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Excel has become a day-to-day part of professional life across many industries and companies, Whether collecting and analyzing data, creating reports and forecasts, track assets or inventory, or just doing simple calculations, any function in a business can benefit from the wonder that is Excel. Finance and accounting are functions that often rely significantly on Excel, marketing uses spreadsheets to analyze performance and track a market strategy plan, sales uses Excel to track sales pipeline or prospect data, and HR can record employee data or generate performance and appraisal reporting.

For startups and bootstrapped businesses, Excel comes in handy at a time when investing in varied tools and systems is not cost-effective. One could:

  • Use workbooks to analyze business metrics
  • Manage projects and track the progress
  • Track your budget and cashflow
  • Maintain financial statements
  • Perform cost-analysis and cashflow projections
  • Track inventory and sales

5 Excel Functions We Vouch For

Excel is multi-functional and knowledge of some essential Excel functions is integral for business establishments. Here are 5 Excel capabilities that make us feel like data pros.

excel hacks every founder must know


Consider INDEX and MATCH as an evolved version of the VLOOKUP function – you can use the combo for two-way lookup, lookup value with multiple criteria, with vertical and horizontal ranges, among others. The INDEX MATCH function is flexible, advanced, and something you must know. INDEX and MATCH are in fact two functions. INDEX returns the value in a cell at a particular location and MATCH assists in finding the position of the cell in a row or a column. Try it now.

Pivot Table

Imagine getting heaps of data with multiple columns, numbers, and rows that mess up your mind. The Pivot Table is a great (and easy) way to collate, summarize and analyze these numerous data points. Creating one is extremely easy, for most users, the function is available in the Insert tab. Select the data, create a pivot, and voila, you’re all set to customize it as and how you need. For versions above Excel 2010, pros can use the Power Pivot add-in to perform more sophisticated data models. Here’s an insight into how it works.


The Net Present Value (NPV) is an integral formula for startup budgeting. NPV is the formula to determine the difference between the present value of cash inflows and outflows over a period. Simply put, it determines the viability of a particular project or investment. A positive NPV means a profitable venture. Give it a go.


IF, AND plus OR are distinct logical functions that enable you to evaluate results based on multiple parameters (if this and/or that). This combined with the IF function is exceptionally convenient when you want to run conditional results. For instance, IF you want all conditions to be met (AND) or only some conditions to be met (OR), a combination of these functions can help meet your objective. The IF function and combination can also be further extended with SUMIF and COUNTIF. Let’s say you have sales data for a year including consumers, the respective sales, and revenue. The SUMIF function can help you define the total sales or revenue attributed to one consumer. The COUNTIF function can determine the number of times a particular consumer meets a specific condition.


The IFERROR is the most basic data function to know. While organizing or analyzing any data, the IFERROR replaces any values with calculation errors with your selected value. It saves you the time of going through #VALUE errors in your data and ensures that any other calculation is not affected by the error. Check it out!

So, there you have it. There are numerous tutorials available to become proficient at MS Excel. However, for tasks as complex as managing finances, updating financial statements, budgeting and forecasting, and even creating financial models, seeking out experts is always a wiser decision. Apart from being more efficient, it can also avoid any calculation or judgment error that may present a risk during an audit. The CFOs, controllers, and accountants at Rooled are not only great at maintaining spreadsheets and generating reports but also ensuring all your financial data is updated and organized. Throw in a focus on compliance and you’ve got yourself an expert team to guide you towards your financial growth. Want to know more? Let’s talk numbers.

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