Microsoft Excel: Essential Knowledge, Tips and Techniques to Guide CFOs

Microsoft Excel is a ubiquitous tool in the accounting profession. A lot of attention has been given to other business intelligence tools such as Qlik, Tableau and Microsoft Power BI. Those tools are increasingly important, but Excel remains the “must know, must have” tool in the profession. This session covers what senior financial professionals (CFOs, Controllers, Firm Partners, etc) should understand about Excel to guide and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their teams. Excel is the gateway to data analytics knowledge, accessing data, and gaining insights within the organization!

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:
– Identify various techniques to optimize Excel’s setup for daily use
– Recognize and recall critical capabilities for using Excel in data analytics and how Excel “fits” into the data ecosystem
– Recall methods to “control the chaos” around Excel file maintenance and development, and identify two Lean Principles that can aid this effort
– Recall Excel automation techniques to accelerate workflow
– Recall other tips and techniques to improve Excel use of your team

Major Topics

In this course, we cover essential Microsoft Excel capabilities and techniques that will give any senior manager, likely not using Excel in depth like their team, the ability to evaluate and assess opportunities to perform more effectively. Studies have shown that many Excel users aren’t proficient in their use of Excel, which is being exacerbated by the continuous enhancements Microsoft is making to the software.

Topics covered include:
– What “modern” Excel means and why Excel 365 is the must have platform
– How to configure user setup of Excel for optimal productivity
– Artificial intelligence capabilities built into Excel and how to use them
– Important new functions introduced in Excel that make use far easier than before – including dynamic arrays, new lookup function, and data access
– Key data analysis concepts and tools important to know in Excel
– Productivity tips that not only benefit the user, but can benefit your entire team

After this session, participants will be armed with up to date knowledge of Excel to take back and move their teams skills and effectiveness forward!

Who Should Attend

CFOs, Controllers and Senior Managers responsible for managing teams using Microsoft Excel in their workflow.

Fields of Study
Computer Software & Applications


Understanding of basic Excel use would be helpful. While some of the concepts covered are advanced in nature, the goal is understanding and awareness, not application of the tools and techniques.

Business Learning Institute

CPE Credits


This course is available for your group as:


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