Enforcing Internal Control within Excel Spreadsheets

    /David  /Ringstromspeaker of compliance global
    Speaker: David Ringstrom
    Duration: 90 Minutes
    Product Code: 700160
    Level: Intermediate
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Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA often likens Excel spreadsheets to the old West, where anything goes. Users are generally free to enter anything they like in any worksheet cell, often at the expense of data integrity. In this webinar David will show you how to use features and techniques in Excel to future-proof spreadsheets and ensure that users work within the required constraints. These techniques minimize spreadsheet maintenance, improve the user’s experience, and bolster spreadsheet integrity.

David will teach from primarily from Excel 2010, but will demonstrate new features in Excel 2013 when warranted, as well as disclose any differences in Excel 2007. Coverage of Excel 2003 will be limited to questions raised by the audience.

David's webinars are fast-paced, and even experienced. Excel users are certain to learn several new tips and tricks. David welcomes your questions and is happy to answer Excel questions unrelated to the webinar during the question and answer session.

why should you attend

Spreadsheet templates are often like the Wild West where anything goes. Users are free to type anything they wish into any worksheet cell, and in many cases overwrite formulas or input invalid data. In this webinar you’ll see how to manage this risk by implementing internal control procedures that enforce proper spreadsheet usage. Data integrity checks are minimized because users cannot circumvent formulas and procedures. Ease of use is added to the spreadsheet by way of drop-down lists and internal tips.

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Areas Covered

•  Understand VLOOKUP function in Excel, including argument structure and shortcuts. Look-up formulas save users from having to copy and paste data from one area of as spreadsheet to another. Instead, Excel does the work by finding requested data, such as a product ID in the first column of a supporting list and then returning related data, such as product description or price
•  Identify situations where VLOOKUP will return #N/A errors. If the user has not yet entered the necessary criteria or types in an entry that doesn’t appear on the list then VLOOKUP will return an error
•  Use Excel’s IFERROR function to make a cell appear blank instead of returning a #N/A or other error, along with an alternative that provides compatibility with Excel 2003 and earlier
•  Explore Excel’s Table feature and see how this simple feature makes formulas easier to audit and maintain. The Table feature adds automation to areas of spreadsheets so that named lists expand automating. This functionality ensures that look-up formulas, such as VLOOKUP, automatically pick up new additions added to the bottom of a list
•  Learn spreadsheet design techniques such as separating supporting lists onto separate worksheets. This prevents users from overwriting standardized data, and also ensures that making changes to worksheets don’t inadvertently cause problems with the supporting lists
•  Use Excel Data Validation list to restrict data entry to a list of permissible choices. The Data Validation feature can limit users to a set of choices from a list or a range of numbers, such as a quantity between 1 and 100. Such rules can prevent users from entering negative numbers in a spreadsheet or attempting to enter invalid choices
•  See how the Locked Cells feature can protect formulas and allow users to only affect certain cells in the spreadsheet. This feature can be tedious to implement and audit, so David will demonstrate how to create a keyboard shortcut for toggling the locked status of cells on or off, as well as using Excel’s Conditional Formatting feature to highlight which cells have been unlocked

Learning Objectives

•  Use look-up formulas to look up data automatically from lists
•  Use Excel's Table feature to future-proof elements of your spreadsheet
•  Use Excel's Data Validation feature to restrict data entry to a list of permissible choices


This course will provide valuable assistance and guidance to all industry for spreadsheet design techniques that minimize spreadsheet maintenance and improve spreadsheet integrity. The following job titles/ positions will benefit from attending this seminar:
•  HR/ Controllers
•  Payroll Professionals
•  Accounting and Finance Personnel
•  CFOs
•  Auditors
•  Managers
•  Admin
•   Anyone that builds spreadsheets for use by others


David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. David’s mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you,” so he focuses on what he sees users don’t, but should, know about Microsoft Excel. His goal is to empower you to use Excel more effectively.

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