Spreadsheets, Politics, and Life

As a website visitor to Your Excel Coach you might not agree with reading about spreadsheets and politics.  But I’m an independent voter from Chicago, IL USA and you will find blog posts about spreadsheets and politics on my blog from time to time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Money, and Spreadsheets

But it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who once wrote:

Money which represents the prose of life and which is hardly spoken of in parlors without an apology is, in its effects and laws as beautiful as roses.

If Emerson lived today, perhaps he would have said spreadsheets are as beautiful as roses.

Excel Spreadsheets Rule our Lives

Honestly, Excel spreadsheets rule and affect our lives.

Excel Spreadsheets for Churches and Non-Profits

Years ago at an old dining room table on North Beacon Street in Chicago, my old friend Paul asked me to analyze the cash flow for his tiny non-profit that was dying.  His non-profit took care of orphans (wards of the state) in Chicago, IL.

I know I didn’t have a computer 30 years ago or a spreadsheet but I knew financial analysis and scribbled together a financial cash flow statement.

I told Paul all his agency needed were more teenage kids in the program and the State of Illinois would pay for their care.  His agency just had to believe in itself.

Thirty years later, that spreadsheet analysis proved correct.  Paul passed away but his little agency now has a staff of over 30 people and a multi-million budget in Chicago, IL USA.

Spreadsheets are the stuff of life for non-profits.

Excel Spreadsheets for Towns, States, and Counties

In any language, in any country, somebody is building a spreadsheet for revenues and expenses for the next year.  Farmers in Beason, Illinois, attend meetings deciding how to spend money in their area.  Elected government officials in India do the same thing.

Spreadsheets are as Beautiful as Roses

To paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson:  Spreadsheets are as beautiful as roses.

From time to time you will find Excel spreadsheet stories on this blog.  But I think my spreadsheet stories are educational.

  1. Spreadsheet mistakes – Some of us believe that at least 50% of all Excel spreadsheets are inaccurate.  And when those spreadsheet mistakes are published on the Internet, they make great lessons on how to avoid mistakes for Excel beginners, intermediates, and experts alike.
  2. Corporate, non-profit, scientific spreadsheets – People do publish way too many Excel spreadsheets on the Internet.  When they do, their spreadsheet is open to comment.  From time to time I may comment on the strengths and weaknesses of published spreadsheets on the Internet.
  3. Government Excel spreadsheets – This is the area you might not like.  I will from time to time comment on any government’s use of spreadsheets (or the lack of disclosure).  I am from the United States but I also take an interest in all government spreadsheets from throughout the world.  I belong to no political party and am an Independent from Chicago, IL USA.

Ultimately, you have a personal budget.  My church, your non-profit in Singapore, your 50 person company in Germany, and every government has a budget.

My hope is that Your Excel Coach will give you the knowledge to speak up whenever and wherever spreadsheets are discussed.  Because…

Spreadsheets are as beautiful as roses.

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