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Got Accounting Homework? Gotta do it in Excel, here's why:

Yeah I feel you, working out your accounting homework in Excel can be frustrating and tedious, especially for students just starting off their accounting coursework. You might think "hey, I can do this faster on paper with my calculator." But if you plan on getting past Financial Accounting, you're gonna need to master this essential program, and homework is the best way to do it. Besides that, your professors will prefer it and in the long run your grade with thank you. Here's why:

1.) End of Term Projects

Just about every accounting class I've ever taken has had a hefty term project, usually a set of financial statements, and its always due in Excel/spreadsheet format. While you may be able to get through most of the semester turning in homework problems done in pencil, you don't want to be struggling with both excel and complex calculations when the deadline for your term project is looming and you are crunched for time. Learn it now, and spare yourself the stress.

2.) Considering that most professors give partial credit for problems that were set up right but calculated wrong, you don't want to through points away for messy script.

Accounting professors go through stacks of problems, deciphering the many quirks of students' handwriting. But with messy handwriting or formatting, they aren't always able to to find solved answers or even see how a student arrived at their conclusions. By turning your in your assignment in Excel format, even if you get the problems wrong, your professor has a better chance of seeing how you arrived at your answer and giving you partial credit.

2.) You turn in your penciled homework and its returned to you...after the quiz.

Darn, you were planning on using your homework to study for that quiz or exam but the penciled copy you turned in is still sitting somewhere in the Professor's office. Its not unusual for Professors to take longer than you'd like for them to correct, grade and return homework. But doing your homework in excel, you can print out a copy while keeping the completed assignment on your computer for review.

I realize that some of you like penciling your homework so you can put in notes, reminders and corrections that help you understand the problems better than in excel. If it helps you can do it on paper first--just as long as the copy you turn in is a spreadsheet for the reasons mentioned above.

Need a kickstart on using Excel? Check out Wall Street Prep's youtube channel for some crash courses on creating financial statements and modeling in Excel:


Jeffrey B.

Finance, Accounting & French Tutor

10+ hours