Ed Talks: Excel Power Query

By: Ed Jaworski

In this edition of Ed Talks, we will explore the Power of Excel Power Query.  Let’s face it:  us accountants are number geeks…we love numbers!  Power Query is a data analysis tool built into MS 365 versions of Excel and other data analysis tools (like Power BI).  Technically, Power Query simplifies data acquisition and transformation. It’s like having a supercharged data wrangling assistant right there in Excel or Power BI. With Power Query, we can effortlessly transform, clean, and reshape data from various sources, unleashing the full potential of our number-crunching skills. Whether it’s merging multiple datasets, filtering rows, or pivoting columns, Power Query streamlines the process and lets us focus on what we love most: diving deep into the numbers to uncover insights and drive informed decisions. Plus, its intuitive interface makes it accessible even for those who might not consider themselves Excel wizards. It’s definitely a game-changer for data analysis aficionados like us! 

What do you mean by “data acquisition”?  Power Query makes it easy to retrieve data from multiple sources, such as a range or table in your current spreadsheet, another Excel spreadsheet, a CSV file, all the files in a folder, etc.  No matter where the data source is, once it has been pulled into your query you are working with a consistent user interface.  

Start by clicking the Data tab in Excel:

You can see some of the versatile, built in data sources from the “Get Data” drop down menu:

What do you mean by “data transformation”?  If you want to use the Excel tools to analyze data, the data needs to be arranged in a contiguous range or table (no blank rows or columns).  Power Query is an excellent tool to arrange an Excel file in report format to a data table.  Transformation tools are also used to “shape” the data into a usable format for further analysis.

Once the data is loaded, you are presented with the transformation tools:

Common transformations:

  1. Remove unneeded rows or columns
  2. Filter or sort data
  3. Control the data type (text, number, date, etc.) for each column
  4. Merge or Append data from multiple sources.  The merge function is easier to work with and more powerful than the familiar VLookup function.
  5. Pivot or Unpivot data groups
  6. Add new columns depending on conditions or to apply a formula (existing data plus 10%, for example).
  7. Split text data based on a delimiter, such as separating a parent item and a sub-item into two existing columns based on the colon delimiter.
  8. Aggregate (group) data
  9. Combine multiple files that have the same data structure in the same folder into one data set.  Great for trend analysis, such as seeing how the net customer balance changes over time

 

Tip:  If the data analysis you are doing is a one-time operation, use the Get Data from a Range option and keep everything in one workbook.  If you expect to repeat the same steps in future months, use the Get Data from a File (Excel or CSV).  With this approach, you only need to recreate/update the source file and then hit Refresh in your Power Query file to repeat the acquisition and transformation steps with new data.

 

Some of the things you can do.  Some of the tasks that Power Query can be used for:

  1. Prepare data obtained from website sales to be imported into QuickBooks Sales Receipts
  2. Apply a standard rate from a price list table to items from a sales report
  3. Transform data exported from a QuickBooks desktop file to prepare for a migration to QBO
  4. Shape data to a form that can be analyzed with standard Excel pivot tables


Turn a report like this:

Into a data table like this with just a few clicks:

Once the data has been transformed into a table, then creating a pivot table to analyze it is a snap.  Give it a try.  In no time at all you will see how Power Query radically simplifies the review and analysis of data!



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Kimberly Mitchell
Partner Development Manager

 

Kim is a Partner Development Manager with 10 years of experience working with Strategic Partners. As a 19-year veteran with Intuit and a history of driving growth and sales results within the QuickBooks echo system Kim, brings a wealth of knowledge to our team by assisting us with sales and marketing initiatives while helping us strive for the highest net promoter (clients satisfaction) scores. Kim is passionate about creating and nurturing new partnership opportunities through the relationships she has built over the past 25 years of sales experience.

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Noah

Noah Raney
Senior Account Payroll Manager

 

Noah is our dedicated Intuit Senior Account Payroll Manager who can help you find the right payroll solution for you and your business. He is well versed in all of the QuickBooks platforms being desktop/online/standalone and payroll has been his world since joining Intuit 13 years ago. Whether you are looking for ways to save on time, reduce inflated payroll costs or just get set up with the best discounts, he is here to help. Your success and satisfaction are of utmost importance!

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Sean

Sean McCaffery
Global Channel Sales Partnerships and Alliances Leader

 

Sean McCaffery has more than 15 years of experience leading channel sales and cloud solutions in the US and Internationally. Sean has held leadership positions with Avaya in Europe growing the channel business with resellers and distributors in key countries driving double-digit growth. He then joined Rackspace Technology and was instrumental in developing sales growth strategies in cloud adoption for customers and partners. Most recently, he ran channels at Dizzion responsible for dynamically growing and expanding the partner ecosystem through SaaS-based VDI solutions before joining Intuit. Currently, he runs the QuickBooks Solution Provider Program supporting the strong business that solution providers and ISV partners have established as well as finding new opportunities to drive emerging mid-market growth together!

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Gabor

Gabor Terebesi
Payments Account Manager

 

Gabor Terebesi is an Account Manager with the Payments Team of Intuit for over 15 years. He works in the partner division for Intuit payments to ensure Intuit partners along with any clients of theirs are in the most suitable and financially cost-effective solution accepting payments through eCommerce, QuickBooks, mobile payments, or any other options necessary for their business.

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Aimee

Aimee Garneau
Accounting Manager

 

Aimee joined Siegel in 2022 as the Accounting Manager overseeing the accounting and bookkeeping team. Aimee brings 18 years of experience with increased responsibility with privately and publicly held companies. Her experience lies with SaaS-based companies as well as in healthcare, consulting, education and nonprofits. Prior to joining Siegel, she held accounting leadership positions with Waban Projects, Elastic Path, Moltin, and Ned Davis Research. Aimee loves partnering with business owners to establish financial reporting and results that promote growth and expansion. When Aimee is not working, she loves spending time with her family and friends and exploring all New England has to offer. She is also an avid Red Sox fan and enjoys going to Fenway Park when she can.

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Jeffrey Siegel
CPA, CEO

Jeff has spent the last twenty years working providing solutions to emerging growth businesses. After graduating from Northeastern University, he spent five years working with two multinational CPA firms in an auditor capacity building a foundation for understanding how business work. He later went on to work in various controller and CFO roles before starting Siegel & Associates (previously Siegel Financial Group) in 2000. In those roles, he sold a company to ADP, raised funds for a major expansion of a large regional IVF clinic, and helped set up accounting and financial structures for dozens of companies. Since starting Siegel & Associates, Jeff has worked with hundreds of clients providing accounting system solutions. Those solutions include setting up QuickBooks in a single-user environment putting in QuickBooks Enterprise in a 30-user environment and integrating various add-ons including inventory, CRM, and e-commerce. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a QuickBooks Pro Advisor, a QuickBooks Advanced Pro Advisor, and an Intuit Solution Provider certified in Enterprise Solutions, Point of Sale & QuickBase. Jeff is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

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Lori Swartz
Client Support Manager

After graduating from Boston University, Lori spent eight years working in various managerial positions for two national companies. In those positions, Lori developed the skills necessary to manage multiple projects, clients, and resources. She later went on to work for a management company that handled over 25 real estate properties with multiple tenants. Lori joined Siegel Solutions in 2003 as a client services manager where she utilized her skills developed to manage multiple clients and multiple staff. She recently moved into the client support manager role where she is responsible for meeting with and onboarding new clients, managing and maintaining our technology stack along with QuickBooks setups, conversions, training, and consulting.

In her free time, Lori enjoys spending time with her family. She loves to travel, music, and theater.

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Kristin Hogan
Associate

Kristin has been with Siegel Solutions since 2008 when she started as a part-time Office Administrator. In addition to the administrative work for Siegel Solutions, Kristin also assists with bookkeeping for a handful of clients, and manages and processes payroll for about 25 clients. Kristin has been working in administrative roles for many years in various fields, including from an academic department in a local university, a start-up biomedical company, to recording and pricing inventory for a small gift shop. Kristin has also held customer service positions in food service, department stores, a local Boys & Girls Club, and a nursing home.

Outside of work, Kristin enjoys hanging out with family, friends, and the family’s black lab named Clyde. Kristin is a New England Revolution fan and goes to as many games as possible each season.

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Kathy Crouse
Senior Associate

Kathy graduated from Framingham State College. She then attended Bently College in their Accounting Certificate program, while also working as an Assistant Payroll Supervisor and Compensation Specialist in the corporate offices of a large contract employer. After many years of experience as a Full Charge Bookkeeper for a private investment firm, and various small CPA firms, Kathy joined Siegel Solutions in 2001. She enjoys learning about different types of businesses working for Siegel and the satisfaction of tailoring our role to best serve each client's needs.

During her free time, Kathy loves spending time with her family and her dog. She also enjoys DIY projects and exploring the beautiful New England coast.

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Janet

Janet Jodoin
Bookkeeping Associate

Janet joined Siegel Solutions in May of 2022 as an Associate Bookkeeper. In her younger years, while raising her family, she completed her degree in Business and she spent 20 years in the trades as a custom designer. Janet also has 16 years in corporate management. Her strong team support, training, and development led her to support and manage Human Resources. Janet's desire to change careers has led her to return back to bookkeeping at Siegel Solutions. In Janet's free time she enjoys spending time with her growing family. Her personal favorite is creative landscaping in her yard. She also enjoys working alongside her partner in construction and remodeling.

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Tricia

Tricia Gullage
Associate

Tricia Joined Siegel Solutions in 2022 as a bookkeeper and works with our clients to keep their day-to-day bookkeeping in order. Tricia has 12 years of bookkeeping experience working for a large construction company for 10 of those years handling all their accounting and Payroll. She met Jeff our CEO while working there and decided she wanted to join our team.

When not working Tricia enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She recently moved up to the lakes region in NH and loves going to concerts, enjoying her time boating and snowmobiling.

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Ed Jaworski
Professional Services Manager

With over 21 years of corporate experience at PeopleSoft Consulting, Sun Life Financial, and KPMG, Ed brings a big business approach to small business solutions. Prior to joining Siegel Solutions in 2022, Ed helped small businesses get the most out of QuickBooks for 21 years as a co-founder of SMB Partners and the founder of Solutions for Office Software.

Ed is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks® ProAdvisor, a Certified QuickBooks® Point of Sale ProAdvisor, a Certified QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, and a Certified SOS Inventory Consultant. Ed holds an MS in Computer Information Systems from Bentley University and a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University.

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Debby Mono
Administrative Assistant

Prior to joining Siegel Solutions in March 2023, Debby had been working in administrative and executive assistant roles for many years in various fields. Her extensive background in these positions has provided her with a range of skills and knowledge that are valuable in her new role as a Virtual Administrative Assistant. She graduated from Suffolk University with a Bachelor's Degree.

Outside of work, Debby can be found at football fields or dojos cheering for her sons. She also enjoys hikes with her dog, Sawyer, reading, sports, and live music. She and her husband also love to entertain family and friends.

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Letitia Cote
Senior Associate

Letitia has an accounting degree and has been working in the Accounting/Bookkeeping industry for over 25 years. Tish is also an Acumatica Business Consultant. Outside of work, Tish has 4 grown children and 5 grandchildren, she loves to ski, hike, bike, and be outdoors. Tish has worked with Jeff for over 10 years.

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Ashley Sumner
Senior Associate

Ashley joined Siegel Solutions in April of 2023 as a Senior Associate. She has worked in accounting for 10 years, working her way up from an associate to a Senior Accountant/Controller at her previous jobs. Ashley loves working with numbers, helping clients out specifically with budgets and financial forecasting. She has an extensive background in Construction Finances including AIA billings, WIP schedules, and financial forecasting public and private construction projections.

When Ashley is not working, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 kids, extended family, and friends and watching her Boston Sports Teams!

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Alison Pickwick
Associate

Alison joined Siegel in 2023 as an Associate. She enjoys producing a product that assists company owners in seeing the big picture of their company. Previously, she put this passion to use as an auditor and as a financial advisor traveling the country to various companies in many different industries. With her passion, she also brings years of experience and vast knowledge to Seigel. After hours Alison doesn't stop working. She gardens, has chickens, teaches her godkids carpentry and small engine mechanics, fishes, makes maple syrup, and even brews her own wines and beers. Whenever she can, she goes to her family camp in northern New Hampshire where you can find her working on a project from planting blueberries to building a shed.

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Andrea

Andrea Alencar
Associate

Andrea graduated from Bridgewater State with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting. Andrea joined Siegel Solutions in 2022. Andrea has gained accounting experience working in various industries including a CPA firm, legal, hospitality, and telecommunications. Before coming to Siegel Solutions Andrea previously worked as a bookkeeper and staff accountant.

Andrea has 4 kids which keep her busy. Outside of work, Andrea enjoys spending time with her kids, being outside, cooking, and going to softball/baseball games.

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Mike Derrico
IT

I started my career in 1983 when I designed and built a device to share a computer program, written by the president of a local bank and his son, running on an Apple Lisa computer. The device allowed the large and expensive Lisa's computer to be shared with bank employees. With this program, and with my device, we started a company to market this unique solution to banks. At this point, computer networks were just starting to be used in businesses. I transitioned my efforts to providing support for migrating banking terminal/mainframe functions to the emerging Personal Computer networking platform. For the next decade, I worked with, and beta tested, numerous technologies to integrate the banking functions from dumb terminals into the now smart desktop computers. After working with a few small consulting firms, I started my own company focusing on providing I.T. support to SMBs. More recently I am now doing the exact opposite by helping customers migrate their PC applications and data from their local computers to The Cloud. A few years ago, I joined Siegel Solutions to add my years of I.T. experience to their firm.

In my spare time, I like to travel, fly my drone and, most importantly, spend time with my family. I also still enjoy tinkering with technology.

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Pat Jaworski
Associate

After spending most of her corporate career in the insurance industry, Pat joined a QuickBooks consulting firm providing bookkeeping services to several small companies. Late in 2022, that firm merged with Siegel Solutions, Inc., bringing Pat and her clients to the group. She provides services to clients in a variety of industries: fitness, construction, beauty, equine care, and medical billing, to name a few. She enjoys supporting her clients by keeping their financial records in good shape and allowing them to focus on growing their respective businesses.

Pat resides in the 495/MetroWest area with her husband Ed, daughter Abby and Duffy, their lovable, energetic golden retriever.

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Noah Tan

Noah Tan

Associate

Noah has over 12 years of experience in accounting and graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in the UK. Prior to joining Siegel Solutions in August 2023, he has worked with clients in Asia and Europe across a variety of industries, including manufacturing, software, e-commerce, and education. Noah specializes in real estate, property management, and construction enterprises.

Noah is a passionate and results-oriented individual with a proven track record of success. He is skilled in financial planning and analysis, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting with expertise in business process improvement and risk management. Noah is committed to helping his clients achieve their financial goals.

Noah loves to travel and has been to over 50 countries and 4 continents with his wife. He is passionate about financial market analysis and enjoys using stock charts to identify trends and patterns.

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Tari Crowley

Administrative Assistant

Tari Crowley joined Siegel Solutions in September 2023 as a part-time Administrative Assistant. She actually wears many hats not just in her position, but in her every day life! She is also a real estate agent, softball coach, wife and full-time mother. When she isn’t busy with everyday life activities, she enjoys spending time with her chocolate lab, Bailey, as well as having fun and laughing with her family.

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DeeAnna Keyes

Sales and Marketing Associate

DeeAnna Keyes, has been our Sales and Marketing Associate since December 2023. She brings a wealth of experience, having worked at Intuit with a focus on Quickbooks Online and Quickbooks Desktop. With a robust sales history and a license as a real estate agent in Virginia, DeeAnna is a versatile professional. Outside of work, she cherishes family moments, indulges in camping with friends, and finds joy in entertaining at home with her husband and four children.

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