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October 4, 2023

Going Concern March Madness: The Ultimate Excel Bracket

Your firm may be able to stop you from streaming March Madness on company-owned devices or with company-owned bandwidth, but they can’t stop you from participating in Going Concern March Madness!

Editor's note: Be sure to vote on the Data Analysis and Other Features match-ups in our second Excel March Madness post. 

The season of brackets is once again upon us and this year we've opted for a tournament that will touch every number cruncher out there — Excel Madness. With so much utility in one application, it's bound to be one of the most competitive March Madness brackets you'll see anywhere this side of the Internet.

Our resident Excel wizard, David Ringstrom served as our selection committee and he has developed the mother of all Excel tournaments. Sixty-four functions, shortcuts, features, tools and everything in between will vie to determine, once and for all, what Excel feature reigns supreme in accountants' universe. 

To start off, let's go over a few things about this tourney.

  • Ringstrom made the selections and seeded them as you see them below. If your favorite Excel doodad is missing, then email us with your concerns so we can delete them.
  • The four regions are as follows: Functions, Key Shortcuts, Data Analysis, and Other Excel Features.
  • We linked to a lot of David's Excel posts on AccountingWEB and webinars as well as other Excel posts from AWEB UK below so if you don't recognize something then you might just learn something new. See? Our bracket is fun and it could help you get better at your job. You're welcome.
  • This is a traditional 64-seed bracket because 68-seed brackets are dumb.

We recommend that you read David's post on how to use Excel to manage your March Madness bracket from last Friday to make life easy for yourself for this bracket and any other bracket that you encounter this bracket season. BRACKETS!

Anyway, let's take a look at the Excel field, shall we? Stonewall Thomas, our tech savvy youth, gets credit for the image above.

Functions Region
4.   TRIM
6.   SUMIF (and another SUMIF post)
7.   SUM (and even more fun with SUM)
9.   PMT
10. VLOOKUP (and here's playback for last month's webinar on VLOOKUP)
13. LEFT

Key Shortcuts Region — Check out this post for 14 Excel key shortcuts. You'll note that a couple were on the bubble and didn't make this tournament.
1.   Ctrl-S
2.   Ctrl-Z
3.   Ctrl-Home
4.   Ctrl-Tab
5.   Ctrl-Page Up
6.   Alt-=
7.   Ctrl-A
8.   Ctrl-Minus
9.   Ctrl-Enter
10. F3
11. F5
12. Ctrl-Shift-1
13. Ctrl-0 (zero)
14. Ctrl-Shift-_
15. Alt-Down Arrow
16. Alt-Enter

Data Analysis Tools
1.   Pivot Table (and here's the playback to Ringstrom's popular pivot table webinar from January)
2.   Table
3.   AutoFilter
4.   Text to Columns (and double your fun with more Text to Columns)
5.   Remove Duplicates
6.   Pivot Chart (and be sure to check out David's webinar on charts in Excel that will be on March 25th)
7.   Chart (Webinar. Charts. March 25th.)
8.   Sparklines
9.   Slicers
10. Goal Seek
11. Advanced Filter
12. Filter
13. Text Import Wizard
14. Microsoft Query
15. Consolidate
16. Solver

Other Excel Features
1.   Fill Handle
2.   Range Names
3.   Quick Access Toolbar — And another. And another.
4.   Group
5.   Text Box
6.   Format Painter
7.   Custom Views
8.   Format Cells — There are several more posts around cell formatting
9.   Center Across Selection
10. Linked Workbooks
11. Hyperlink
12. Scenario Manager
13. Text to Speech
14. Ribbon Customizations
15. Fill Series
16. Merge Cells 
We'll start with the Functions and Key Shortcuts regions today so vote below and on the next page. The polls for these two regions will close on Wednesday at 11:59 PT so do not put this off. IT'S IMPORTANT. If you'd like to split hairs over the seedings, please, be my guest but kindly take it over to Open Items's Productivity section. Leave this post to predictions, Excel war stories and so on.
Now get to voting, spreadsheet enthusiasts. 

Be sure to click over to the next page to vote on Key shortcuts!



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