Articles by David Ringstrom | AccountingWEB

Articles by David Ringstrom


Office 2007 Themes Standardize Document Look, Feel

It can be a significant challenge to ensure that your company's documents have the same look and feel, particularly when you're using Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook together. Fortunately Office 2007's Themes feature can simplify the process.

Excel Tip: Converting Numbers Formatted as <1> to -1

In this article I'll discuss two approaches you can use to convert text-based inputs to negative numbers. I'll also share a formatting technique you can use if you want to enclose negative numbers in such brackets instead of parentheses.

What's the FREQUENCY? Using Excel's FREQUENCY function

From time to time you may want to determine how items fall within specific ranges. For instance, a real estate portfolio manager may wish to know how many buildings fall within ranges of 250,000, 500,000, and one million square feet.

Some unlikely uses for Excel's SUMPRODUCT function

While you may not be aware of Excel's SUMPRODUCT function, those in the know often use it for its stated purpose: multiplying two ranges together and then summing the total. Although this is helpful, you might not be aware that SUMPRODUCT also can function like VLOOKUP or SUMIF on steroids.

Three tricks for formatting rows in Excel

I'm sure that you've worked with data sets in Excel where the information starts blurring together. In this article I discuss several techniques that I use avoid getting lost in the forest.

First Impressions of Excel 2010

As you may have heard, the next version of Microsoft's venerable Office suite recently entered "technical preview", or public beta. Excel 2010 seems to offer mostly refinements and only a few wholesale changes.

Whither Conficker?

By David Ringstrom, CPAIt's only been a couple months since the Conficker virus completely dominated the media, yet there's been a deafening silence on this front since April 2. All of the hype would have had you believe that Conficker was set to wreak havoc on April 1, but that ominous Wednesday passed without incident, much like Y2K. However, this isn't to say that Conficker simply vanished, as innumerable computers are still infected by one of the five known variants of the virus.

Three Excel Menus You May Have Overlooked

By David H. Ringstrom, CPASheet NavigationEveryone is familiar with using the arrow buttons in the lower left-hand corner of the Excel screen to push worksheet tabs back and forth across the screen. However, try right-clicking on these buttons instead, and you'll see a menu similar to Figure 1. Simply click on a sheet name to instantly activate that worksheet.&nbsp;

Managing Excel Add-Ins

By David H. Ringstrom, CPAAdd-ins are programs that plug-in into Microsoft Excel to add additional functionality. Some add-ins expand Excel's core functionality, while others allow third-party products to add features to Excel's environment. In this article I'll discuss how to enable some of Excel's hidden features, as well as give you some pointers on what to do when third-party add-ins vanish from Excel.Hidden FeaturesExcel ships with several add-ins that you can manually enable. Some of these include:&nbsp;

Buried Gold: Excel's Form Command

By David H. Ringstrom, CPAMany users are not aware that Excel has long had a feature that enables you to browse through a table of data one record at a time. As shown in Figure 1, the Form command provides an easy way to navigate through a table of data. This command is easy to access in Excel 2003 and earlier versions, but is deeply buried in Excel 2007. In this article I'll show you how to use the Form command to make quick work of reviewing a list of records.&nbsp;

Tricks for Opening and Closing Multiple Excel Files

By David H. Ringstrom, CPA

Tricks for Hiding and Unhiding Excel Rows and Columns

Hiding and unhiding rows and columns are mundane tasks that many users take for granted. However, sometimes simple tasks can trip up Excel users, like unhiding just one row or column within a hidden set.

Provisioning Your Home Accounting Office

As the economy continues to contract, more and more accountants are considering striking out on their own. A benefit to providing accounting services is that you can often ease your way into your own business, as long as you don't run afoul of any non-compete agreements with your primary employer. I'm sure you've read a million articles about how to establish a separate workspace that's all your own and how to organize your files, so instead I'm going to focus on elements of my own home office that I've found particularly effective.

Add Contacts or Meetings to Contact Manager or CRM with Two Keystrokes

Product review by David H. Ringstrom, CPAAccountants of a certain age may remember a television show in which contestants would bid on how few notes they'd need to hear to identify an unidentified song. However, instead of saying, &quot;Tom, I can name that tune in 5 notes,&quot; you may find yourself thinking, &quot;I can add a new contact to Outlook with just two keystrokes!&quot; The key is a clever program called Anagam that enables you to quickly add onscreen information &mdash; without manual transcription &mdash; into your contact manager or CRM.

Free Microsoft Excel-Based 1040 Form Available

By David H. Ringstrom, CPAJust in time for tax season, Glenn Reeves of Burlington, Kansas has created a free Microsoft Excel-based version of the 2008 U.S. Individual Tax Return, commonly known as Form 1040. The spreadsheet includes both pages of Form 1040, as well as these supplemental schedules:&nbsp;

Excel Text Transformation Tricks

By David H. Ringstrom, CPAData arrives on your desk from multiple sources, and in many cases it's not quite in the format that you need. For instance, a user may have left the CAPS LOCK on while typing in a series of addresses. Or you've exported data from a program that pads fields with spaces at the beginning or end. Fortunately, there's no need to retype the list. Excel offers four easy-to-use functions that can quickly transform data into just the format that you need.

Excel 2007: Five Ways to Streamline Excel’s User Interface

By David H. Ringstrom, CPAIt's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day use of Excel 2007 and overlook minor tweaks that can make a significant difference in your use of Excel. In this article I'll review five of my favorite Excel 2007 tricks. Most involve customizing the user interface so that I can speed through my work without hitting unnecessary bumps:1. Extend your recently used file listBy default Excel shows the 17 most recent files that you've opened, but as shown in Figure 1, you can expand this to a maximum of 50:&nbsp;

Excel 2003: Six Ways to Streamline Excel's User Interface

By David H. Ringstrom, CPAIt's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day use of Excel 2003 and overlook minor tweaks that can make a significant difference in your use of Excel. In this article I'll review five of my favorite Excel 2003 tricks. Most involve customizing the user interface so that I can speed through my work without hitting unnecessary bumps or screen prompts. These tricks will work equally well in Excel 2002, but only some apply to Excel 97 and 2000:1. Extend your recently used file list

Excel Tip: Hide an Excel Worksheet in Plain Sight

By David Ringstrom, CPAAs you&rsquo;re probably aware, it&rsquo;s simple to hide a worksheet in Excel 2007: right-click on the worksheet tab, and then choose Hide. To unhide the worksheet, right-click on any worksheet tab, choose Unhide, and then select the sheet you wish to make visible. It&rsquo;s a little more effort in earlier versions of Excel: choose Format, Sheet, and then Hide or Unhide to change the visible status of a worksheet.

Excel 2007: Use these three techniques to turbo charge filtering

By David Ringstrom, CPADid you know Excel 2007 has a hidden command that enables you to filter a list with just one mouse click? And that there are two ways to sum just the visible rows in your filtered list? Read on to discover these time saving techniques.Not sure how to filter? Read Excel Filtering 101.&nbsp;


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