Everyone who’s ever worked in FP&A remembers many repetitive and mundane tasks that consume our valuable time to the point where they can often destroy our productivity. Advanced Excel knowledge can ease the pain for a while, but sooner or later, we must roll up our sleeves and learn how to record and write some VBA macros.
In today’s high-tech world, there are many FP&A tools and automation platforms, but we all know at the end of the day, we still spend a significant chunk of our time in Excel. It’s so ingrained in the business world so much that it’s damn near impossible to survive without becoming proficient in it.
Within Microsoft Excel (and the entire Office package, for that matter), a macro is a set of recorded actions that can be executed repeatedly to automate a sequence of tasks fully. Macros allow you to streamline complex or repetitive tasks, saving time and reducing errors.
Excel macros are extremely powerful in automating repetitive actions, allowing us, as FP&A professionals, to streamline our work processes and focus on more critical aspects of financial analysis.
When we set out to create the Magnimetrics Tools for Excel add-in, we focused on building a collection of valuable tools FP&A professionals use daily.
This article will explore five Excel macros we believe every FP&A professional should have in their toolkit. Needless to say, those are among the features of the Magnimetrics Tools for Excel add-in.
This tool is designed for FP&A professionals and offers many benefits that enhance your formula analysis and optimization process. With the “Audit Formula” feature, you gain a deeper understanding of the underlying logic and referenced data within any formula. By selecting a cell containing a formula and utilizing this feature, you can visually explore each formula step, effortlessly navigating through nested functions and cross-references to other worksheets and cells.
Unleashing the true potential of your formulas, this invaluable feature provides you with enhanced comprehension of how they work. Notably, it becomes an indispensable asset for debugging formulas, efficiently identifying errors, and streamlining calculations. By presenting a clear and intuitive visual representation of the formula’s structure, you can effortlessly track complex formulas, quickly pinpointing any issues or inefficiencies within your worksheets.
Say goodbye to tedious formula analysis and troubleshooting. With our Excel add-in’s “Audit Formula” feature, FP&A professionals can unlock a new level of formula transparency, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in their financial modeling and analysis endeavors.
Now here’s a simple yet immensely effective feature. If I had a nickel for every time I wanted to change a relative to an absolute reference (or vice versa), I’d have at least a $10 bill!
We see this one as an invaluable addition to our Excel add-in. The feature empowers you to effortlessly toggle between absolute (fixed) references, relative references, or even a combination of both for each cell in your desired selection. This functionality proves particularly handy when copying formulas to new worksheets or files, as it ensures the seamless adjustment of references, guaranteeing accurate calculations across your spreadsheets.
Gone are the days of painstakingly editing references one by one or encountering errors caused by incorrect adjustments. With our Excel add-in’s “Change Reference” feature, you can save valuable time and minimize the likelihood of mistakes in your calculations. This feature unlocks newfound efficiency and precision in your financial modeling and analysis workflows by simplifying the process of managing references.
The Numbers Coloring tool empowers you to effortlessly apply standardized colors to cells within your selected range based on their content type. Whether it’s formulas, numeric values, links to other worksheets, or external files, each content type can be uniquely color-coded for seamless identification and enhanced analysis.
This feature streamlines collaboration and review processes. By ensuring consistent worksheet formatting across large-scale projects, the “Numbers Coloring” feature fosters clarity and enhances the ease with which stakeholders can review your files. Moreover, with the ability to customize colors according to your personal preferences or your organization’s brand guidelines using the “Format Settings” tool, you can tailor the look of your models to align seamlessly with your requirements.
Gain a competitive edge by effortlessly identifying critical calculations, external links, and data pasted as values while presenting information visually compellingly, ensuring consistency and adherence to your organization’s brand guidelines.
Table of Contents
The Table of Contents functionality streamlines the process of workbook organization by enabling you to create a dynamic table of contents effortlessly. Say goodbye to manual indexing and hello to an automated solution that adapts to changes with the click of a button.
The Table of Contents is a navigational index, seamlessly linking to each worksheet within your workbook. This dynamic feature ensures that your table of contents remains up to date, quickly reflecting any modifications made to your workbook. With a simple click, you can easily access any section within your workbook, streamlining your workflow, making it easier for other stakeholders to review your work, and enhancing overall productivity within your team.
To further optimize navigation, the Table of Contents feature provides an additional option to include a backlink within each worksheet. This backlink allows for seamless movement across your entire workbook, creating a cohesive user experience and eliminating the need for manual searching.
Beyond its functional benefits, the “Table of Contents” feature enhances the presentability of your files when sharing them with third parties. Whether collaborating with colleagues or presenting to clients, the professional and user-friendly format ensures your information is readily accessible and impressively organized. With this feature, you can effortlessly transform your workbook into a well-structured, easy-to-navigate document.
Embrace the power of effortless organization and enhanced user experience with our Excel add-in’s Table of Contents feature. Simplify navigation, save time, and present your workbooks in an impactful and polished manner, elevating your collaboration and communication to new heights.
Save Without Links
The Save Without Links feature empowers you to effortlessly create a copy of your current file, removing all external links and references to external sources. This proves especially valuable when sharing a file with a third party while safeguarding sensitive or confidential links or when preserving a snapshot version of your model without the risk of data loss due to external changes.
All external links in the copied file are seamlessly converted into constants when utilizing the Save Without Links feature. This means that the data initially retrieved from external sources is replaced with its current value, ensuring the integrity and self-contained nature of the copied file. Furthermore, you can export only selected worksheets to the copied file, enabling you to tailor the content to meet specific sharing or storage requirements. Any links to worksheets not included in the copied file will also be converted to their current values, ensuring data consistency regardless of changes in the external sources.
Whether collaborating with external parties or preserving a static version for archival purposes, the Save Without Links feature offers unrivaled convenience and data protection. Simplify sharing, protect sensitive information, and maintain data integrity by effortlessly removing external links and customizing file content. Unlock peace of mind and control over your data, all with the click of a button.
An Important Practical Tip
It’s important to note that when a macro is executed, it removes the Undo history. This means that any actions taken by running the macro cannot be undone using the regular Undo command.
The reason for that is that the macro is being treated as a single action, even if it involves multiple changes to the spreadsheet. As a result, if any errors or unintended consequences occur due to running the macro, it may be difficult or impossible to reverse them.
To avoid losing the Undo history, you can create a backup of your spreadsheet before running the macro or test the macro on a copy of the spreadsheet. Additionally, you can also do the following:
- Turn off the AutoSave function of Microsoft Excel (turned on by default for files stored on SharePoint or OneDrive).
- Make a manual backup of your file before running macros.
- Turn on the option to “Auto-save files before running macros (Recommended),” located in the Magnimetrics account settings in the “About” section of the add-in ribbon.
Excel macros are invaluable for any FP&A professional, allowing us to automate repetitive tasks and maximize efficiency. By incorporating only the five tools outlined above into our workflow, we can streamline some of our financial analysis processes, improve our models’ accuracy, and (most importantly) save valuable time.
To further enhance your Excel experience, consider exploring the Magnimetrics Tools for Excel add-in, which offers a comprehensive suite of macros tailored specifically for FP&A professionals. Embrace the power of macros and take your financial planning and analysis to the next level!
Are you tired of manual and time-consuming Excel modeling tasks? Upgrade your productivity and accuracy with our Magnimetrics Tools for Excel add-in. Sign up for a free trial today and discover how macros can revolutionize your financial analysis. Streamline your workflow, save time, and reduce errors with our user-friendly add-in. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your Excel modeling to new heights. Visit our website and start your free trial now. Experience the power of automation and see the difference it makes in your financial modeling success.
Hi! I am a finance professional with 10+ years of experience in audit, controlling, reporting, financial analysis and modeling. I am excited to delve deep into specifics of various industries, where I can identify the best solutions for clients I work with.
In my spare time, I am into skiing, hiking and running. I am also active on Instagram and YouTube, where I try different ways to express my creative side.
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