Cash Flow Budget

The Cash Flow Budget exercise is designed to simultaneously impart Excel skills and reinforce Introductory Managerial Accounting concepts. Students pay $9.95 for the exercise are guided through the following techniques by way of numbered steps onscreen and video demonstrations:

    • The students are taught 48 different Excel concepts.
      • Using the Go To command to navigate to specific locations
      • Using the Ctrl-Home keyboard shortcut to return to cell A1
      • Using the FIND function to locate information within a worksheet cell
      • Using the LEFT function to extract characters from the left side of a cell
      • Applying number formats, including Currency, Pecent, Comma, and Decrease Decimal
      • Using the TRIM function to remove extraneous spaces from text
      • Using the SUBSTITUTE function to remove or replace text in a cell
      • Using the CONCATENATE function to combine pieces of text together
      • Using the RIGHT function to extract characters from the right side of a cell
      • Using the UPPER function to convert text to all upper-case
      • Using the LOWER function to convert text to all lower-case
      • Assigning range names to cells to document inputs
      • Exploring Excel’s Name Manager
      • Using the MID function to extract text from the middle of a cell
      • Employing the Table feature to improve spreadsheet integrity
      • Freezing panes to keep key columns and rows always visible
      • Generating a series of all 12 months with Excel’s Fill Handle
      • Applying absolute and relative references within formulas
      • Understanding why a formula may return #VALUE!
      • Saving time with Excel’s AutoSum feature
      • Understanding the order of operations in Excel
      • Understanding why a formula may return ######### in a cell
      • Looking up data in a spreadsheet with the SUMIF function
      • Multiple techniques for saving one’s work in Excel
      • Copying formulas from one part of a spreadsheet and pasting elsewhere
      • Utilizing the Find and Replace feature
      • Changing page orientation from portrait to landscape for printing
      • Using Page Break Preview and returning to Normal View
      • Managing page breaks in a worksheet
      • Using VLOOKUP to look up information in a spreadsheet
      • Using the Ctrl key to select non-contiguous cells
      • Applying cell borders, bolding, and underlining
      • Centering text within a worksheet cell
      • Indenting text within a worksheet cell
      • Changing font size within a worksheet cell
      • Creating hyperlinks as navigation aides within workbooks
      • Setting the print area for a worksheet
      • Inserting an image into a workbook to use as a watermark on printouts
      • Outlining a worksheet with the Group feature to manage information overload
      • Changing margins for a printout
      • Inserting rows into a worksheet
      • Verifying the integrity of SUM functions


    Students carry out 9 different tasks in the spreadsheet on their own.
    • Transcribing budget assumptions from narrative form into worksheet cells.
    • Crafting beginning and ending inventory formulas based on projected monthly sales in units.
    • Compute the number of inventory units to be purchased each month.
    • Calculating budgeted sales in dollars, along with sales commissions in dollars.
    • Adding a new expense to a budget
    • Developing an operating budget based upon supporting schedules developed by the student.
    • Creating a cash-basis budget based upon supporting schedules developed by the student.
    • Adding totals to the operating budget and cash-basis budgets.
    • Utilizing the SUM function in Excel to total columns.

Each student is assigned a unique 4-digit number known as their Spreadsheet ID for use during the exercise. This ID number is incorporated several times into the exercise and helps ensure that each student turns in their own work.

The students submit their work to us and we handle all of the grading. We give you three scores:

  • Completion: This score indicates if the student attempted a given step.
  • Accuracy: This score indicates carried out the step accurately.
  • Combined: The average of the two Completion and Accuracy scores.

Within one week of an assignment’s due date we provide instructors with a spreadsheet showing all student results. Partial credit in our scoring is given if a student at least attempts a step. Instructors determine final credit for each student, and whether late submissions are allowed. Students receive written feedback confirming which steps were completed successfully, as well as providing guidance on steps that they did not attempt or did not complete correctly.

Some instructors give more weight to the Completion score than the Accuracy score, while other instructors use the combined average when determining credit. We’re happy to provide any additional information that can help you as an instructor.

Please direct questions to David Ringstrom ( or 404.784.0275.