Omaha CPA Who Knows Excel

I Can't Believe It!

I was reading Gobán Saor’s essay about learning software:

At a minimum, everybody should be taught the basics and the possibilities of spreadsheets.

At a minimum, I thought, accounting degrees should have a class dedicated to spreadsheets. And who better to teach it than me? What if my Alma mater decides to create such a class? How will they find me? Surely they will search for some combination of Omaha, CPA, and Excel and equally surely I’ll be somewhere in the first page of results. Nope. This post will hopefully rectify that.

So c’mon you university presidents, send me some of that sweet, sweet tenure.

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11 thoughts on “Omaha CPA Who Knows Excel

  1. Dick –

    Channeling your inner Avis. Still need to try harder. #2 according to Google ;-) . Not yet noticed by Bing.

    Who the h*** is cpaexcel anyway?


  2. Same is true for MBAs. And I’m first in line for my ol’ school.
    Didn’t some of the Wall St traders screw up because they didn’t implement their spreadsheets effectively??

  3. Dick, Keep pushing – it’s a good route! I teach an elective MBA course dedicated to Excel, and my students love the class. I consistently receive comments about the value of the course and how it should be a requirement. The class is a lot of fun to do since my Excel evangelism invariably shines through and wins over converts.

  4. Well, for my degree, one of the foundation courses is how to use the computer for analysis work. Half the course is dedicated to Excel. That, and the module on quantitative methods lead me along the Excel path.

    Still no expert, but I’m better than most. I agree that everyone who deals with data should learn how to use a spreadsheet.

  5. Science majors should also take an Excel course. For a career whose lifeblood is data, scientist are surprising ignorant of data management, spreadsheets and databases.

  6. Totally agree. This problem applies to Australia as well. Many Accounting / Business graduates have to attend a beginners course so they can be productive at work. There should be at least a full module just on Excel. At the moment its OFFICE that covered so its split between Word, Powerpoint, Excel and Access.

  7. I’m totaly self taught in Excel and VBA and am now the company expert (company has 250 people). It never ceases to amaze me that the majority of degree educated engaineers don’t know the diference between a string and number, and so utterly fail to be able to analyse their data!

    Every science/engineering degree course should include a full module in data handling/manipulation/visualisation using commin tools, of which Excel is the most commmon tool (it’s on every business computer I have ever come across).

    To date I have not found anything that Excel can’t do, or that I can’t write a function for.

  8. ISYS 250 at Maryville University in St. Louis turns undergraduate business majors into mean, lean, Excel-capable machines.

  9. But what do you think of some others statements in the post?

    “Excel’s macro language is VBA, a noble language with a long distinguished history, but a language that its owners have abandoned. Google Doc’s scripting language is JavaScript, like VB a language that has often been much maligned, but unlike VB, it’s a language with a future, it’s the magic behind the browser. So students would not only learn the fundamentals of spreadsheets but would through the courses’ scripting modules learn a language that lies at the heart of their everyday computing experience”

    is it really VBA abandoned? so, has it any sense to improve our skills in excel vb?

  10. No, VBA isn’t abandoned. In fact, I think it will make a small comeback. Eventually it will be gone, though, so I want to be clear about that. When MS somehow links the CLR to office apps in a way that the distributing code via those office documents is as easy as it is today, VBA will be unnecessary. Someday we’ll be able to choose C#, Python, or Ruby and people will choose VBA less and less often until it goes the way of XLM. I don’t know if that’s 10 years away or 20, but I’m sure it’s coming.

    VBA skills translate into other things, so it’s never a waste to learn them. But don’t put all your eggs in the VBA basket (or any one basket for that matter). Take an hour a week and learn C# or Python. You can’t abandon the present because you know it will change. You have to be productive in the present and still budget some R&D time for future skills.

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