Excel – Impact Analysis – Trace Dependents

The Need

Excel workbooks are complex. Multiple persons share and handle the same file. We keep mailing them to each other. Often the person who created the file has left the organization long back. There is never any documentation available about exactly how a file works.

Due to all this, it is almost impossible to remember which value is used in which formula. When you are about to change a value or add more data to existing block, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that all the related formulas are updated. If you forget to update the formula, the results shown there will be outdated and WRONG. This can hamper decisions and can have severe side effects.

What we need is a way to find out which formulas to update when any data changes or grows. Excel has provided this facility since 25 years. Unfortunately, very few people are even aware of it – leave alone using it!

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Green Marks Part 5/5 (Background Error Checking in Excel)

Fourth article in Error Handling (Background Error Checking or Green mark) series. Read these articles first to maintain continuity.
Auditors, Risk Managers, Everyone: Did you know? These green marks are WARNINGS!!
Green Marks Part 2: Formulas showing wrong results!
Green Marks Part 3: More error handling and Green Marks Part 4: Inconsistent Formulas

In this article, we cover the remaining three types of errors: Unprotected Formula, Formula refers to empty cells and Data Validation Error.

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