Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Date Functions
Decision Making: Using the IF Function to Explore Financial Options
Decision making is the process of choosing between possible courses of action. No
decisions should be made until after the analysis of all potential alternatives is complete.
With financial decisions, you will often explore the impact of alternative scenarios on a
projected outcome. Budget planning should not be limited to a single budget projection,
but instead include several possible budgets. Your decision is then based on the evaluation
of these different budgets. The budget you choose should prepare you to deal with
shortages in future revenue or ways to take advantage of better-than-expected revenue.
Using Excel to manage your finances allows you to quickly explore these multiple
scenarios. You can quickly examine how changing one or more values will affect such
outcomes as income, expenses, and cash flow. You can use logical functions such as the IF
function to help you explore these what-if scenarios because you can set the outcome of
one value only if certain conditions are met. Different scenarios can be coded with names
such as Option1, Option2, and Option 3. By using these scenario names as input values to
an IF function, you can set up the worksheet to display the results specific to each scenario.
In a well-designed workbook, you can quickly switch between scenarios simply by
changing a few values in the worksheet.
By applying Excel’s logical functions, you can more easily plan for different outcomes,
and avoid the problems associated with unexpected occurences.
Working with Date Functions
To be effective, budgets need to be monitored and updated as conditions change. In
the upcoming year, Diane plans to use this workbook to enter her and Glenn’s actual
salaries, expenses, and savings. This will enable Diane to track how well her projected
values match the actual values. Because Diane will be updating the workbook
throughout the year, she wants the worksheet to always display the current date so she can tell
how far she is into her budget projections. You can accomplish this using a date
function. Seven date functions supported by Excel are described in Figure 3-34. You can use
these functions to help with scheduling or to determine on what days of the week certain
dates occur.
Figure 3-34
Date and time functions
Function
Description
DATE( year , month , day )
Creates a date value for the date represented by the year , month ,
and day arguments
DAY( date )
Extracts the day of the month from the date value
MONTH( date )
Extracts the month number from the date value where 1=January,
2=February, and so forth
YEAR( date )
Extracts the year number from the date value
WEEKDAY( date , [ return_type ])
Calculates the day of the week from the date value, where
1=Sunday, 2=Monday, and so forth; to choose a different
numbering scheme, set the optional return_type value to “1”
(1=Sunday, 2=Monday, ...), “2” (1=Monday, 2=Tuesday, ...), or “3”
(0=Monday, 1=Tuesday, ...)
NOW( )
Displays the current date and time
TODAY( )
Displays the current date

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