Computer Software and Applications
There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Charts are a great way for accountants to add a visual representation to financial and numerical data, making the numbers more easily understandable - and more memorable. This course will help you improve presentations and efficiency by teaching you how to create effective and useful charts in Excel.

You'll learn:

  • The different chart types Excel offers and how to use them
  • How to link Excel charts into PowerPoint and Word
  • How to create custom and default charts
  • How to improve your presentations through formatting


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
Jan 23, 2018
There are no prerequisites.
Excel 2010/2013/2016. The practice files include PowerPoint slides, so it is helpful to have Microsoft PowerPoint installed on your computer.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

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

  • Identify the different chart types, their components, and their appropriate use.
  • Recognize the different steps involved in creating charts and the relationship between the source data and the spreadsheet.
  • Recognize how to edit existing charts by resizing, change the chart type, move chart elements, and add/delete data series by using contextual tabs menus and shortcut keys.
  • Recognize how Excel treats numerical values and how to apply formatting techniques and insert objects to a chart.
  • Identify the default Excel chart type.
  • Recognize the steps required to create custom chart types and how to save them as templates to improve efficiency.
  • Recognize the different methodologies of linking Excel data and the use of static Excel data in PowerPoint presentations.
  • Recognize how fonts, colors, graphics, documentation, and printing can impact the professionalism of a PowerPoint presentation.

Table of Contents

 Learning Objectives


Overview of Chart Types

2016 Charts

Creating a Chart

Quick and Dirty Method of Creating a Chart using F11

Quick and Dirty Method of Creating a Chart using ALT+F1

Creating a Chart from Scratch

Moving your Chart


Change Chart Type

To Add or Modify a Chart Element:

Editing and Updating Charts

Adding in a Series

Delete a Data Series

Moving Series within the Chart

Switching Row and Column Display

Using Numbers on the X Axis

Change Data Series

Formatting and Adding Graphics

Review Exercise

Review Questions

Creating a Default Chart

Custom Chart Types

Review Questions

Different Chart Types

Pie Charts

Formatting a Data Point – Slice of Pie

Formatting the Entire Pie (Excel 2007/2010)

Formatting the Entire Pie (Excel 2013/2016)

Changing the Pie Design (Excel 2007/2010)

Moving Slices

Format Data Labels

Changing the Pie Design (Excel 2013/2016)

Moving Slices

Format Data Labels

Combination Charts

2 Y-Axis Charts

Review Exercise

Stock Chart

Creating Stock Charts

Waterfall Charts

Treemap Charts


Formatting a Chart Axis

Y Axis Scaling


Printing Charts

Review Questions

Link Excel Data into PowerPoint Presentations

Paste Link


Review  Exercise

Review Questions

Finer Points of Presentations

Using Graphics in Documents

Worth a Thousand Words

Guidelines for Making Good Presentations

The Basics

Keep It Simple

Colors and Fonts

Misuse of Graphics

Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Qualified Assessment

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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