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# How businesses can use Excel tools to manage finances

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Research and discuss the ways a company can use advanced Excel tools such as MIN and MAX statement, conditional formatting, and additional tools that you have discovered to manage their business finances. Once you have created a formula, the formula can be copied to subsequent cells. When the formula is copied it may change depending on the type of cell reference displayed in the formula. Explain the difference between a relative cell reference and an absolute cell reference.

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#### Solution Preview

These are all tools available in Microsoft Excel that aid in the process known as Data Analysis. Sometimes a formula is needed that helps the end-user decipher the information (or make sense out of all the numbers). These data analysis tools also speak to the concept of efficiency: being able to analyze your business' revenues, expenditures, etc. in a quicker way than you had before gives you more time to complete other tasks.

Now to the specifics: the MIN formula is designed to 'analyze' a range or collection of cells and then returns the smallest value in the set. So, for example, if you had a dozen offers (or bids) ...

#### Solution Summary

This solution touches on several formulas and function that are native to Excel, including, but not limited to: MIN, Absolute Reference and more.

It also provides several examples/scenarios to help solidify the explanations.

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## Cash gap analysis

a. Read the article "Tweaking the Numbers," by Theo Callahan in the June 2001 issue of the Journal of Accountancy (either the print edition, likely available at your school's library, or access the Journal of Accountancy archives at www.aicpa.org). Follow the instructions in the article to create a spreadsheet with graphs that do what-if analysis.

b. Now create a spreadsheet to do graphical what-if analysis for the "cash gap." Cash gap represents the number of days between when a company has to pay its suppliers and when it gets paid by its customers. Thus, Cash gap = Inventory days on hand + Receivables collection period - Accounts payable period.
The purpose of your spreadsheet is to display visually what happens to cash gap when you "tweak" policies concerning inventory, receivables, and payables.

c. Set the three spin buttons to have the following values:

Spin button for Inventory Spin button for Receivables Spin button for Payables
Linked cell C2 C3 C4
Maximum 120 120 90
Minimum 0 30 20
Value 30 60 20
Small change 10 10 10

D.

In addition, conduct research and seek out an ERP accounting system. Briefly summarize what report writer software is either embedded in it or which one would work to provide management with a production report. Include links to your source.

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