Computer Software and Applications
Familiarity with Excel spreadsheets and functions.

Course Description

Using numerous examples, this course demonstrates how to use Excel Solver to solve complex business problems. You'll learn some of the important applications of this software in many different areas, including production environments, advertising, capital budgeting, lockbox selection, and employee scheduling. This course covers:

  • Optimization of a target cell (called an objective)
  • The use of constraints
  • The use of binary constraints to make choices
  • Ideas for spreadsheet design
  • The SUMPRODUCT function


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.”

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
Mar 7, 2018
Familiarity with Excel spreadsheets and functions.
Excel 2010, 2013, or 2016.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

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

  • Recognize the function of Excel Solver and its uses in solving business problems
  • Identify how to use constraints to optimize solutions
  • Recognize the definition and uses of the SUMPRODUCT function within solver
  • Identify how to use the binary constraint to make optimum choices among alternatives
  • Identify which solver parameter inputs to use in solving complex business problems
  • Recognize how linear programming is used by Excel Solver

Table of Contents

Learning Objectives

Solver Overview

Installation of Solver

Introduction to Solver Optimization

Review Questions

Use of Solver in Production Problems

Review Questions

Using Solver to Optimize Among Choices

Review Questions

Using Solver for Lockbox Selection

Using Solver for Scheduling

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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