Tell Bill Gates to fix Excel bug, urges 'Pivot King'
AccountingWEB's Excel Topic Expert David Carter has warned of a potentially lethal bug in Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet program and urged community members to tell Bill Gates to fix it.
"Now that the danger of the Y2K bug has passed, it's time to tackle the AZ bug," said Carter, the self-styled "Pivot King".
The problem occurs when users use Excel's AZ icon with a single column highlighted. Although data in that column will be sorted into alphabetical order, the other columns remain as they were - potentially corrupting the user's database.
"This is a Grade-A fault and quite lethal," said Carter. "One day you will need to do an AZ Sort and will click on the column heading without thinking. You won't realise what has happened until later, and if in the intervening time you have saved the workbook, your database is corrupted beyond repair.
"The long-standing flaw is highlighted in David Carter's latest AccountingWEB tutorial on auditing and financial reporting with pivot tables.
"If there was just one tutorial I would like an accountant to see in order to understand the sheer power of Excel and pivot tables, this would be it," he added.
The follow-up to last month's Sage Line 50 tutorial provides pivot-table ready accounting records (trial balance, debtors control summary, bank reconciliation, daybook analysis) and generates financial reports from them.
The AZ bug adds a bit of danger to the exercise. Carter advises users they can either train their subconscious minds always to click on a particular row, say Row 10, before clicking the AZ icon. Or they can send an email to Microsoft's chief software architect Bill Gates urging him to fix the glitch.
"If a thousand British accountants all complain politely about it to Mr Gates at the same time, maybe we'll get some action," said Carter.
Bill Gates can be reached at the email address email@example.com.
David Carter's pivot table tutorials are among the most popular items on AccountingWEB. They include demonstrations on how pivot tables can be used for budgeting, and sales analysis. Sage users can also download and try Carter's SagePivot data extraction program.
- CIS Subcontractor Catch Twenty Two Position after 14 years 31 1
- TaxCalc - A Return to Form 339 4
- FPS or EPS 111 2
- I have let a client go as it wasnt worth the hassle, 1,984 17
- Can I record depreciation, prepayments and accrued expenses in cash accounting? 228 3
- Continuity of Practice 158 2
- IRIS Professional Yearend 109 2
- Letting Agents - requirement for audit of clients accounts 304 10
- Scams are not always obvious 2,182 34
- Financial statements accounting policies 239 5
- Does Members voluntary liquidation require change of year end 146 3
- Market Value/Connected Persons 289 10
- Online Downtime 331 4
- P60 from HMRC Basic Paye Tools 324 3
- What do you all do in your spare time? 786 31
- Personal allowance 671 15
- How do we get US withholding tax back? 176 2
- Google contacts sharing within our domain 444 6
- New Fangled Penalties 1,120 1
- New client has not reported director's pay by RTI 406 10
- Moving away from CCH software 944
- QROP pension input amounts 435
- write off loan or loan to equity swap or both 377
- HMRC BENCHMARK EXPENSES 352
- Unused Losses and Post Cessation Receipts 320
- fraud 276
- EIS relief on transferring shares to spouse 250
- Sole trade business in UK, but the owner works from EU 219
- Construction CIS LLP Company 207
- EPS and CIS deductions 193