Computer Software and Applications
Intermediate knowledge of Excel. Familiarity with functions as well as absolute and relative cell references.

Course Description

This fundamental course covers everything you need to know about creating dynamic and interactive charts in Excel. Step-by-step instructions and practice exercises help you understand how to apply the given tips and tools to your own work and design charts that update automatically. Improve your productivity and efficiency in charting by:

  • Creating range names in a SERIES formula
  • Using OFFSET and COUNT functions for charting purposes
  • Generating self-expanding charts
  • Displaying the last x number of data points
  • Selecting a beginning and ending point for a data series
  • Creating and using spinners
  • Linking a chart title to a cell


Patricia McCarthy, MBA

Patricia McCarthy, MBA, is a partner at CFO Resources LLC, a company focused on training and courseware for CPAs. Her focus is on Microsoft products, particularly Excel, and how to use these programs effectively in business. She’s also certified as an MOS expert in Excel. Patricia has been in software training for over 20 years, and her client list includes the Indiana CPA Society, which awarded her its Outstanding Discussion Leader award.

She has been a contributor to the Journal of Accountancy and has published articles in several CPA society magazines, including societies in Indiana, Missouri, Texas, and Arizona.

Patricia is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and also holds an MBA from Babson College. She was a full-time lecturer in Butler University’s School of Business for 6 years and has taught at several of Indiana’s other universities.

Patricia also has an extensive business background in audit and financial functions. She runs a blog called Chatting about Excel and More, and she writes self-study CPE courses on Microsoft Excel for Western CPE.

Course Specifics

Computer Software and Applications
Aug 22, 2016
Intermediate knowledge of Excel. Familiarity with functions as well as absolute and relative cell references.
Course written for Excel 2016; however, users of Excel 2007/2010/2013 should have no difficulty working through the practice exercises.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the different types of cell references, noting their purpose and usage
  • Recognize the steps needed to create the components of range names and named formulas, noting common types of errors
  • Identify the different COUNT functions, noting their syntax and usage
  • Recognize the syntax and usage of the SERIES, OFFSET, and COUNTA functions in creating dynamic charts that automatically update
  • Recognize the concept of input cells and how to apply them
  • Recognize the steps needed to link a chart title to a cell so that a chart title automatically updates
  • Recognize the steps needed to create a spinner or scroll box

Table of Contents

Learning Objectives


You Try It Exercise

Overview of OFFSET and COUNTA


COUNTA Function

Automatically Expand Your Chart

You Try It Exercise

Two Common Errors

You Try It Exercise

You Try It Exercise

Controlling Data in a Self-Expanding Chart

Display the Last x Data Points in the Worksheet

You Try It Exercise

You Try It Exercise

Common Errors

Selecting a Beginning and Ending Point for a Series

You Try It Exercise

You Try It Exercise

Common Errors

Scroll Bars and Spinners

You Try It Exercise

Practice Exercise: Create a spinner

Linking Title Text to a Cell

Practice Exercise

Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Final Examination

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation

Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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