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In this valuable session, Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, shows you how to implement internal control features within your Excel spreadsheets. Using a simple invoice form as a teaching aid, David demonstrates several ways you can control users’ actions within your spreadsheets and protect worksheets and workbooks from unauthorized changes. David explains the benefits of using the VLOOKUP function, the Data Validation feature, the Conditional Formatting feature, and more.


  • Those who wish to learn how to protect their Excel spreadsheets from unauthorized changes.  
  • David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in Excel 2016. 
  • David draws participants’ attention to any differences in Excel 2013, 2010, or 2007 during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts.
  • David’s detailed handouts, with numbered steps, serve as reference material you can utilize going forward. 
  • David provides an Excel workbook that includes a majority of the examples he uses during the session.


  • Apply the Conditional Formatting feature to identify unlocked cells.
  • Recall how to protect sensitive information in your worksheets.  
  • List the uses of Excel’s Data Validation feature.
  • Apply the VLOOKUP function to improve the integrity of spreadsheets.
  • Learn how to hide zero amounts within a specific area of a spreadsheet.
  • Recall which ribbon tab or drop-down menu contains the Data Validation feature.
  • Identify which one of four tasks a user still can potentially perform after a workbook has been protected.
     


  • Creating self-expanding drop-down lists with Excel’s Data Validation feature.
  • Protecting hidden sheets from within a workbook.
  • Utilizing Data Validation to limit percentages entered in a cell to a specific range of values.
  • Using Conditional Formatting to identify unlocked cells into which data can be entered.
  • Using Excel’s IF function to make certain fields appear blank until a required input is provided.
  • Utilizing the Allow Users to Edit Ranges command to allow selected users the ability to override cells in protected areas of a workbook.
  • Toggling the locked status of a worksheet cell on or off by way of a custom shortcut.
  • Using a custom number format to hide zero amounts within a specific area of a spreadsheet.
  • Preserving key formulas using hide and protect features.
  • Identifying situations where VLOOKUP may return #N/A instead of a value.
  • Protecting sensitive information by hiding formulas within an Excel workbook.
  • Creating an in-cell list by way of Excel’s Data Validation feature.
     


  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Banking
  • Finance
  • Management Consulting
  • Human Resources


David H. Ringstrom is a CPA and owner of Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based spreadsheet consulting firm that he started in 1991. David speaks at conferences and presents dozens of webinars annually on Excel and other topics. He has written numerous articles on spreadsheets, some of which have been published internationally. He has served as the technical editor for other 30 books on accounting software, and is the Tech Editor-at-Large for Accounting WEB and Going Concern. David offers Excel training and consulting services nationwide.

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