Microsoft Office Skills

Good evening,
I am looking into job postings and lots of them require some sort of Microsoft Office skills (usually Excell).
Do you thing spending some time to gain skills on these programs would enhance my employability?

no, it wouldn’t. Completely pointless.

One of the most overlooked skills in finance is the ability to parse and analyze data properly in Excel. There are a scary number of spreadsheet errors that lead to millions in losses (or billions, like the London Whale). Check out Leila Gharani on Udemy or the FMVA from the CFI.

Completely worth doing.

Thanks for the recommendation! I am looking at this course right now. Is CFI recognised in Europe? I haven’t seen any job openings requiring FMVA.

tasos Before you go any further, I think you would be well-advised to learn the correct spelling of Microsoft’s spreadsheet product.

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I would second @StrategyGuy‘s comment.

Additionally, what kind of job and career are you looking to explore? Having a strong understanding of Excel, PowerPoint, and Word is a minimum for roles that deal with numbers and presentations - especially in the entry and mid-career levels.
These days having skills in data & analytics and business intelligence tools are also becoming soft requirements, depending on what kind of jobs you are looking at.

Once again, sir, you’re off the mark. There is no such designation as ‘CFI’. ‘CFI’ is the abbreviation of the ‘Corporate Finance Institute’. Their designation, which I’ve never heard of, is the ‘Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst’ (FM&VA). Before you invest any time and/or money in CFI–which, I for one, would NOT do–I recommend that you find out how the ‘credential’ that CFI is offering differs from the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

The latter is the gold standard in financial analysis, so my strong recommendation is that you pursue the CFA. You can always mess around with the ‘FM&VA’ later, if you think you need to; I doubt you will reach such a conclusion. Once you have ‘CFA’ after your name, you don’t need anything else related to financial analysis.

But, if you’re going to pursue anything after ‘CFA,’ I recommend that you look into what’s required to become a ‘CA’ (Chartered Accountant). I’m a long-time Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the U.S. However, I’ve known quite a few CAs. I’ve asked a number of them about the CA exams, the body of knowledge that the CA covers, etc. Based on what I saw in their knowledge, skills, and ability to communicate, I have concluded that the CA regimen appears to be more demanding and more rigorous than the CPA tests.

I hasten to add that that’s not a put-down of CPAs or the process. Not at all. I’m proud to be a CPA. But the CA is, in my view, a stronger designation. Of course, my opinion and USD$3 will get me a latte at Starbucks. :slight_smile: Still, I hope these comments are constructive and helpful. I’m happy to respond to any questions you might have about the CFA designation, of course.

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First things first my apologies about misspelling Excel.

I am aware of the CFA designation and I agree with you that it is the gold standard in Financial Analysis. However, some argue that you should get an entry-level position first and then pursue the CFA alongside your job.

@StrategyGuy I guess you suggest starting the CFA right away?

PS: Thanks for providing info about CPA and CA. I will keep these in mind.

I’m sorry to be slow in responding.

I would NOT start studying for the CFA exam “right away.”

I would get an entry-level job first and spend at least the first couple of years learning all I can about how to do my job faster and better. I would wait until I had at least three years of full-time professional-level work experience before I enrolled in the CFA program. That would give me the time that I will need to put what I learn as I study for the three levels of the CFA in the perspective that is appropriate to my job and also to my longer-term aspirations.

I hope these comments are constructive and helpful.

Warren Miller, CPA, CFA
Lexington, Virginia

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@StrategyGuy I will follow your advice as it sounds like a good plan to me. Thanks for putting the time to answer my questions on this matter!