Computer Science
There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Excel worksheets and workbooks are commonly considered number crunching tools. The primary focus is getting data into a worksheet, performing a few calculations, and arriving at an answer as quickly as possible. However, this prevalent mindset ignores many of the real goals and needed controls over worksheets that make them valuable decision-making tools. This course will examine worksheet and workbook best practices for layout and design, including segregating data, assumption, and calculations as well as documenting data sources and key calculations using comments. The materials will also cover important worksheet audit and other tools that ensure accuracy such as data validation, error checking, and inputting passwords to protect cells, worksheets and workbooks. Step-by-step instruction with screenshots and an Excel practice file are provided to enhance the learning experience.


Joseph Helstrom, CPA

Joseph Helstrom, CPA, is a partner at CFO Resources, LLC, a company focused on training and courseware for CPAs. He’s also the owner of Mill Creek Publishing LLC. Joe has over 30 years of experience as a CPA in both public accounting and industry, with extensive experience in financial reporting and analysis, treasury, tax, information technology, legal and regulatory matters, and strategic planning.

After graduation from Butler University with a degree in accounting, Joe got his start at Ernst & Young. Subsequent to that, he has served for several different companies as a chief financial officer; director of treasury and tax; controller; and manager of financial planning, reporting, and analysis.

Joe and his wife, Patricia McCarthy, produce self-study courses for Western CPE and have published articles in Missouri and Texas CPA society publications titled “Incorporating Excel Arrays into Your Audit Plan.”

Course Specifics

Computer Science
Mar 30, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

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

  • Recognize worksheet layout and design best practices, noting Excel features that promote data clarity
  • Identify the various Excel features that help audit worksheets and ensure calculation accuracy
  • Recognize the defining characteristics and usage of data validation tools, cell and worksheet protection, workbook protection, formula auditing tools, error checking, and tracking changes

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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