How To Work Excel Like An Accountant Without The Degree

Calculating Taxes In Excel

Not everyone has the skills of an accountant or financial analyst. But if the stress of tax season has taught us anything it’s that we could certainly take our cue from them and handle our finances better than we currently are.

Knowing even a tenth of how to use Excel is an extremely valuable asset to have. From organizational purposes to simple data visualizations, the uses of Excel are unlimited.

We’ve already showed you how to work with your data in Excel with a few basic tips. So we thought it’d be a good time to take things up a notch.

If you want to improve your data analyzing chops, we found some advice, MS Excel resources, and tips to help you to start working with Excel like an accountant without the degree!

Use Excel With A Specific Goal In Mind

There are many things an accountant can use Excel for. A cost accountant could open up a spreadsheet, for instance, to gain some insight from data in a PivotTable. But for you, your situation may be different. You may use Excel for. . . .

What would be your financial reason to learn MS Excel? Answer this question and you’ll be driven to master the program and take the next steps.

Keep Information Organized & Accessible

Although Excel is powerful calculation tool, you have to admit that it’s a great organizational tool. And this is where you can get your feet wet.

You can use it to track and organize almost anything. And for accountants that is key. But if you’re not analyzing corporate invoices, don’t worry. You can still use it in your everyday life.  Use it to keep wedding plans in order, keep track of your monthly budget, or keep your online research. It’s up to you.

Another simple way accountants use Excel? As a means of transparency, giving their clients access to their data and vice versa. You can imagine how this would help if you need to export your data to and from different sources and people.  So no matter what your goal is, learning how to work collaboratively by sharing your Excel workbook with others is another good start.

Know Your MS Excel Basics

If you don’t have any experience with numerical analysis, you’ll need to start from the beginning.  Learn the basics of Excel–and learn them well!

On Quora, a wide range of accountants and financial professionals naturally have differing opinions on which Excel skills are the most valuable for finance and accounting. But what’s generally understood without saying is that basic Excel skills and knowledge are required.

Thus, once you know your way around Excel (simple formatting, data entry), you can start in on features for working with your data. Think MS Excel Pivot Tables, Remove Duplicates, and Text-To-Columns. The aim of this step is to go from not knowing anything about Excel to knowing how to use it for basic calculations.

Get Serious About Excel

This step includes learning about trends like Excel’s impact on Business Intelligence.  It also means trying to get more precise with your Excel spreadsheets and data analysis. To do so, you need to know where to go.

If you’re at a loss at how to start in on seriously and actively learning about Excel, a few Quora professionals outlined what they thought was the best way to learn Excel.  So take a look at the thread. From online resources and courses to certifications and Excel oriented events, there’s no limit on how far you can go.

Use MS Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

Another suggestion to boost your learning is to use keyboard shortcuts for the basics. This is because once you master a skill, you should make it as efficient as possible. You’ll have bigger tasks to perform once you have the basics down. And wasting your time on  the smaller things can slow you down.

Keyboard Law Technology outlines the kind of MS Excel keyboard shortcuts accountants use. And it’s a powerful list when you consider how much they accomplish. For other keyboard shortcuts, you can access Microsoft’s official list of Excel keyboard shortcuts on their site.

Use MS Excel Cheatsheets

If you can’t remember all the functions and formulas there are, don’t worry. It’s doubtful that even power users can remember them all.  For this, you can simply print up and use an Excel cheatsheet and refer to it when needed. So even if you don’t know which function or formula you need, you’re more than capable of looking it up.

Just Dive In

There is absolutely no substitute for hands-on experience. If you’re going to learn Excel, learn it! Spend time with the program. Many are intimidated by it. But the key to overcoming that is to start understanding MS Excel. So explore it. Test it out. Just dive in.

And if your own personal motivation isn’t enough, another great reason to learn Excel? There are jobs that pay extremely well for MS Excel skills.  It’s nothing but a win-win situation when you learn Excel.  So step up your game and see how far you can go!


6 Online Dashboards To Present Your Google Sheets Data

Excel Spreadsheet Diagram

When it’s more and more common for teams to collaborate around data in Google Sheets, you’ll find yourself needing a way to work with and access that data whenever you need to–not whenever your data analyst gets a chance.

But the problem is that if you aren’t too savvy with MS Excel, putting together your own dashboard for your Google Sheets data is  downright overwhelming.  It can be a steep learning curve you neither have the time nor the patience for.  

As businesses are analyzing data that’s more complex than ever before, vendors specializing in data and business intelligence tools are offering out-of-the-box, online tools to make it easier.

These type of online dashboards can be the perfect solution. They let you get the same professional data visualization and analysis without all the technicalities.

The following 6 dashboard tools, for instance, have simple to use interfaces, features and data connection widgets that can integrate your Google Sheets data. Check them out.

1. Geckoboard

Geckoboard starts our list with its free account option. Powerful enough for Salesforce data and simple enough to use with Google sheets data.  You can set it up as you would upload a file. It’s just a matter of creating a connection to your Google account or linking to the file via URL as a data source. You can find a good run down of Geckoboard’s spreadsheets integration on the site.


VizyDrop is a data visualization tool that can easily integrate your Google Sheets data. Features with this tool include chart sharing, a dashboard editor, updated data visualizations, the ability to work with custom sources, and built-in app connectors.

This tool is on the simplistic side, but it’s free to use. You can start dropping in your data in their demo space, but you’ll have to sign up to save your data.

3. Slemma

Slemma also makes things super easy for you with its built-in integration with Google Drive available for all types of accounts. This dashboard tool provides you with automatic update and scheduled report delivery features.

Other features include one-click integration, calculations, automated pivot tables, and email dashboards. And if you’re new to working with data and aren’t sure how to best visualize it, you can get some inspiration from the data visualizations and dashboards other Slemma members have done. There’s a free 14-day trial available to check out.

4. BIME Analytics

Connecting Data BIME AnalyticsSource:  BIME Analytics

You can connect a number of any data sources you have with BIME Analytics–including online cloud services like Google Drive.  BIME Analytics allows you to pull data from Google Sheets and cache datasets. There’s no storage; analysis is always live and direct.  You can test it out with a 10 day free trial from the site.

5. Cyfe

In addition to other integrations to third party services like Google Analytics, Cyfe can also integrate your Google Sheets data directly. You have the ability to archive data, export reports, and share your dashboards.  Its widgets will allow you to connect any of your data that’s on the web. You can sign up for free or go with the premium account for $19 /month.

6. Datahero

This tool touts itself as the “fastest and easiest way to understand your data”. DataHero is a data visualization tool that works with the data you already use in cloud storage services, or in files on your computer. 

Import your data from cloud services, create insightful charts and organize them in separate dashboards to get the most out of your data.  Once you sign up you get free trial access to their Premium service, which is a good starting point for exploring your dashboard needs. As a bonus, there is also a free account which will do just fine for visualizing your data on a lower scale.


Marrying business intelligence and Google Sheets data doesn’t have to be complicated or something you dread. On the contrary, it can be as simple as uploading your data online. See if any of the above are a good fit for your data needs.

How To Export A Table From PDF AutoCAD Drawing Into Excel?

Part 2 of 13 in our How To Use AutoCAD series

Working with PDF documents is difficult. Just working with the data itself can be time consuming. This is especially true when you need to extract something as precise as a PDF table into Excel. It requires that data to be transferred, cell by cell correctly into a spreadsheet, formatted perfectly and faithfully to the original.

So you can imagine how exporting a table from a PDF drawing to Excel is somewhat more complicated than exporting a table straight from AutoCAD to Excel.

However, this can be easily accomplished with Able2Extract’s “Custom PDF to Excel” conversion feature.

You can download the 7 day free trial and follow the steps below to export your table.

1.Open your PDF drawing with Able2Extract.

2. In the select panel, click on “Area”. Left click and drag to mark the table that you would like to export.

Selecting PDF Drawing Content

3. Once selected, click on “Excel”.

4. You’ll be presented with a Convert to Excel panel. Export simple tables automatically by clicking “Convert”. For now, stick to the Custom conversion and hit “Define”.

PDF Drawing Table Conversion

5. Now you have a complete control over your PDF to Excel conversion. Use the toolbar on the right to add and remove output columns and rows. When satisfied, check the “Show Preview” box to review your results.

6. Click “Convert” and save the file.

PDF To Excel Results

Converting AutoCAD tables to Excel may sound like a complicated procedure at first, but with the right tool, you can easily maneuver around that obstacle and work with any AutoCAD tables you come across.

How To Undo Digital Mistakes In The Workplace

Mistakes happen. It’s a well-known fact.

Too hasty in sending out that email or text message?  Accidentally close that browser tab?  Made changes to your registry?

The moment it happens, two simple words pop into mind: Uh. Oh.

But what you may not know is that (for most digital mistakes), both big and small, there’s a fix to undo them.

For those heart-in-your-stomach moments, we scrounged up a few tips and their sources to help you CTRL + Z the “uh-oh” moments in your life. Check out solutions for the most basic and advanced screw ups below.

Undo A Sent Email

Did you send an email and then realized that you’ve disclosed information you shouldn’t have? Or  wrote that email in anger?  In either case, one thing is clear—you want that email back. Luckily, it is possible to undo it and get it back.

To undo sent messages in Gmail, you can simply hit the Undo Send button, which you can enable via your Gmail settings. The feature delays the actual sending of the email for up to 30 seconds. So you have a small window to change your mind.

Hotmail users unfortunately don’t have anything developed by Microsoft to undo the action. However, it is possible for users with a Microsoft Exchange Server account.

Thunderbird users have no native feature for this. But the Send Later add-on, will let you send your email later by putting the email in the Outbox and letting it sit there a few moments before being sent out.

Undo A Deleted Email

Or, if instead of accidentally sending an email, you delete  it and need the information it contained later on, you can undo that, as well.

Microsoft allows you to be a little reckless and saves any deleted messages or items within your Deleted folder. In Outlook (web version), you can set it up so that you can recover messages directly. In, go to Options> Advanced privacy settings > Deleted messages.  Turn the Let me recover deleted messages option on.

The next time it happens you can simply go into the folder or click on the “Recover Deleted Email” option at the bottom of your email.

If you’re using Gmail, you can easily recall deleted emails by searching your Trash folder and moving the message back to you Inbox folder.

Deleted emails in Thunderbird, fortunately, aren’t gone when you hit the delete button. They won’t be deleted unless the Deleted file folder is compacted. Deleted emails are usually copied to the trash folder, after which you can either CTRL + Z or go into the Trash folder itself to retrieve it.

Undo A Closed Tab

If you have more than 5-10 tabs open when performing research, it’s easy to close the wrong tab. A simple tip: you can reopen it by using CTRL + Shift + T or by right clicking and selecting:

  • Reopen closed tab in Chrome and Internet Explorer
  • Undo close tab in Firefox
  • Reopen last closed tab in Opera

Undo A Webpage Loading

With links and ads lurking  everywhere on web pages, clicking on a link you didn’t mean to will happen.  And waiting for it to load just so you can close it is such a waste of time. To instantly stop downloading the current page, just hit the ESC button.

Undo File Deletions (And Copying)

Realizing you copied or deleted a file by mistake is perhaps one of the most common accidents there is. But don’t worry. Don’t forget– if you can copy and paste, you can also undo!

To fix an accidental file deletion or a copy, you can simply use the Undo options in File Explorer (aka Windows Explorer) or hit CTRL + Z.

To customize the Ribbon, click on the down arrow  (pictured to the right of the Undo and Redo arrows highlighted above). From there you can get both Undo and Redo commands on the Ribbon for easy  access.

Undo A Windows Update

While it’s a good thing to have your system updated regularly, sometimes those  updates can cause problems you didn’t anticipate.  You can uninstall the Windows update if needed, but you’ll need to know which one it is:

  1. Go to Windows Control Panel> Programs > Programs and Features.
  2. Click on View installed updates
  3. Click on the update you want to remove and click Uninstall.

Undo Windows System Changes

Though you shouldn’t fiddle around with the registry and your system, accidents do happen when cleaning out your computer. But if you do and realize that something went wrong, you can use and create restore points on your computer and back and restore sections of your Windows registry. It’s a bit of a process, but it is doable. Check out the links for full tutorials.

Note: If you upgraded to Windows 10 just recently and change your mind, you have 30 days to roll back your system to Windows 7 and 8.1.

Undo A Text Message

With smartphone texting, there’s always a chance you send your text to the wrong person or accidentally touch the send button. If that’s ever happened to you, you’ll be happy to know there’s a solution for even that.

The most popular one today is TigerText. It’s an HIPPA compliant texting app for healthcare workers, so you can bet that it’s rock solid for controlling text, sharing data, and sending messages with co-workers, team leaders, and friends.

More importantly, it has a Message Recall feature, which can recall your texts before or after being read.  It has both paid and free accounts available for Android and iOS.

Undo Google Doc Revisions

It’s common to work with a team via Google Docs these days. And there will be times when your revisions to a document aren’t approved.

In some cases, the simple undo button will work, but what if you made a ton of revisions? Google Docs allows you to revert to different versions of your document, spreadsheet, or presentation.

In Google Docs,

  1. Go to File> See Revision History or CTRL+ Alt + Shift + G. You’ll see a listing of major revisions that were done
  2. Click on the version you want to restore
  3. Click on Restore this revision

Next time you make a mistake, take a deep breath. Not all is lost. There may be a solution to undo it and save the day. Did we miss any? Let us know what you do to fix those digital mistakes that make your heart stop.

Get Ready For March Madness With Able2Extract 10


Basketball Slam Dunk

Microsoft Excel can be intimidating. True.  But a big pro is that it can be a life saver when wrestling with numbers and data.

Now, if you’re asking yourself when in the world would you have to deal with numbers and data, we have two words for you: March Madness.

March Madness 2016 is almost here and you can bet that everyone who doesn’t (or does) deal with data will be wading in conference standings and school stats over the next few weeks.

If you’re running a March Madness pool for your office, using MS Excel will be the best way to analyze, track and digest all the information you need to fill out your brackets and keep your pool in order.

Yet that’s only half the battle. The other half is getting that data into Excel. And this is where Able2Extact 10 can help you get everything in order.

Transfer Any March Madness Data To Excel

In Excel, you can streamline and combine any existing data you want to keep as reference or update as the tournament goes on.

Player and team data will usually be available in a downloadable PDF. But what if you have a Word file? A PowerPoint presentation? No worries.

You can get your March Madness data into Excel spreadsheets regardless of the format you have. Just open your file in Able2Extract 10 and select the content you want converted (a page, line or the entire file). Then simply click on the Convert to Excel command on toolbar.

Easily Convert Complex Team Information With A Few Settings

There are a lot of pain points associated with dealing with data when managing a pool—or several, one of them being the many different formats you have to consolidate and analyze. If you have differently formatted tables or statistical charts spanning pages, it can be a nightmare.

Good news is that you can tailor a PDF to Excel conversion according to the table structures in your file. Able2Extract has a few PDF to Excel conversion settings that make the job easier to identify and deal with the source document’s table structure. Select your settings before you make the conversion and you’re good to go.

Able2Extract Excel Conversion Settings

Customize Your Data Extractions Into Excel

You may also need specific data extractions for analyzing detailed statistics. For example, you may want to eliminate the data for lower seeded teams or scrape only the data from top teams in the last year to create your own shortlist.

For this, you can simply perform a Custom PDF to Excel conversion and filter out that information even before you even hit the Convert button. You can move rows, columns and even preview your conversion results to see if you have all the numbers you need in the right place.

Able2Extract Custom Conversion Interface

Convert March Madness Statistics In PDF to CSV

Which team you root for depends just as much on the numbers as it does on a team’s dynamics. But we’re talking about 68 Division I college teams plus stats on individual players, coaches and so on. That’s a lot of data!

It, thus, may be worthwhile to have database tools for March Madness. Or, if you’re tech savvy enough, you may have a tool or script that can crunch the numbers to predict the perfect March Madness bracket.


In either case, you can get your March Madness PDF data into raw .CSV or delimited formats.  Just click on the Convert to CSV command in Able2Extract. It’ll get your data working with the databases and tools you already have in place.

Organize Your Data According To Worksheets

In some instances, you may have PDF data on teams all lumped into one single PDF with each team on one page or separate categories of data on each page.

It’s convenient for distributing and consuming the information, but hardly so if you want to separate that data. For instance, if you end up wanting to analyze each of the Final Four teams separately, you may want to organize and record each team’s information into separate worksheets.

Excel Single Worksheet Option

Now, you can go into your spreadsheet and move all your data around via copy-paste. But an easier way is to uncheck the Single Worksheet option in Able2Extract’s Excel/CSV Conversion Options before you make your conversion.

This will automatically convert each PDF page into a separate worksheet, saving you the hassle of doing it manually.

No matter what type of pool your group decides to set up, knowing your stats is essential. Whether it be analyzing wins, losses and odds or keeping track of results and pool entries, Excel will be your best bet. The key is getting that data set up properly for analysis. Hopefully a few of the tips above helped!

So with March Madness just around the corner, how are you filling out your brackets this year?