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I am an entrepreneur with work experience in Big Four Audit, Investment Banking and Fixed Income Trading. Being a CA, and having worked in coveted niche spaces, I am often asked by peers and juniors, how to create more career and business opportunities with their existing qualifications and experience. One advice I generally offer is get more closer to technology. Be tech savvy and learn skill sets you did not get the opportunity while studying for CA or MBA. To address this further, I have listed down some of the technologies, you must create explore to create a certain level of expertise in.

WordPress

I interact with 1000s of students and professionals every month, across cities and I observe that a good number of them have business ideas. However, they get stuck at the idea of getting a website created for their ideas/businesses. A good functional website should have:

- ready-to-use attractive templates

- customization as per Google Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

- visitor webform (e.g. Name, Email, Product interested in etc.), whose data fields exports the user data directly in a centralized Excel file

- image Sliders

- drop-down sub-menus

- faster load time

- ready-to-use plugins for

And above all, all these features should not carry a heavy price-tag and should not involve dependency on web developer for regular updating. You can achieve this feat withWordpress, which is a ready-to-use plugin, and can be integrated with your website in 10 mins.

The cost involved is only that of domain and hosting (approx. Rs. 3,000), which a web developer anyways charge on top of their web development services (minimum Rs. 15,000+ for the above listed features).

My business website uses exactly that and I have used all my experience to take you through the process, right from booking your domain name / hosting to installing and configuring WordPress to build a fully functional website.

Advanced Excel

A lot has been discussed and talked about Excel in last 2-3 yrs. And in this backdrop, the term “Advanced Excel” has been liberally used. I’ll share with you what really is “Advanced Excel” (excluding VBA).

- Users talk about VLookup extensively. However, this formula in its standalone form is only a single-dimensional or 1D Lookup formula (one-variable). If you intend to make complex MIS Reports & Financial Models, what you should also know is 2D Lookup, 3D Lookup and reverse-Lookup.

- Pivot Table is an excellent tool in Excel to make quick summarized reports. Now imagine, if you have to make reconciliation report for all your 600+ suppliers in a pre-defined format from the raw data of Purchase, how much time would you spend? With a hidden trick inside Pivot Table, it will take 90 – 120 seconds approximately – it will create 600+ different worksheets with supplier names and customized reports. THAT, my friend is Advanced Excel.

- Everyone uses basic charts – Pie, Column, Line. However, if you want to woo your audience, you will want to use Thermometer Charts, 2-axis Charts.

There are many more formulas, techniques and tricks which really alleviate you to “Ninja” level and something that the industry covets.

Please visit this link and watch some of the demo videos to see, what I am referring to:

/coaching/Excel.asp

Advanced PowerPoint

Time-saving and Aesthetics – two very important elements while creating an attractive PowerPoint presentation. Finance Professionals use PowerPoint to demonstrate the financial performance of the company/branch. Investment Banking Analysts use it create investment proposals and pitch books for their potential clients. Advanced PowerPoint refers to the techniques, which cannot easily be self-learnt and yet, is indispensable for ambitious Professionals.

Examples:

- Controlling chart elements using Trigger buttons

- Organizing 5-8 pictures in a Smart Art form in 5 seconds

- Drawing Symmetrical shapes and aligning them on the slides with mathematical accuracy without using visual judgment

- Blending company logos (with white base) with slide background color

- Objects editing shortcuts

- Staggered Animation for agenda tracker

Forget the level of PowerPoint you may have used at the graduate or post-graduate level. Watch the PowerPoint presentations uploaded on the “Investor Relations” section of the listed companies, to get a feel of the professional look required.

And for this very need, we have compiled a 1.5 hrs. program at:

/coaching/235-ms-project.asp 

VBA (Macros)

Almost every CA and MBA, working with Excel has spent his productive time copy-pasting data from once source to another Excel file, repeatedly. Such mundane repetitive tasks, which don’t add to long term growth and at the same time, kills your enthusiasm and productive time are meant to be automated using  Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), often referred as Excel Macros.

Additionally, for time critical tasks, such as updating Mutual Funds NAVs based on current prices of underlying stocks, cannot be humanly done in the limited time. More such cases include exporting 100s of worksheets to different individual Excel workbooks, collating data from different worksheets / workbooks in to one, creating index of hyperlinks from the sheet names of a workbook.

Working CAs and MBAs looking to create an edge in their Resume to progress to next level in their career, should consider learning this life-long important skill. And considering that they may not have studied programming language before, CaClubIndia has released a structured learning program to learn to use Excel VBA practically.

Refer: 

/coaching/236-ms-excel.asp

Microsoft Project

Campus recruitment is abuzz with visiting companies from Technology, Power, Energy and Infrastructure space. These companies are generally involved in projects with relatively higher gestation period, numerous time milestones, resources (human, machines etc.) with different availability duration. Successful implementation of such projects require careful planning and continuous monitoring. Example –building a software for a client, constructing a power or cement plant, developing a property etc.

Microsoft Project is a software, which is specifically made to plan and track the progress of such projects and the sub-tasks. Easy user interface, fast learnability and flexibility to work with variables (resources, time, inter-dependencies) makes it a super important software to learn, especially professionals working in the specified industries.

Click here to know more about the software and whether it can benefit you in your professional work:

/coaching/235-ms-project.asp 


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Category Students, Other Articles by - CA Rishabh Pugalia (ExcelNext) 



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