MS Excel training in the remote working environment

We have adapted our MS Excel training for the remote working environment, by making sure the training is as similar to attending a live MS Excel course as possible, with all the benefits of a presenter answering questions but still maintaining the required social distancing.

Excel Training Options Available

The 4 main options are:

  1. Virtual public course, run monthly mid month and available to multiple companies who need to send one or two individuals- Option C
  2. Presented live by a presenter to a single company (‘onsite’), using Microsoft Teams (or any other platform you are comfortable with/ have access to) (Option A)
  3. Presenters assist during the course to a single company, mostly during exercises and to answer questions, but the lectures are provided via video clips as per the online training (Option B)
  4. Online training with the presenters available via email to answer specific questions.

Typical Lockdown Excel Course Structure

  • All delegates complete our free MS Excel skills assessment to make sure they are on the correct course
  • All delegates receive a workbook. Ideally these are printed out for each delegate so they can make notes and read the exercise instructions.
  • All delegates are either at a central point or disbursed, either at their desks or at home depending on the lockdown stage.
  • The course runs on specific days and at specific times. It is either a full day course (8 hrs per day) or can be broken into 4 hour modules.
  • The presenter presents each segment via the online platform or the delegates watch the pre prepared video clips depending on the option chosen.
  • Delegates complete exercises after each segment to cement their knowledge.
    • The presenter is available via the online platform, WhatsApp and/ or phone to assist. There are always multiple presenters available in cases of larger groups to reduce waiting times.
    • Using the online platform, the delegate can share their screen with the presenter or visa versa and the presenter is able to interact with the delegates computer (when using Microsoft Teams)
  • After each segment there is a brief Q&A for the presenter to share what questions were asked especially for questions that are company specific and would help other people (in a normal live course everyone would have heard the question)
  • At the end of the day an attendance register is created based on the interaction with the delegates to ensure that all delegates were diligent.

Course Outline

The course outline depends on the requirements of the business. All the courses listed in the MS Excel Live Training and MS Excel Online training are available with the method explained.

The most common course chosen is the MS Excel Intermediate to Advanced (the equivalent of our 3 day MS Excel Advanced course). Below the outline of this course.

Ultimate Excel Tool

  • Flash Fill- Your new best friend?
Split key text into their own columns

MS Excel Tips and Tricks

  • Viewing many parts of the spreadsheet (at the same time)
  • Don’t hide rows- group them rather
  • See sheet names in portrait style
  • Selecting ranges with mouse and arrow keys- short cuts
  • Enter date and time stamps- unchanging
  • Doing Quick Calculations in a spreadsheet
  • The Quick Access Toolbar

Filtering and Sorting

  • Data sorting-Revision, colour and icon sorting
  • Sorting the columns instead of the rows
  • Create a custom sorting list
  • Data Filtering
  • Remove rows with the Filter
  • Remove duplicate rows
  • Use Advanced Filter for repeating filters
Move columns around or sort based on the colour of a cell
Easily delete unwanted rows

The Specials- GOTO and Paste

  • GOTO Special- find comments, values, formulas and more
  • Find errors, conditional formatting and data validation
  • Copy Visible Cells Only
  • Fill in all the blanks
  • Paste Special- Values, Formulas with/without formatting
  • Paste Special- convert negatives to positives
  • Switch rows to columns and columns to rows
  • Paste without overwriting blank cells
  • Re Use the Format Painter
Fill in Gaps (easily)

Tools for text

  • Find Replace- standard uses
  • Find Replace- Change formatting on many cells
  • Remove between brackets or characters
  • Single Column to Multiple Columns
  • Import CSV’s into the correct columns
  • Find partial names or between characters (fuzzy logic)
  • Change the $ signs on multiple cells with FIND/ REPLACE
  • Import CSV but correct for ‘numbers’ that start with zero e.g. credit card numbers
Learn complex data cleanups. Remove brackets and whatever is in between (even if it is not consistent)


Replace unwanted parts of cells


Split columns but decide how it must handle leading zeros. Bank Account numbers/ Employee Numbers/ ID numbers- you must keep the zeros. Payments- you can lose the zeros
Put imported data into its own Excel columns

Pivot Tables

  • Required data format for Pivot tables
  • Create a Pivot Table- Step by Step
  • Inserting Values into a Pivot Table
  • Enhancing the values e.g. percentage of another column
  • Show the details of a number in the Pivot Table
  • Laying out the Pivot Report in completely separate columns
  • Working with the rows in a Pivot Table- dropdown
  • Working with the rows in a Pivot Table- field settings
  • Normalize Pivot Reports to use elsewhere as a copy paste
  • Working with the Columns in a Pivot Table
  • Working with the Filter in a Pivot Table
  • Automatically duplicate your Pivot Tables with different selections
  • Slicers in a Pivot Table
  • Control all Pivot Tables and Charts at once
  • Timelines in a Pivot Table
  • Grouping Dates into days, months, quarters and years in a Pivot Table
  • Grouping Dates into weeks in a Pivot Table
  • Grouping Text in a Pivot Table
  • Grouping Numbers in a Pivot Table
  • Pivot Charts in Excel
  • Problems with grouping in Pivot Tables
  • Protect the source data of a pivot table
  • Add a calculation INSIDE a Pivot Table
  • Conditional Formatting within a Pivot
  • Get information out of a Pivot into a cell
  • Switching off the GETPIVOTDATA
  • Add up ITEMs within a Pivot Table Field
Turn data into reports (in seconds)


Create a dashboard type feel for your spreadsheets
Pull out only the parts of the Pivot Table that interest you


Building formula outside the Pivot Table looking into the Pivot Table? Rather build the formula directly into the Pivot Table

Conditional Formatting

  • Change cell colour based on value
  • Change color based on benchmark in another cell
  • Highlight all above average cells
  • Add comparative bars into cells
  • Create heat maps in Excel
  • Add risk robots, milestone, up and down icons to Excel cells
  • Control the heat maps, icons and data bars in conditional formatting
  • Conditional Formatting- Linking to different cells
  • Control what is entered in an Excel cell- Data Validation
  • Control the inputs in a cell based on another cell
Improve the visuals on your spreadsheets
Want to easily see where the numbers change month on month? Let them automatically change colour if the previous cell is a different number to the current cell.


Make spreadsheets easier to read by changing cell colours where there is a significant change in data.


Create intelligent dropdown lists that check whether the user is sure about their entry

Function and Formula Basics

  • Tip- Opening Frequent files
  • Enter formula into many cells (at the same time)
  • Function Wizard
  • Auditing Toolbar
  • Referring to fixed cells
  • Using the F4 shortcut for $ signs
  • Dollar Sign ($A$1) Examples
  • The basic “IF” function
  • How to (safely) build a nested IF formula
  • IF this AND this AND this is True
  • See the numbers behind a formula
  • Change formula across many sheets at the same time
  • Update the calculations on only one sheet (for large spreadsheets)
Find errors in your formulas
Nested IF’s a problem. Learn how to create them in the easiest, safest way.


See the numbers behind a formula without scrambling through the spreadsheet. No need to pull out your calculator to ‘check’ Excel.

Text Functions

  • Fitting text inside a cell
  • Quick entry of rows of data
  • Quick Drop Down List
  • Printing Tips
  • Get Excel to read out the text and numbers
  • Join text from many cells
  • Extract parts of the text from cells
  • Force Excel to see the value (instead of text)
  • Change text to lower, UPPER or Proper case
  • Remove unnecessary spaces
  • Create a find/ replace formula
  • Find where a certain character is in a cell
  • Force excel to treat number as text
Neaten up your spreadsheets
Create ‘Word’ like reports in Excel


Join cells together
Lost the leading zeros? Put them back in

Key Lookup Functions

  • VLOOKUP explained in simple terms
  • Build your first VLOOKUP
  • The many uses of VLOOKUP
  • Vlookup approximate match (True instead of False)
  • Vlookup partial text from single cell- fuzzy lookup
  • Automatic Sorting in Excel
  • Handling Error Messages- Remove the impact of #NA, #DIV/0! and more
Merge databases together
Categorise data WITHOUT using complex Nested If’s.


(Easily) reconcile lists. What items are missing, what is matching and what appears more than it should?


Lookup partial matches like a surname in a list of full names


Remove errors from Formulas


  • Sum, count or average if certain cells match
  • Sum, count or average cells e.g. bigger than
  • Sum, count or average with many conditions
  • Sum, count or average with partial matches
Add up all similar items even if they are not in order.

Date functions and issues

  • How Excel Handles Dates
  • Safest way to capture a date in Excel
  • Pull the day, month or year out of the date
  • Create a VALID Excel date with the day, month and year
  • Calculate the proper end of month
  • Determine what day of the week a date is
  • When is the next workday
  • How many working days between dates
  • What week number is a date
  • Make Excel recognise a date


Fix messy system dates


Sort out problemsome Excel dates

Charting In Excel

  • Excel Charting introduction
  • Create a chart
  • Align chart to the grid lines
  • Chart doesn’t look right? First thing to try
  • Customise the chart title, area, legend and more
  • Vertical Axis- force the scale, reverse the order, labels and more
  • Horizontal Axis- dates vs text, reverse order, show all labels
  • Series- overlapping, big and small series, gaps
  • Add more series to the chart- 3 ways
  • Show big and small numbers on the same chart (and be able to see them)
  • Show months, quarters AND years on the chart axis
  • Bar Charts
  • Pie Charts
  • Area Charts
  • Radar Charts (to compare projects?)
  • Show mini trend charts for large reports
  • Copy the format of one chart to another chart
  • Remove Zeros from chart labels
  • Combine a column with a line chart (or other combinations)
  • Stop charts stretching when the column width changes
  • Customise the series marker to your own image
  • Add linked commentary directly to the chart
  • Add commentary to the axis
  • Add commentary to labels and call outs
  • Add commentary to labels for older versions of Excel
  • Hiding a series with NA()
  • Create a waterfall chart (pre Excel 2016)
  • Create a waterfall chart (Excel 2016 and higher)
  • Understand and use XY charts e.g. Risk Register
  • Change the default colour scheme in charts
  • Create a chart template for re-use
  • Add a trendline to a chart
  • Benefit of using a table for chart data
  • Link Excel chart to PowerPoint or Word
Insert mini charts to show the trend of data
Show big and small numbers on the same chart


Fix date issues on charts


Add more information directly to your chart


Differentiate between the main key chart information and the ‘Other’ information
Learn how to ‘Format Paint’ a chart. Find the chart you like and simply absorb its format


Build a chart series selector. The user can switch on and off any series and the chart will adapt. Great for dashboards


Get fancy with your charts. Trick Excel into creating some of those fancy charts you have seen (it is much easier than you think)


Add shading to a chart (WITHOUT manually colouring it in) to show where the good and bad areas are


Need to explain what happened. Learn how to create a waterfall chart both in the new version of Excel (which has waterfall charts) and the older versions (where you have to trick Excel)


Make a line chart change colour at a significant point e.g. actuals in blue and budget in red.

Feedback & Who Should Attend

Ideal option for companies:

  • wanting to maintain social distancing during lockdown phases but continue to train their staff.
  • with time or budget constraints.
  • with Excel users spread over wide geographic regions. 
  • with an international presence or with differing time zones.
  • in countries where it is difficult to get qualified trainers to visit.
  • that would rather not fly to attend the course.

Pre Requisite (s)


Due to the dispersed nature of the training, we require that the following is addressed prior to running the course:

  • Free Skills Assessment completed to ensure delegates are on the correct course.
  • All delegates require a computer with access to:
      • the online platform used (Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc)
      • Fast and reliable internet access (for live presenting) or
      • whitelisting of our video clips (for watching the pre recorded video clips)
      • Mobile phone or landline for communication in the case of internet failure for whatever reason.


What an experience! Much easier to attend the online excel course as you learn just as much as you would when attending a class. Very impressed with the course – I would definitely recommend Audit Excel. Thank you for the journey!


I did the Excel beginners course and I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute. The videos that Adrian does is very clear and the training pages is very helpful, I would recommend Audit Excel to everyone considering online training


Course was easy to follow & understand – Informative & practical – The course has increased my efficiency (I had no idea excel could do so much!) – Short lessons make it easy to chip away at – even if you only have 15 minutes to spare at a time! – Ability to log in & revise is hugely beneficial I would gladly recommend this course to anyone utilising excel on a daily basis.


The content covered was very good – really like the fact that there is access to videos and the content page which has links to each worksheet is quite helpful and easy to maneuver.


From the Democratic Republic of Congo, did the online courses and visited SA for the face to face training sessions and had chance also to attend some of the public courses and the financial modelling course. Overall the training was very informative, learned great/new techniques and understand more about excel. Definitely can recommend to all!!


Intermediate Excel course is excellent! Very thorough, easy to follow and informative. Lots of great tips to help you work more efficiently. Highly recommended for intermediate and advanced Excel users.