Why You Still Need to Excel at Excel


No doubt about it, as a finance and accounting professional, you still need to excel at Excel. Even with end-to-end financial suites like SAP and Oracle, people still do financial analysis by extracting data from those back-end systems and entering it in to Excel spreadsheets. Excel is used in marketing, business development and of course, in finance.  So the big question is, what skills are relevant and why is Excel still a mainstay in the business world?

Rock Your Finance Job with Excel
Don’t Oversell Your Skill Set
First and foremost, if you’re an intermediate Excel user, don’t overstate your skill set.  Be honest about your capabilities both on your resume and in your interview. You want to be able to ramp up quickly in your role, not struggle to meet expectations, so be clear about what you can and cannot do.

Why You Need to Be an Excel Rock Star
Even though Excel debuted in the 1980’s (yes the decade when the Flashdance soundtrack was the music of choice) it has remained relevant and widely used. Used for analyzing data, managing budgets and forecasting and modelling financial performance, Excel remains the spreadsheet program of choice for accountants at all levels. For more information on how the business world sees Excel read this blog.

What You Need to Know
So why do so many finance professionals still love Excel?  Accountants will wax poetic (ok, not really, but doesn’t it sound lovely?) about their ability to do heavy qualitative analysis with Excel. But what skills are expected at the intermediate or advanced level? We touched base with Cyriac Alappat, CPA, CA and Manager, Engagement and Partnerships at Clarity Recruitment to get some specifics. Here are the lists he compiled of the key skills accountants at the intermediate and advanced level are expected to deliver on:

Intermediate level

  • Pivot Table
  • Record Macros
  • Sensitivity Analysis
  • V/H lookups
  • What IF (IF, THEN, ELSE)

Advanced level

  • Dashboard creation
  • Modeling
  • VBA
  • Write Macros

With Excel still the preferred spreadsheet program it’s imperative that your skills are at the expected level.  If not, consider professional development as a solution.

Excelling at Excel can help fast track your career.  As a mainstay in the business world, it pays to have advanced level skills. With a certain investment of time and energy you can upgrade your knowledge and in the process, increase your value to your current organization – and that can pay dividends down the road.

Your Next Step
No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.