It’s All About Looking Good!

Mar 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Marketing Professional Services

ExcelUserDashboardSome years ago, after I sold my last accounting practice and started slowly melting into the world of old, tired and ugly retirees, I did some freelance auditing. Now, if you’ve paid any attention to my sales pitch over at, then you know a lot of my time in practice was PC … “Pre-Computers,” (Poor joke, but what the heck.) so one of the new tools I had to learn to use was a spreadsheet.

Hey, I got pretty proficient at it, and had a lot of fun playing around. My old mentor back when I first got out of school, Jerry Monday, would have been proud. When I found out all the different ways you could extract data and the different analyses you could do, I had a ball.

Unfortunately, all I ever produced looked exactly like those ugly thirteen column spreadsheets I used for years. Columns and rows. Yuk! Boring!

So, okay, let’s come up to date and see what the point is here.

Well, the point is, those spreadsheets were ugly, with a capital ugh. If it wasn’t for the written reports that went along with the data, I don’t think anyone would have known what the examinations were telling us. I know my eyes glazed over just looking at them, and I knew what was in them. Can you imagine how the client felt when they got the work product?

About a week ago, I was wandering around the internet, and I stumbled across a new term. Well, at least new to me. Seems other folks knew all about it, and I was late to the game, as usual.

What was the term … “Dashboard.”

Yeah, I know, you know all about it and what they are, and how to use them and all that stuff. Well, just hang with me here, because now that I’ve learned what a “Dashboard” is, I’m like a kid with a new shiny toy.

So, I loaded up my trusty search engine and started wandering around the ol’ interweb. Learned a few other terms, such as KPI, but that’s for another day.

Somewhere along the way, I stumbled onto Charley Kyd’s Excel User website and saw some really good looking stuff. Charley has put together a tutorial on how to really make Excel reports look good. I mean really good.

Now, I’m not an affiliate of his, so I won’t get a dime for pitching his site. (Although, I really need to re-think that.) But, if you are just starting out on your own, and you’re going to be using Excel for anything, then you need to read Charley’s turorial and learn how you can make your reports look good.

Once you know the secrets, then you’ll be a jump ahead of most of your competition and their boring looking financial statements. Believe me, you’ll be judged by how you look, a long time before the client hears what you have to say.

Take a look at Charley’s stuff, at and you’ll see what I mean. It’s really powerful stuff.

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