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Excel

Preparing Journal Entries


with Pivot Tables | BY BILL JELEN

While pivot tables provide an efficient way to sum- earlier, follow these steps:
1. Double-click the Account head-
marize data, their final format is often less than useful. ing in cell D4.
2. Change the Subtotals setting
The blank cells used in the outline format make for easy
from Automatic to None.
reading by a human, but they make the data unsuitable 3. Click OK to dismiss the Pivot
Table Field dialog.
for importing to other computer systems. This month’s
4. Repeat Steps 2-4 for the CC-Desc
article will examine the steps required to make pivot heading in C4, the Cost Center
heading in B4, and the Company
table output useful for further analysis. heading in A4.
5. Right-click anywhere inside the
Consider a pivot table used to fields in the row area, which leads to pivot table, and choose Table
summarize travel expenses. The orig- unnecessary totals for Company, Options.
inal data set contained 3,400 rows of Cost Center, CC-Desc, and Account. 6. Uncheck the setting for Grand
travel expenses by date, company, As can be seen in Figure 1, rows 6, 8, Total for Columns.
cost center, and account. In an effort 10, 12, 14, 15, and 16 are all extrane-
to build this month’s journal entries, ous and need to be deleted. Also, the In Excel 2007, follow these steps:
the pivot table shown in Figure 1 is pivot table includes a final Grand 1. On PivotTable Tools, Design tab,
created. The row area of the pivot Total, which isn’t needed. The num- open the Report Layout drop-
table contains Company, Account, ber format for the data in column F down. Choose Show in Tabular
Account Description, Cost Center, is general instead of fixed to two dec- Form.
and Cost Center Description (CC- imal places. And perhaps worst of all, 2. On the same tab, choose Subto-
Desc), while Amount appears in the Excel left blanks in columns A, B, and tals, Do Not Show Subtotals.
data area. C. You’ll need to copy values into 3. On the same tab, choose Grand
The initial pivot table contains 222 these blank cells to create the final Totals, Off for Rows and
rows of summary data. Collapsing report. Luckily, there’s an easy way to Columns.
3,400 rows of details into 222 rows of do this. After these steps, your 222-row
summary information in nine clicks pivot table will be reduced to 90
is an impressive feat, but it still leaves Removing Extra Totals rows of actual data. As shown in
several problems in the presentation More than half the rows in the Figure 2, however, the annoying
of the report. First, Excel automati- report are extraneous total rows. To blank cells where Excel chooses not
cally adds subtotal rows for all of the remove these rows in Excel 2003 or to repeat data are still there.
52 S T R AT E G I C F I N A N C E I August 2008
Figure 1 Figure 2

Changing the Number Format of rows above the pivot table are 2. Press Ctrl+G to display the Go To
the Amount Field considered part of the table. Your dialog.
At this point, you could simply select selection must include these 3. In the lower left corner of the
the cells in column F and use For- rows, or Step 3 will fail. dialog, choose the Special button.
mat Cells to apply a numeric format 2. Click the Copy icon (or press 4. In the Paste Special dialog,
with two decimal places. But if you Ctrl+C) to copy the pivot table to choose Blanks, as shown in
would prefer a number format that the clipboard. Figure 3. Click OK.
will persist beyond future changes to 3. Open the Paste dropdown and 5. Type the equals sign (=), then the
the pivot table, try these steps: choose Paste Values. This will up arrow. Press Ctrl+Enter. Like
1. Select the first cell in column F convert the pivot table to static magic, the entire pivot table will
containing an amount. values. fill with the value immediately
2. Choose the Field Settings button. The final part of the trick involves above.
In Excel 2003, this is the second- selecting only the blank cells from 6. Reselect the range from Step 1.
to-last icon on the PivotTable the pivot table. Follow these steps: 7. Use Ctrl+C to copy. From the
toolbar. In Excel 2007, it’s found 1. Using the table Figure 2 as an Paste dropdown, select Values to
near the left side of the Options example, you would select cells convert the formulas from Step 5
ribbon tab. A6:C94. into values.
3. Click the Number button in Excel Step 5 requires only three keystrokes
2003 or the Number Format but- Figure 3 and appears to do all the work. The act
ton in Excel 2007. of typing equals and the up arrow sets
4. Set the format to Number, with up a formula that points to the cell
two decimal places. directly above the active cell. Pressing
Ctrl+Enter will enter a similar formula
Filling in the Blank Cells in all of the cells of the selection.
There’s a cool trick for filling in the Thanks to Step 4, the selection con-
blank cells, but you’ll have to convert tains only the blank cells. ■
the pivot table to static values before
you can use it. To convert the table Bill Jelen is the host of MrExcel.com.
to values: To bring his Power Excel seminar to
1. Select from A1 through the end your next chapter PD day, visit
of the pivot table. Note that www.MrExcel.com/speaking.html.
although your pivot table appears Send questions for future articles to
to start in row 3, the two blank IMA@MrExcel.com.
August 2008 I S T R AT E G I C F I N A N C E 53