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Jacob Stoller


The skills that make designing and building spreadsheets possible are often neglected. It's not just about getting the numbers right.

The article focuses on the aspects of creating spreadsheets. It states that the spreadsheet can be a significant tool, however, many join the profession with inadequate skills.

According to Janet Pierce, Fellow Chartered Management Accountant (FCMA), Vice President Professional Programs, students might graduate being able to use Excel, but they can't design robust spreadsheets to answer questions or highlight issues.


Effective use of spreadsheets:

  • Build the confidence to apply the tool in uncharted territory.
  • Users must be able to consolidate, rationalize and make sense out of data.
  • Format the spreadsheet in such a way that the 'so what' becomes obvious.
  • Create an audit trail that finds and corrects errors.
  • Automate repetitive processes by replacing the spreadsbeet with the right tool.
  • Set guidelines for the use of spreadsheets, with a particular view to the risk of errors.


2010, CMA Management, Volume 84, Issue 6, October, page 33-34

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