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How to Use Microsoft Excel for Accounting

Excel Training

How to use Microsoft Excel for accounting? It is one of the most used software by accounts, Excel plays a crucial role in every accountant’s life. The software, with its options, is a close buddy of finance professionals. For a beginner who is aspiring to join the field, Excel might be a tricky customer in the beginning but don’t worry, soon you will find its worth. But you might also have questions like does the excel software have the same importance even now? Or is it absolutely necessary to learn the software? Let’s take a look at some of the essential features in Excel and skills you can develop and that will show why excel is still considered as an essential software for any accountant.

Why Microsoft Excel for Accounting?

For Career in accounting 

Be it bookkeeping, invoice management, Excel helps you with most of the elementary tasks depending on your requirements. For hardcore accounting jobs, you still need advanced accounting software but Excel still possesses an important role in the day-to-day affairs of an accounting job.

It definitely adds weight to your career growth, because when you do tasks with commendable excel skills, it becomes much easier to organize and get the appropriate data.

For small Businesses 

Especially for small businesses, excel has features that help them to manage their accounts efficiently. Some of the major features are:

It allows you to compare databases. You can compare the financial data like total payable to receivable to calculate the cash flow of a period of time.

By generating customized reports, you can create template-based data reports. It can be easily reused while creating invoices or estimating cash flows. The Excel exported data from Tally Prime or QuickBooks etc makes the GST filing easy for the accountants.

Features like Pivot Table, We Lookup, What If analysis, forecast sheet, which helps you make accounts, reports, and analysis easy.

If you are an owner of a business, then there is a lot to consider in terms of choosing only excel or to upgrade with advanced software, but when you work in the accounting field, excel is almost the mandatory skill.

Key Functions for a Finance and Accounting professional.

Now let’s take a look at some of the most important features and functions in excel that come handy.

Pivot Table

Placed in the Insert Menu, the Pivot table is one of the most helpful features in the software. It is simply an advanced form of table format that makes complex data easy to filter with selected cell ranges. 


You have done this if you ever tried with different variables to see how it impacts the possible outcomes. With three kinds of What-if Analysis tools available in Excel, at the very base, it shows how the outcome of formulas is affected by the changes made in the values in the cells. It helps you to experiment with your data. With experiments, you can further analyze and interpret your data and see various possible outcomes.

Aggregate Function

The aggregate function in excel will help the accountant to apply functions such as the AVERAGE, SUM, COUNT, MAX, etc. it is an in-build function of the software and categorized as math/trig function. Created by Microsoft to resolve some of the problems with conditional formatting. One Of the major qualities in the aggregate feature I excel is that it allows you to ignore errors as well as hidden rows while doing the calculations. 

We Look Up

Vertical lookup, commonly known as VLOOKUP is a lifesaver when you work with large data. Using this function, you can search data in a table organized vertically. 

The function basically has four parts:

*Value you want to lookup

*The range in which you want to get the value and the return value;

*The number of the column within your defined range, that contains the return value;

*0 or FALSE for an exact match with the value you are looking for; 1 or TRUE for an approximate match.

Extremely helpful when you are working with large data, making analysis and creating reports easy.

Data Validation

Data validation helps to control values, data that a user can enter into a cell or in large, into a worksheet. One of the most common ways of using the function is by creating a drop-down list.

Sum If Function

The function helps the user to apply criteria to one range and sum the corresponding values in different ranges. Helping calculations easy when creating reports, analysis. It is one of these most helpful features when you create documents for GST filing.


Charts help to understand data in a worksheet by showing trends and patterns through visual representation. These are normally difficult to understand from data and using different types of charts or grogs options variable in excel, you can make easy-to-understand data presentations. 

Excel certification for accounting

There are plenty of online courses available to master the features and functions of excel. Most of them are free courses which is an added advantage. If you are planning to have a career, then don’t think twice about learning the Microsoft Excel software.

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