How Accountants Can Start Replacing Excel with Google Sheets

Microsoft Excel has been used by accountants from the very beginning. The easy-to-use spreadsheet software lends itself perfectly to keeping data organised and easy to update.

Previously, we’ve put together a few articles around how to use Excel. From the essential skills, wannabe accountants need to know, to tips for accountants who are already up and running with Excel. The information in both of these can easily be applied to the newer platform of Google Sheets, which is why we are starting to see more accountants taking on this platform.   

However, now there is a new tool that mirrors Excel’s ease of use and functionality. One that allows you to share access with those you are working with and can keep your data safe from hardware malfunctions.

Gone are the days of constantly pressing save on your spreadsheets, now you can use Google Sheets to save in real time, helping you to keep your documents updated.


Many of the Excel formulas are the same in Google Sheets

Luckily, if you’ve already started to master Excel or you’ve been using Excel for all of your spreadsheet needs, then you don’t need to worry about the switch over.

Many of the formulas you have learned from Excel will transfer to Google Sheets, allowing you to continue as normal. You can also open any saved Excel spreadsheets within Google Sheets without any hassle.

A full list of all of Google Sheets’ formulas can be found over on the Google support page. This will show you just how many of the same formulas have been transferred over to this new platform.  


You can still use Pivot Tables

If you often work with large sheets of data and you’re worried about losing the ability to create pivot tables, do not fear. Google sheets also offer you the opportunity to create pivot tables, in order to find data quickly and easily.

Simply select all of your data and head to Data  > Pivot tables in the Google Sheets menu. Here you’ll be able to create your pivot table, with no trouble at all.

The Report Editor window will allow you the ability to search through your data using a number of different options. These options will allow you to do exactly the same actions as you would be able to in Excel. Even though the interface may be different, the functionality is very much the same.  


Conditional formatting for finding duplicate values

Just like Excel, you can set up conditional formatting in order to find duplicates within your data. However, unlike Excel, by using Google Sheets, you will have a whole host of add ons and extras at your fingertips, there’s even an add on to allow you to press a button and find duplicates within your sheet. No formulas necessary.  


Why should you consider switching to Google Sheets?

With the upcoming Making Tax Digital scheme asking businesses to start keeping digital records, using cloud services like this is a great place to start.

For accountants who work in large teams or need to share data with a number of different people, then Google Sheets is the perfect tool. You can easily share with any email address you like and control their access through the share settings. You can choose to allow someone full edit access, just the ability to comment or even just the ability to view.

With the real time-saving function, you don’t have to worry about sending over the latest sheet or forgetting to update your data. Every change you make will save automatically, eliminating the need to download and email your saved spreadsheets.

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