Applications that form the Microsoft Office suite are Microsoft Word (a word processor for creating professional documents), Microsoft Access (database management application for creating and maintaining databases), Microsoft PowerPoint (presentation software), Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Publisher, and Microsoft Excel. Excel is a spreadsheet application. Features and Uses of Spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel) will be discussed in this publication.
What is Spreadsheet
A spreadsheet (also known as an Electronic Spreadsheet) is a piece of software (computer program), which is simply the electronic equivalent of the accounting worksheet.
Spreadsheets are particularly good at providing answers to the “what if …?” type of questions that occur very frequently in business. For example, builders or architects may use a spreadsheet to assist in the design of a storm drain. In this case, they would want to know the answer to a question such as “what if we change the diameter of the storm drain, how will that affect the rate of flow of water carried along it?
Also, a business may want to know what will happen to profit if income and expenditure values over a certain period increase or decrease. Will the architect, builders or businesses have to perform all the calculations again? The simple answer is NO. Whenever there is a change in one value Excel for example will automatically update or recalculate all values that are dependent on the changed value.
In this way, a spreadsheet can be used not only for creating financial statements or budgets but also as a planning tool.
There are a number of spreadsheets packages one can choose from
- LOTUS 1-2-3,
- FRAMEWORK IV,
- EXCEL, etc
The term spreadsheet is often used to refer to the computer program. Sometimes the same term is used to refer to the sheet on which the work is done. Some spreadsheet programs use the term “worksheet” for this
Features of Spreadsheet
- Both consist of rows and columns.
- The intersection of the rows and columns are used to store numbers and text
- and is capable of a wide range of manipulations from simple arithmetic calculations such as totals, products, or percentages, to complex automated calculations and analysis.
5 Uses of Spreadsheet
Spreadsheets are widely used in research, industry, and business for storing, manipulating, and comparing data and for planning and forecasting. Below are some of the major areas that spreadsheet can be used
1. In Accounting Field
Financial and other non-financial institutions such as KNUST, CSIR, SSNIT, Bank of Ghana, etc. can use a spreadsheet for the following:
- Preparation of budgets, Balance sheet, Trial Balance, analysis of cash flows, costing projects, managing inventory, payroll, and other financial plans involving income and expenditure.
- Discounts, loans, taxation, investment, interest, and interest rate calculations.
- For predicting or forecasting into the future.
- Investment proposals, and many other tasks.
2. Scientific Environment
Scientists such as Mathematicians, Engineers, Physicists, Chemists, meteorologists, statisticians, biologists, etc. use spreadsheets to perform statistical computations such as averages, standard deviations, variance, R-Squared, etc.
They can also use spreadsheets to calculate regression coefficients, perform analysis of variance (ANOVA), to solve simultaneous equations (i.e. systems of linear equation), to build frequency distribution tables, etc
3. Graphical Representation
Spreadsheets are used in many disciplines to represent data graphically for easy analysis such as Pie charts, histograms, line graphs, etc.
For example, hospitals, statistical divisions, etc. can use spreadsheets to represent information such as mortality values, morbidity values, the trend of cases with respect to an outbreak of a disease, etc. in graphical forms.
4. Currency Conversions
Forex bureau and other multi-national companies use spreadsheets for their currency conversions. For example, using a spreadsheet it is possible to convert from one currency to another without having to use any calculating device.
5. Database Management
Businesses and individuals can use spreadsheets for maintaining their database. It allows them to perform operations such as sorting the data in their database, extracting information/records from a given database, etc. Spreadsheets can also be used in the preparation of payment vouchers, etc.Follow us on Whatsapp , Instagram, Twitter , Facebook