Microsoft Excel Formatting Keyboard Shortcuts for Accountants

As a new or even experienced accountant, one thing never seems to change – you always feel as if you need to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time. 

The time budget is set and it is up to you to find ways to speed up your processes and hit your goal.  But how can you do that effectively unless you have solid strategies to make it happen?

Undoubtedly there are many important techniques out there to make this happen but knowledge of Microsoft Excel keyboard shortcuts in accounting is by far one of the most effective, and here is why: take one day and count how much time you spend doing repetitive tasks – sure, it may not seem like you are doing the same thing over and over again, as each task you do conceptually is different.  However, the mechanics of how you arrive at the end goal shares a similar thread in each and every task.  Think about how much time it takes to open up the cell formatting boxes and set the formatting properly to how you like it?  What if you could accomplish this in less than one second?  Here are some great, little known keyboard shortcuts – we will skip the basics and get straight into the good ones:

Format Painter Shortcut:

  1. Copy the cell’s format you want to duplicate with CTRL + C
  2. Select the cell you want to format and press ALT + E, S, T, Enter

Apply Percentage Format to Cell:

  1. Select the cell you wish to apply % to and press CTRL + SHIFT + %

Apply Currency with Two Decimals and Parentheses for Negative:

  1. Select the cell you wish to apply $ to and press CTRL + SHIFT + $

Apply Date Format:

  1. Select the cell you wish to apply $ to and press CTRL + SHIFT + #

Apply Time Format:

  1. Select the cell you wish to apply time to and press CTRL + SHIFT + @

Apply an Outline around Selected Cells:

  1. Select the cells you wish to apply outline to to and press CTRL + SHIFT + &

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