose an advanced Microsoft Excel CPE course that covers both the basics and advanced functions of pivot tables.
· Using the Formula Auditing toolbar
With the help of the Formula Auditing toolbar, you can easily maximize the power of Excel formulas. It has an error checking function to identify the errors in an active worksheet, whether it’s a small and simple or a large and complicated one.
· Utilizing templates
Excel comes with a massive library of templates that you can use to increase your efficiency. Templates are predesigned spreadsheets that you use to generate new spreadsheets with exactly the same predefined formulas and formatting.
So, you don’t need to write the formulas or do the math as they come integrated into the new spreadsheet. And Excel has many different types of templates to help you save time and effort. Even if you don’t want to use the available templates, you can easily create your own by saving an active worksheet.
· Conducting what-if analysis
This Excel function lets you modify the values of the cells to see how they’ll impact the outcome of the worksheet. This is commonly used by the majority of accountants to make faster, better, and more accurate data-based decisions.
· Performing data validation
Accountants often need to work with many different types of data, and Excel’s data validation function lets them understand the data type in a cell almost instantly. If the data is improperly validated, the platform generates an error message, saving you from rechecking a large volume of data.
· Using Excel charts
It sometimes becomes difficult for CPAs to interpret Excel data because of its volume and complexity. In that case, charts are incredibly helpful in representing the data graphically, facilitating its easy interpretation.
Excel has many different charts that you can use to represent data. When choosing Excel CPE courses, it’s a smart idea to learn both basic and advanced charts to be able to manage different purposes efficiently.
In addition to these, there’re other Excel skills that you can acquire by pursuing Microsoft Excel CPE. Ideally, you should create your own list of skills based on your requirements before searching for the right Excel CPE courses for CPAs.
Today, almost all CPE sponsors offer Excel CPE courses, thanks to their unparalleled demand in the industry. These courses are offered in both offline and online formats to meet the varying needs of different CPAs.
Although choosing the right format comes down to your preferences and unique situations, it pays to understand the differences between offline and online Excel CPE courses.
Here’re the fundamental differences that you should consider.
When you take Excel CPE courses online, you don’t have to adjust your busy schedule according to their pre-determined time slots. As you can access online courses whenever you want from anywhere, you get to decide your study schedule.
Additionally, there’ll be no traveling to and from another location to take your Excel CPE courses. This also saves you from spending a significant amount of time that you can utilize to carry out your other responsibilities.
The higher cost of offline programs is another key reason why many CPAs prefer to pursue Microsoft Excel CPE online. In almost all circumstances, offline courses tend to be significantly more expensive than their online counterparts.
And if you choose one of our subscription packages, you can access all of our Excel CPE courses using your subscription plan. This will even lower the cost of individual courses. Moreover, depending on your chosen plan, you may be able to meet all your CPE requirements together with these courses.
Now, you’re probably thinking about something like, won’t it be difficult to master a complicated subject like Excel by taking online courses that typically provide text-based study materials? The answer is “Yes.” It’s certainly difficult to learn Excel, especially the advanced skills from text-based Excel CPE courses for CPAs.
Fortunately, at CPEThink.com, we’ve got you covered. Most of our Excel CPE courses are available in both text- and video-based formats, so you can comfortably acquire the skills without any difficulties.
You’ve probably already seen that many CPE sponsors offer free Excel CPE courses for CPAs. Before you opt for one of them, you should consider a couple of important things.
· Topics covered in the course
As mentioned above, Excel is a vast subject with various basic and advanced levels. In most cases, free Excel CPE courses only help you master the basics, even if they offer CPE credits. It’s quite difficult to find advanced Excel courses for free.
Therefore, if your goal is to acquire advanced Excel skills, which will actually help speed up your professional growth, you’ll most likely need to choose paid courses.
· Quality of the course
Many times, the quality of the course materials isn’t up to the mark, especially when it comes to free online Excel CPE courses. And if you cannot internalize the topics covered in them, there’s no point in spending time on them.
On the contrary, with paid Excel CPE courses, you can almost always stay assured of having good quality study materials prepared by experienced authors.
With thousands of CPE sponsors operating in the market, sometimes it becomes difficult to spot the right one quickly. Here’re two important factors that you should always consider before joining a sponsor of Microsoft Excel CPE.
· Proper accreditations
The absence of proper accreditations from the governing bodies means the credits you’ll earn from the courses may or may not be recognized toward meeting your CPE requirements. If your state board of accountancy doesn’t accept those credits, your time, effort, and money will be a complete waste, especially when your key objective is to earn credits and acquire skills simultaneously.
So, always remember to check whether or not your chosen provider has proper approvals from governing bodies like the NASBA.
· Credential of instructors
It’s best to take Excel CPE courses from a sponsor that has a team of renowned, experienced authors. This will help you learn the skills in demand in an easily comprehensible manner. One easy way to find this out is to go through the “Reviews” page of a sponsor’s site.
If you see that a provider has received many negative reviews or mostly average reviews, it should be a good idea to search for another one.
Excel CPE courses have the ability to help you transform the way you work, as long as you choose the right ones and complete them diligently. If you haven’t started directing your focus on Excel CPE courses for CPAs, it’s time to do it. Just invest time and effort and keep patience, and you should be able to master Excel faster than you think.
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