Excel skills required for top-caliber middle-market CFOs, such as creating pivot tables, linking spreadsheets, developing formulas, inserting charts and graphs, and analyzing the data in this electronic format, have increased significantly over the past ten years.
This is mostly due to the following:
- Competitive environment requires more nuanced analysis of business
- Ad hoc work is part of the daily routine
- Disconnected labyrinth of data and systems
- The business world now views this skillset as a “given” – your colleagues are on a higher level with their Excel skills, so if you want to be on the team, you have to have this skillset
So, how does an experienced, commercially-oriented CFO obtain these Excel skills?
- Ask the spread sheet jockeys in your organization for hints and tips – you don’t need to know the 500+ Excel functions, but you do need to master the formulas, shortcuts, reports, and graphs that you and your team use on a daily and weekly basis – start there
- Spend some time on a web-based Excel training program – udemy.com and excelwithbusiness.com offer inexpensive, focused programs
- Put your new skills to work – “practice makes perfect”
Integrate maintaining your Excel skills into your personal development plan each year – just as you would your CPA license or other certifications.
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