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Excel 101: Why pivot tables are an accountants best friend

by , 18 February 2014
Are you an accountant? If so, continue reading to find out about pivot tables and how they can help make your job easier.

You need pivot tables in your 'toolbox' if you're an accountant.

But what exactly are pivot tables?

Here's what you need to know about pivot tables

According to the Practical Accountancy Loose Leaf, pivot tables are summary reports you can create in Excel.

'You can use them to report on and analyse data in just about any way you want, literally at the click of a button.'

How is a pivot table different from traditional Excel reports?

The problem with traditional Excel reports is they're static. Once the report layout is fixed, it's very difficult to change the report to get a fresh view on the data.

The Loose Leaf explains that for example, a sales report might have products listed across the top of a report with the months listed down the side. Then the new sales manager decides to change the report layout by swapping the columns and rows to have the months listed across the top of the report and the products down the side.

Now the problem is that with traditional reports that use fixed layouts and formulas to summarise data, changing the report layout could take quite some time for the news sales manager. But, with a pivot table, he can achieve this in less than four minutes.

You can use pivot tables, in your daily accounting practice, to:

  1. Draft your management accounts;
  2. Itemise your inventory; and
  3. Draft your fixed asset register.

The bottom line: With pivot tables, you can summarise a lot of data into a couple of lines, get the information you need accurately and efficiently and reduce a five-hour job to five minutes.

If you want to create an excel pivot table to manage all your sales data, checkout this article.

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