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Why You Need Macros

The primary purpose of writing a Macro is to automate tedious processes and speed up processing time, leading to increase in productivity. For example, you may need to copy data from one Excel worksheet to another but the layout stops you from copying all at one go. In this case, a Macro can be written to perform the process, especially if the process has to be carried frequently.

If you are now capturing the details of your company transactions using the accounting approach of double entry. You may be entering the details of each transaction into one single row, duplicate the row and modify some of the details in the second row for the second transaction. For one transaction, this is a simple task and takes no more than a minute. But if you have many transactions to capture, it would be too time-consuming to do all the entries. To speed up the process, a macro can be used to replicate the process. This can save you a minute for each transaction. And for 100 transactions, you would save 100 minutes! That is a huge time saver. Of course, writing the Macro will need some time but in the long run, the time savings would justify the time spent creating the Macro.

Our training business grew and a new accounting staff was required for the double entries because of the need to identify whether the transaction should be treated as Revenue, Cost of Goods Sold, Operating Expenses, Assets or Liabilities. However, it was not easy to find the candidate with the right skills for the job. When no suitable person could not be hired quickly enough, we finally decided to modify the Macro further and incorporate the knowledge of the double entries into the new Macro. Instead of having one Macro for all the entries, subsets of the Macro were created, one subset for one type of transaction. With the modification, there was no need for the new staff to have accounting knowledge. All the person has to do is to capture the expenses using some basic layman rules and the Macro will take care of the rest of the processes. This modification allowed us to widen the pool of candidates for the role and even reduced our cost as it was cheaper to hire staff with no accounting background.

The above example clearly demonstrated that Macro can be used to simplify processes and re-design jobs. With the current tight labour market condition in Singapore, writing Macro could very well be a highly feasible solution to your staffing problem.

The Second Bad Habit (Con't from last issue)

To find out whether you have the second bad habit, try this:

  1. Input the word "Excel" into cell b3.
  2. Let go of your mouse and keep your hands away from the keyboard.
  3. Locate where the cell is current selected.
  4. If your cell is not in B4 or C3, you probably have not used the ENTER or TAB key. Instead, you have used your mouse to confirm the entry you have made on Cell B3.

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Yours Sincerely,

Jason Khoo
Chief Trainer
everydayExcel Business Lab Pte Ltd
Author of "Hidden Secrets of Data Analysis with Excel" and 
"Excel Secrets for Highly Effective Marketers"


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