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Presenting Financials and Other Numbers So People Will Understand You: Painting with Numbers by Randall Bolten

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CHAPTER 6

. . . Or Pay Me Later

Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit.

—Basketball star Shaquille “The Big Aristotle” O'Neal in 2001, quoting his favorite philosopher, upon receiving his first NBA Most Valuable Player award

We now move to the Long-Term Payoff Tips. Unlike the Instant Payoff Tips we discussed in Chapter 5, the Long-Term Payoff Tips don't necessarily save you time every time you sit down to build a spreadsheet. In fact, some may take you a bit more time. Still, the Long-Term Payoff Tips will make your quantation easier, faster, and more error-free in the following circumstances:

  • You are responsible for generating similar reports regularly and frequently (e.g., weekly sales forecasts, quarterly board meetings, or new reports with significant opportunities to borrow layouts).
  • Your work has complex computations or other design characteristics that you are unlikely to remember in detail for more than a few hours.
  • Other people have to work with your spreadsheets (e.g., weekly sales forecasts to be prepared by staff in the regional sales organizations, budget models to be used by all departments companywide, or expense reports used by anyone requesting expense reimbursement).
  • You are an independent consultant doing similar work for a number of different clients, with no desire to create your quantation from scratch each time.
  • There is a reasonable chance that your work will be handed off to or inherited by others when, for example, you step into that new position ...

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