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  • Writer's picturebillthomscpa

All my .xls's live in Texas

Excel is an amazing program. It is knowledgebase is a seemingly endless landscape that no single human You can even query data into a pivot table straight from the server.

The possibilities are unlimited. You can make some really slick graphs, maybe garnish it with a slick key and a trendline. What can’t you do in Excel?

I remember in my early days completing a monthly financial that would return GL data on a monthly basis. All I had to do was update the data. It certainly allowed for more accuracy.

However, therein lies the curse of Excel. It is REALLY FREAKING EASY TO SCREW SOMETHING UP.

All it takes is one bad little formula. Sorry, Bob Ross, there are no happy little accidents in spreadsheets.

Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V and we have another happy little tree.

One bad formula or a copy paste mistake and you’re sunk. Your numbers are not accurate, your associates decide they can’t trust you and they avoid talking to you and no longer tell you when there are donuts in the breakroom. So, there you sit all sad and dejected. You are alone and left with the last powdered sugar donut, the sugar crystals glistening with the bitter taste of failure on your lips.

Fear not fearless accountants! There are ways to avoid this and have more sweet jelly donuts and chocolate sprinkles in your life.

I love Crystal Reports. I remember when I first met Crystal. It was a love affair at first site. Not without some frustrations and a steep learning curve. I could do all the design I wanted in Excel but I could pull all of that data in and manipulate it with formulas. Granted some of the sum features are a bit frustrating, but there are work-arounds (there will probably be an entry in the future about that).

I run everything through Crystal: Financial Statements, forecasts, payroll reporting, budgeting, you name it!

Do I still use Excel? Of course. I Since I’ve been with Crystal, my relationship with Excel is more plutonic. Excel still has some purpose in my life, but not like before. Crystal kinda put the Ex in Excel. I hope she isn’t bitter.

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