Member Since: 9th Jul 1997
Simon Hurst is the founder of technology training consultancy The Knowledge Base and is a past chairman of the ICAEW's IT Faculty.
Partner The Knowledge Base
12th Aug 2020
Hi Ron007, glad you liked the series and thanks for your comments. This post is over 7 years old and I guess that the chain of articles has got a little muddled in the mists of time! If you click on the 'Read more by Simon Hurst' link in the author profile box, and delve back to July 2013, I think you will find part 2 which should be here: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/skills/tutorial-sales-analysis-...
19th Jul 2019
Hi Dave. AccountingWeb have dispensed with my services, but I believe the link to that post (by Hugh Johnson) is here: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/finance-strategy/power-bi-basic...
2nd Mar 2019
The ICAEW has also produced a set of ‘20 principles for good spreadsheet practice’ but has tried to keep its existence a closely guarded secret: https://www.icaew.com/technical/technology/excel/twenty-principles
14th Oct 2018
Without wishing to pre-empt Liam's follow up article, it sounds like it would be worth investigating the Power Query/Get & Transform tools:
17th Sep 2018
Thanks Andrew - glad you liked it.
25th Aug 2018
Thanks for those suggestions, very useful. I particularly like the total idea.
3rd Jul 2018
Thanks for your comment and for making your point with enough detail to understand the argument. The point I was trying to make regarding 'self-taught' was the difference between spreadsheet and other services a qualified accountant might be involved in providing. Because spreadsheets have only been in widespread use for a few decades, they were not necessarily an integral part of the training of all accountants in the way that, say, tax and audit are. Although many who are self-taught will have perfectly adequate skills, for others, there is the risk that they might not have come across particular ways of doing things that would make their use of spreadsheets more efficient. With more 'traditional' services, this would larger be addressed through the experience of those they work with and for but, again because spreadsheets are 'new', there is no guarantee that partners and managers will be any more aware of spreadsheet techniques than the people they employ. Hence the self-taught by the self-taught phrase.
The article was intended to explain that Stevens' original article at least showed that the ICAEW had produced some publications that provided some guidance as to the range of spreadsheet skills that would enable accountants to achieve a reasonable degree of efficiency in their use of spreadsheets. If you read the publications and find that you already know, and use, what they cover, or that your spreadsheet expertise is good enough for you to disagree with their contents because you know a better way, then that's fine.
For me, having seen a great many spreadsheets set up and used by acccountants, there is considerable opportunity for accountants to use spreadsheets to do more, more efficiently. As a result, I support anything, such as the original article, that helps those who could benefit from additional spreadsheet skills focus on appropriate areas - whether through courses, books or self-learning.
1st Jul 2018
Thanks for the useful comments. I think the knowledge of when spreadsheets are not the best solution, and when the risks outweigh the benefits, are both key in assessing whether to embark on a spreadsheet solution.
1st Jul 2018
Thanks Edhy - very interesting to hear about how ICAP covers IT in general and spreadsheets in particular. I know what you mean regarding the techie issue: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/community/blogs/john-stokdyk/dont-call-m...
29th Jun 2018
Thanks for all the comments.
In spite of the several eloquent and well-reasoned criticisms, I’m not sure I yet understand exactly what issue some people have with the article. Is the conclusion so obvious that you feel insulted that I have bothered to write about it? Are people objecting to the application of competence and due care to working with spreadsheets? Or are their issues with the specific content of the two publications mentioned? If the latter, then please provide details. It was always intended that the publications should be open to revision for new, or alternative, ideas and suggestions.