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If you were a financial planner, what are some Excel functions that you might use or need?

In your financial planning worksheet, when might you use conditional formatting?

Jan 5th, 2015

If you were a financial planner, what are some Excel functions that you might use or need?

Excel has a huge range of capabilities and there are so many formulas that can be created, that it would be impossible to list them. Financial planners would mainly use formulas for forecasting to see what is likely to happen based on spending or investments compared to income expected. There are many, many financial functions available for them to use. They would also look at trends and try to anticipate what is likely to happen. They would then try different combinations of possibilities to see what the outcomes might be. One Excel formula that you might use or need if you were a financial planner is if you were building a budgeting worksheet and wanted to calculate the total of a handful of values.You could total the budgeted expenses by entering a formula such as =500+50+500+2000+250 into a particular cell--say cell C7.SUM, AVERAGE, IF, HYPERLINK, COUNT, MAX, SIN, SUMIF, and STDEV.
SUM- adds all the numbers in a range of cells.
AVERAGE- Returns the average of its argument, which can be numbers or names, arrays, or references that contain numbers.
IF- Checks whether a condition is met and returns one value if TRUE and another value if FALSE.
HYPERLINK- Creates a shortcut or jump that opens a document stored on your hard drive, a network server, or on the Internet.
COUNT- Counts the number of cells in a range that contain numbers.
MAX- Returns the largest value in a set of values. Ignores logical values and text.
SIN- Returns the sine of an angle.
SUMIF- Adds the specified by a given condition or criteria.
PMT- Calculates the payment for a loan on constant payments and a constant rate.
STDEV- Estimates standard based on a sample (ignores logical values and text in the sample).
Some Excel formulas a financial planner would use include: FV - Returns the future value of an investment; NPER - Returns the number of periods for an investment; PMT - Returns the periodic payment for an annuity; RATE - Returns the interest rate per period of an annuity.

In your financial planning worksheet, when might you use conditional formatting?

For example, lets say you want to draw attention to a value that exceeds or is less than a set value or range. So if a cells value is a negative value you would use conditional formatting to evaluate the number and if it's negative, change the color to red or positive green.
Another example would be to evaluate a range of cells and highlight duplicate values.

Just to clarify, this command is strictly for changing the format of cells, for continued computations based on a cells value use other commands like IF.


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