If there’s one tool no Finance department can live without, it’s a spreadsheet. Which is why many finance pros are salivating at the upcoming launch of the new Excel 2013.
Whether you’re sure you’ll be upgrading or trying to decide whether it’s right for your company, we’ve got a sneak peek of what the newest incarnation promises.
An exact launch date hasn’t been revealed just yet. But here’s a good idea of the improvements you’ll see when Excel 2013 is rolled out.
Excel 2013 features
- New pattern-recognition auto-fill. Less data entry (and chance of errors) for your staffers with this new feature, which will populate fields for them.
- New “Quick Analysis” feature. If staffers select a range of data, the new version will suggest ways to present it, from different chart options to a more sophisticated Pivot Table. That’s great for reporting.
- Better charts. Not only will staffers get prompts when charting data may be a good idea, but Excel 2013 will also suggest what the best type of chart is for that specific data. That can save you a lot of time since staffers won’t have to be fiddling around to see if a bar chart, pie chart, etc., is most effective. And since some people are very visual learners, including as many charts as possible can help get Finance’s message across.
- Multiple monitors. No more constantly clicking – staffers can have two workbooks open at once.
- New highlighting capacities. Say you want to highlight which departments are over budget in a month-end report. Now you’ll be able to highlight cells with a value larger than a given value using a specific color.
- “Totaling” capabilities. Calculations just got easier on your staffers, too, with this new wizard capability. Staffers will now get a series of pre-set equations to calculate everything from running totals to averages to percent total.
- Cloud capacities. Just like everything else these days, Excel 2013 is making a move toward the cloud. So when you open a new file you’ll get the option for templates from both a local store and the Office.com cloud template library. But beware: Excel 2013’s cloud capabilities are rather limited. For example, if staffers access a spreadsheet another staffer is working in, they’ll be notified it’s locked and be granted read-only privileges.