Tools for my fellow academics

As I started my first academic job, it seemed I had more things to organize and keep track of than ever before. Since then I have developed a suite of tools that have helped and allowed me to focus on research.

Stack of papers

I hope you find something on this list to help you. I have provided my favorite reusable notebook to citation/PDF manager, as well as editing service.

Check out Amy’s favorite research tools at:

Help your data be understood

Communication is a vital component of data analysis. You can have the best analysis with visualization, but if no one understands it — who cares?

Screen with line chart
Photo by from Pexels

This Harvard Business Review article give three key points to help your audience understand your data.

  1. Connect data to a relatable size
  2. Connect data to a relatable time
  3. Connect data to relatable things

To read more about how to make your data be understood, go to:

With technology, you can commit a crime anywhere — even space

An astronaut on the International Space Station, allegedly accessed her estranged spouse’s bank account without permission. If proven, this would be identity theft.

This shows the far-reaching possibility of cybercrime.

To read more, go to:

Match/Index – Best functions ever!

OK — there is a lot of competitions for the best Excel functions. However, Match and Index have to be near the top of any accountant’s list.

There are times that a VLOOKUP, just won’t cut it. Remember, a VLOOKUP requires the lookup value is in the first column of the table array. Sometimes, that just isn’t possible. There are some cases in which you are rearrange the data, but not always. That is where a combination of MATCH and INDEX saves the day!

In the following example, you cannot use a VLOOKUP to lookup the Item Number, using the Vendor Part Number. The Venter Part Number is not in the first column.

Excel Inventory Table

The MATCH function searches for a specified item in a range of cells, and then returns the relative position of that item in the range. The INDEX function returns a value, specified by its relative position in a range, from within a range of cells. In other words, MATCH is used to find an item and INDEX is used to return the value of the item.

The MATCH function has the following syntax:

MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type])

The INDEX function has the following syntax:

INDEX(array, row_number, column_number) /html

Using the table above, the following example shows a comparison of the VLOOKUP and the MATCH/INDEX functions.

Match/Index formulas

To see a short video for further explanation, go to:

Why Accounting certification is important!

Jeff Thomson, CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants, discusses why certification is essential for accountants — even those with a MBA.

The article provides an excellent overview of the different certifications available to accountants.

Calculator, pen and papers

AI part of Microsoft 365

Microsoft is infusing AI into many aspects of Microsoft 365 for Office users. Check out the following video for some of the new user friendly options.

Unified drone laws – European Union

Drones are now a part of an auditor’s toolbox by helping with inventory and other asset verification.

Drone over orchard
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

After several incidences, including a drone shutting down Gatwick airport, the EU has drafted rules regarding the use of drones. This 70 page document is currently under feedback and will take effect in a year.

To Read more, go to:

Forensic Auditing with Excel

The role of a forensic auditor may be to identify suspicious transactions which may be fraudulent. Excel can be a useful tool to review a smaller dataset.

This Excel Zoom article shows users how to perform 5 simple forensic tests, including:

  • Identify Duplicate Transactions
  • Identify Rounded Transactions
  • Find above average payments
  • Identify a gap in transactions
  • Compare highest to 2nd highest transaction

To see the article, go to: