Trining Question

jerrysmom

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Joined
Jul 23, 2006
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31
I have been using Excel for about 10 years. I will take the expert certification exam by year's end.

I am a former computer programmer (25 years) who has used Excel extensively throughout my career and can no longer work because of disability.

What training do you recommend in order to do small business consulting?
 

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Richard Schollar

MrExcel MVP
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Apr 19, 2005
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23,707
Hi Joanne

Speaking from my experience (I don't do any consulting, but have worked in smaller businesses), I would say it's important to have a sound grasp of financial accounting, since this is likely to be where all small businesses use Excel at least to some degree. I don't mean 'become an accountant', but you should be familiar with balance sheets, profit and loss statements and definitely trial balances (which feed BS/P&L) and how debits and credits work.

More Excel-focused advice: good understanding of pivot tables and charts (as these impress everybody who have never used them before), and make sure you know your way around MSQuery. A lot of places will use an accounting package, but may not be so good at getting the information from the systems (reporting functions in alot of smaller packages are really abysmal). Thus, being able to extract from a relational Db (ie the underlying accounting package) into Excel is very useful.

In this vein, I would say familiarise yourself to a large degree with MS Access too, since many places may rely on this for many of their business systems (which will presumably then be bespoke, and with only limited support).

Hope this helps!

Richard
 

jerrysmom

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Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
31
Thanks Richard for your information.

I do have some accounting background, as well as some knowledge of Access.

I will work on improving these skills. Also I need to work more with pivot tables.
 

gingerafro

Active Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
Messages
448
Good solid advice Richard (You should go into career advice or counselling as another idea for your future path!).

Joanne: If its pivots you want to play with, take a look at Debra Dalgleish's site. www.contextures.com
It has loads on pivots that will be enough to wow the pants off anyone who is employing an small business consultant. It also goes further and answers the inevitable "But what if I want to do that with VB?" on many procedures.
 

Richard Schollar

MrExcel MVP
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Apr 19, 2005
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Good solid advice Richard (You should go into career advice or counselling as another idea for your future path!).

I think me giving out good advice is likely to be the exception rather than the norm! Although I'm sure I could use my own career for examples of what not to do ;)

Gingerafro's suggestion of Debra Dalgleish's website is excellent - she also has a really good book on pivot tables recently published by Apress (I think that's the publisher) - it's well worth the money and has much more advanced coverage than MrExcel's equivalent (though it's probably fair to say they are aimed at slightly different audiences).

Richard
 

Richard Schollar

MrExcel MVP
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
23,707
You are welcome, Joanne :biggrin:

Please post back and let us know how you get on - it may well be a path I wish to follow in the future, so I would be grateful for any advice/experience you can relay.

Richard
 

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