As your business needs grow, so will your need to navigate software imperative to your business quickly and skilfully. Excel is one of the most important programs in the Microsoft Office suite and its flexibility and powerful accounting capabilities means that you will have to harness the skills to reach Excel’s full potential.

Learn Excel’s Shortcuts

Copy a whole table: Select a cell in a table, hold down the Ctrl key and press * and then C. If you are using a laptop, use Ctrl + Shift + 8 instead

Manipulate dates: Do you need to copy or increment dates in a spreadsheet? Hold down the Ctrl key and drag the Fill handle.

Copy a Sheet Tab: Click and hold on the sheet tab at the bottom of your Excel workbook, hold down the Ctrl key and drag the sheet tab over before releasing your mouse and Ctrl key.

Save and Close: If you would like to save and close a Workbook while leaving Excel open, hold down the Ctrl key and press S and W.

Learn to utilize Pivot Tables

Pivot Tables create custom reports from Excel databases and are remarkably useful for sorting, organizing, calculating, and summarizing information across one or several Tables. These help remove redundant data as your tables are linked together through a common field.

Use Conditional Formatting to Compare Lists

Conditional formatting is very useful in spotting duplicate data and analyzing different data sets. You typically have a choice between built-in and custom rules when using conditional formatting.

When using the built-in feature, select any list such as C1:C10. Click Conditional Formatting in the Styles Group and choose Highlight Cells Rules. Select Duplicate Values in the next menu and click OK after selecting your desired format.

Custom rules follow a similar pattern, but after clicking Conditional Formatting select New Rule from the dropdown list. Use a formula to select which cells to format and enter =COUNTIF()=0 with your desired cells in the parenthesis. Click Format and then the Fill tab to select a color. Click OK and you are done.

Excel is a wide-ranging and comprehensive tool, and you will need to know how to get around its features quickly, you may consider looking for an Excel Specialist that can provide a full spreadsheet consultancy and optimisation. If your business depends on data manipulation and expense reports, time is of the essence. With these skills, office productivity and competence will increase.