9 Excel Skills for Finance and Accounting

Excel skills for finance and accounting are something that can elevate your productivity exponentially. Read this for more interesting info.
excel skills for finance and accounting

As an accounting professional, you are familiar with a few Excel skills. You use Excel almost every day for work. However, knowing the necessary basic Excel skills is not enough. You need to learn advanced Excel skills to maximize the use of Excel.

This article will highlight what Excel skills for finance and accounting will benefit your operations and productivity. If you are ready, let’s begin!

Excel Skills for Finance Professionals

The use of Excel spreadsheets is a crucial tool in business. A spreadsheet can help create financial reports, analyze data, and formulate financial strategies.

However, your basic understanding of Excel is not enough. You must learn advanced Excel skills to distinguish yourself from other finance and accounting professionals. This can open doors for opportunities.

Excel is continuously updating, so accounting and finance professionals must constantly learn and update their Excel skills to become more efficient.

9 Microsoft Excel Skills for Accounting and Finance Professionals

There is a reason why many accounting departments are using Excel. Excel offers them a simple and extensive program that they can use for daily transactions.

You can maximize the use of Excel by learning Excel skills. Below are some of the most important excel functions that accounting and finance professionals have to be familiar with.

1. Using Templates

As an accounting professional, you have a lot of work that needs to get done ASAP. Creating your spreadsheet from scratch should not add to your workload.

You don’t need to worry about creating original spreadsheets every time. Using spreadsheet templates is one of the many important Excel skills you must have.

You don’t have to waste time and energy creating templates from scratch. For example, Simple Sheets offers a collection of professionally-made and customizable spreadsheet templates. MS Office also provides some examples but often not enough for all of the nuanced work that you need to do in finance and accounting to run a business.

2. Familiar With Excel Formulas and Functions

In the fields of accountancy and finance, it is vital to have a strong background in mathematics. Excel covers many formulas and functions that are very helpful for several accounting tasks.

An essential Excel skill they must learn is using Index and Match functions. These are powerful reference functions similar to VLookUp. The Index and Match functions are used together to make looking for values in a table efficient.

The Insert function is another important Excel skill that must be learned. This is a formula-building function that helps you choose from a variety of functions quickly. You can access the insert function by clicking the Formula Tab.

There are more inbuilt finance functions in Excel that you can use, such as NPV, PV, and other time value functions. Also, you can use the Formula Auditing toolbar to facilitate quick access to Excel’s error-checking function. This is best used for large, complex, and multiple spreadsheets.

3. Can Create Pivot Tables

A pivot table is interactive that helps users compare and analyze data. Pivot table analysis helps predict trends to gain meaningful insights. Using pivot tables gives you access to multiple information sources and can analyze data deeper.

4. Capable of Creating Charts and Other Visual Representation

Using Excel charts and graphs helps make data analysis more accessible to finance professionals and ordinary people to whom financial data are presented. MS Excel has a wide range of charting capabilities with default layouts and styles that are very customizable.

5. Can Use Conditional Formatting

With conditional formatting, you can make individual cells look similar depending on conditions you have set (i.e., change in font color or fill color). Doing this makes it easier to track critical details in your spreadsheet.

For instance, when presenting financial reports using conditional formatting, you can format the negative values in red fill color or use the bold-face format for nearly due values.

6. Analyze Complex Data Manipulations and Data Validation

If you want to simplify reports, data manipulation is the function that does just that. With data manipulation, you can remove or add columns or rows. You can also hide and unhide data. This function helps accounting professionals access and navigate spreadsheets more efficiently.

7. Build a Data Connection

Not everything will be saved in Excel. Sometimes, you would need to combine data from other applications or formats like Microsoft Word. You can build data connections by embedding or converting.

You can embed Word documents in Excel. This is done when vital information cannot be displayed in a spreadsheet and can only be viewed with the help of other applications.

8. Cell Reference Functions

Another valuable Excel skill is knowing how to use cell reference functions. In cell referencing, you have to understand the concepts of absolute and relative references.

Absolute references remain constant wherever you copy and paste them into a spreadsheet. They are typed in the format $A$1. While relative references may change when copied to a different cell. This skill is helpful when working with a large volume of data.

9. Filter Data

Filtering is another essential Excel skill that you must learn. This skill allows you to choose data that show relevant information and temporarily hide irrelevant data from the spreadsheet. There are several ways to filter data in Excel. You can filter data by color, custom filter, and date.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Excel Functions Are Important in Accounting and Finance?

Some of the most important Excel skills that accounting and finance professionals must learn are (1) linking at least three financial statements, (2) building a forecast, (3) having strong presentation skills, and (4) being attentive to detail.

2. What Is the Use of Excel in Accounting?

Excel in accounting is used for many purposes, such as creating balance sheets, tracking expenses, noting receipts, monitoring bank accounts, creating financial reports, etc. Excel spreadsheets can store important formulas within cells for automatic computation.


Planning and data analysis are very important Excel skills that accounting and finance professionals need to master. You can easily master these skills with the help of Excel functions such as general and conditional formatting, lookup functions, and data manipulation.

Always be open to learning new Excel skills. Microsoft Excel is constantly working to improve its program by adding more functions to make spreadsheets more efficient for its users. You will surely benefit from continually improving your Excel skills.

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