Bill Bekenn – “Spreadsheet Engineer”

 “For every complex problem there’s a simple solution, AND IT’S WRONG.”:


An ancient but relevant quotation; Excel is NOT a “Simple Solution”, it is the most complex application in Office. Excel provides a mathematical modelling engine (or programming language), so don’t feel “Oh, it’s only part of Office, I should be able to do that”. Many people struggle with Excel so don’t feel embarrassed to ask.

What have a ladder and some cogs got to do with Excel? The ladder represents improving your Excel skills, using a spanner rather than a hammer. The cogs represent the elegant (but not “Simple”) engineering that spreadsheets need. The pump mechanism (on Fuerteventura, Canary Islands) runs silently but without pushing the shafts sideways.

Excel is not at all elegant: It is a raw grid of cells that needs to be engineered to provide elegant solutions. The simplest solution, numbers in cells with the total added up on a calculator and entered at the bottom, is just “WRONG” !

Spreadsheet Rescue and Enhancement:

If you have a spreadsheet that has been around for a while and/or needs enhancing or extending, Bill is a specialist in the rescue and/or completion of existing spreadsheets. Rescue concentrates on eliminating repeated time-consuming tasks. Enhancement homes in on improving functionality and reducing the risk of spreadsheet damage.

A simple way to improve your spreadsheets:
Did you know that if you leave the bottom row of any area (block) of data or formulas blank, then including the blank row in the SUM() will allow more rows to be added and automatically included in the SUM().  Colour it grey and make it narrow so it won’t get used.
……Read more!

Recent Work (international):

Thanks to LinkedIn Bill has been working for a US based mortgage broker/bank. The automation of daily manual tasks for the spreadsheets involved has saved many hours per day. Functional specifications were produced first to help define and refine the requirements.

Recent Work UK (East):

Bill has rescued a marketing statistics workbook that was taking hours per month to extend. It now is sustainable with data automatically moved to create new blank months and historic data consolidated and then deleted.

Bill is creating a business planning workbook tracking Planned, Re-Forecast and Actuals tailored to the specific requirements of the client.

Bill has taken a quotation and job tracking skeleton workbook that was re-built for each quotation and turned it into a full template that works for any size of job and produces a quotation and monthly invoices.