Instructor for this course
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Enrolled:
373
Duration: 1 Hour
Level: Intermediate
Access This Course: Instant Access to Course Library

The most important skill needed to develop a great spreadsheet report is not numbers wizardry, nor accounting and finance experience, nor technical Excel expertise – it’s the ability to tell a story.   In that sense, it’s similar to the skills that lead to effective writing and eloquent speaking.  This course takes a unique perspective toward the development of reports that are delivering quantitative information, by emphasizing the same approach to spreadsheets that one would use to draft and edit an important memo or position paper.

Course Collections

This course is included in the following Course Collections:

Learning Objectives

  • Apply the same skills normally associated with effective writing and speaking to designing a report that contains principally quantitative information
  • Use ratios, key indicators, and other metrics to enhance the meaning of the raw numbers in your report
  • Use spreadsheet text effects and artwork to make your quantitative information visually appealing and organized for intuitive audience comprehension

60 Reviews (158 ratings)Reviews

5
Anonymous Author
Excellent overview of spreadsheet writing.
5
Excellent way to look at this issue. We have been taught how to be concise and persuasive with our writing. Why not apply this same philosophy we do with our memos and emails and apply it to our spreadsheets. Rather than dumping the whole load in an unformatted spreadsheet on our reader, the presenter shows how we can tighten our schedules so that what we want our reader to learn jumps off the sheet. I even learned some ideas even though I am considered an expert in Excel by many others in finance. Lots of good pointers presented very clearly with good graphics. The finance world would be better if we all used his ideas. I would also add throw in some color when you can as well.
5
Member's Profile
The course had a very nice flow from raw data to a standalone spreadsheet that provides information that the reader wants and needs to make a good decision based upon the information provided. The course put in perspective that the spreadsheet is an extension of good communicating. I would be interested in purchasing and reading Mr. Bolten's book, "Presenting Financials and Other Numbers So People Will Understand You."
4
Member's Profile
The presentation was solid but fairly basic. That said, like most Excel courses I've viewed, it was 90% redundant knowledge and 10% "That's cool - I didn't know I could do that!" I liked your "in the bag" ratio and was unaware of Excel's ability to format cells in thousands (without adjusting the underlying data) - although I had to Google how to actually do that.
4
Anonymous Author
Great course. Randall presented a number of ideas which you would think would be common sense for all accountants. However I know from experience, that this is not always the case. I have unfortunately been subjected to too many financial presentations where the numbers did not foot, the key data was missing (or not easily determined). Thanks for the reminders!
3
Member's Profile
I like the idea of the premise of the course: present as if you are writing a memo or position paper. However, the sample P&L data that was elaborated upon is very common in business. I thought the course would start with this design and present different ideas on how to tell a story with the data. Other possible tools are graphs, tables, pictures, etc.
5
Member's Profile
This is a great course. I found the analogy between writing and presenting a spreadsheet to be on-spot and very interesting. I'm already thinking of ways to improve my spreadsheets to be more user-friendly!
Anonymous Author
good refresher and some helpful tips. but presenter could have talked faster and included more tips in this hour. He was talking so slow about some basics that I had trouble staying attentive
4
Member's Profile
This is a great course and I even used it as reference material in an article I wrote in an IMA Toronto Chapter December 2014 newsletter titled "best practices for communicating with numbers.
4
Member's Profile
Good concept and presentation. A bit slow and the final report, although a massive improvement on raw numbers, looks a bit dated. The training didn't need an hour to cover the content.
5
Anonymous Author
Common sense options that are too often overlooked by accounting personnel. Need to remember the audience for which spreadsheets are developed. This was well emphasized by the course.
5
Member's Profile
This course is short and concise while containing useful, easy-to-follow guidelines and instructions. It is helpful for using spreadsheets as a communication tool
Member's Profile
Useful n practical advice. Systematic presentation. Will be great if it includes graphs and advice on building interactive spreadsheets.
4
Anonymous Author
Very good training on a dreary topic. The presenter tried to use practical tips and effectively compared the original to the final output.
5
Member's Profile
Good course. Mr. Bolten presented a lot of information I will think about the next time I put together a spreadsheet for a presentation.
3
Member's Profile
The first half of the presentation was extremely basic and for a first time spreadsheet user. The second half proved to be more useful.
3
Member's Profile
Good introduction of basic excel report skills. This is a great precursor to the Filler Financial Presentations course.
5
Member's Profile
Professor Bolten, thank you very much for sharing some of your knowledge and experience. Really helpful your course!
Anonymous Author
Some very good tips were presented in this course however I found the presentation of the course to be rather dry.
4
Anonymous Author
Class was a little slow...instructor restated his name, title, title of the class at each section of course.
5
Anonymous Author
Made a ton of sense and learned a few tricks. Would be great if the presenter spoke with a bit more energy.
3
Anonymous Author
If you could record it again, it would be super helpful. The sound quality is not that great.
5
Anonymous Author
Very helpful in preparing number reports, specially to audiences that are not into finance.
4
Anonymous Author
A fresh perspective on how to approach and put together an effective Excel presentation.
4
Member's Profile
I enjoyed the most, how easy things can help you to improve your communication skills.
4
Anonymous Author
The content was good. Useful tips and practices to consider for future reference.
4
Anonymous Author
Some useful tips such as turning off grid lines, creating your consistent style.
Anonymous Author
Showed the importance of formatting your report to make it easier to read.
4
Member's Profile
I enjoyed the course. I have stumbled upon some of these ideas on my own.
4
Member's Profile
Go overview on how to present information in a spreadsheet presentation
5
Member's Profile
Good basic information. A helpful refresher on presentation methods
2
Anonymous Author
Pacing was very slow, good refresher on basic reporting techniques
Member's Profile
A bit boring but it did offer some interesting perspectives.
5
Member's Profile
Easy concepts to grasp. Presented concisely. Good advice.
3
Anonymous Author
Not what I was expecting. Decent course for a novice user.
4
Anonymous Author
I like more showing than telling. Good information.
4
Member's Profile
Straight forward presentation with clear examples.
4
Anonymous Author
Good tips n tricks towards effective presentation
4
Member's Profile
Great basic course. Useful, practical, simple.
3
Anonymous Author
Great perspective and very pragmatic.
5
Anonymous Author
Informative and useful in practise
4
Anonymous Author
A bit slow, but useful information
4
Member's Profile
Good course. Good info to use.
3
Anonymous Author
Too basic, not intermediate
4
Member's Profile
Good presentation basics
4
Anonymous Author
was useful - good ideas
4
Member's Profile
Course content was good
4
Anonymous Author
Good basic information
5
Member's Profile
Great tips presented.
5
Member's Profile
Clear presentation.
Anonymous Author
very basic tips
5
Member's Profile
great course!
5
Member's Profile
Great course!
4
Member's Profile
Good course.
4
Member's Profile
Fairly basic
5
Anonymous Author
interesting
3
Member's Profile
Interesting
5
Anonymous Author
Very good.
3
Anonymous Author
too basic
5
Member's Profile
Good

Prerequisites

Prerequisite: Exposure to corporate accounting and reporting

 

Advanced Preparation: None

 

Education Provider Information

Company:
Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact:
For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 ext. 106, or send an e-mail to .
Course Syllabus
INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW
  7:19Similarities between Designing a Spreadsheet and Writing a Memo
  7:23Simple Examples of Good and Bad Report Design
DEEP DIVE
  7:12Deep Dive #1 – Setting the Stage; Professional Appearance
  8:15Deep Dive #2 – Less Is More; Helping the Reader Connect
  10:43Deep Dive #3 – Key Questions to Answer; Using Ratios and Other Metrics; Adding Meaning & Context
TRADE SECRETS
  6:47Tips & Tricks for Faster, More Efficient Work
Complete Sheet
  3:22Conclusion
Continuous Play
  54:32The Evolution of a Great Spreadsheet Report - How to Effectively Present Numbers in the Business World
SUPPORTING MATERIALS
  PDFSlides: Great Spreadsheet
  PDFGreat Spreadsheet Glossary/Index
REVIEW & TEST
  quizREVIEW QUESTIONS
 examFINAL EXAM