Computer Software and Applications
Basic knowledge of Excel including formatting and charting as well as familiarity with Pivot Tables, formulas, and functions.

Course Description

A dashboard is a dynamic tool that provides pertinent summary information to help assist in management decision making. Designed to provide an instant view into key performance indicators, a dashboard essentially provides the analysis which allows users to draw a quick conclusion based on the trends and comparisons shown. This course focuses on using Excel to create an effective dashboard using charts, conditional formatting, data validation, and more. The materials are presented in an easy to follow format, complete with practice exercise files to aid in the understanding of the techniques and tools provided.


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
Feb 13, 2017
Basic knowledge of Excel including formatting and charting as well as familiarity with Pivot Tables, formulas, and functions.
Excel 2013/2016. Some features are not available with earlier versions. Differences in step by step instructions as well as screen shots are noted where applicable.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

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

  • Define a dashboard, noting its characteristics, components, and how it differs from a report
  • Recognize the design component of the dashboard
  • Identify different types of charts and their appropriate usage, and note the process for creating and editing appropriate charts for a dashboard
  • Recognize the process of creating and editing in-cell charts and tables, noting efficient methods to format for consistency
  • Define a Sparkline and note its historical significance
  • Note the application of different linking methods in a dashboard
  • Note the different filtering techniques and data validation to data
  • Recognize absolute cell references and range names, noting their application
  • Recognize the pros and cons of pivot charts and how to use them in a dashboard
  • Recognize the different types of conditional formatting and how to apply them
  • Recognize the different functions within a dashboard, noting their syntax and application
  • Recognize the process of protecting and distributing dashboards

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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