在A Plus寫關於Excel的文章

HKICPA(香港會計師公會)今年初出版一本新的雜誌,內容豐富且生動,有業界關心的時事,也有人物專訪,甚至最新gadget的介紹,有別於一般死板的會計條文。
  美國來的Sarbanes-Oxley Act(簡稱SOX,中文叫沙賓法案)自然是很熱門的話題,才出版了四個月,便有兩期在討論這個法案。(我在台灣就是協助我的客戶去符合它的要求。)
 
看了兩三期,靈機一觸,不曉得編輯會不會有興趣讓我開闢一個關於Excel技巧的專欄。這本雜誌的讀者都是會計師或在會計業工作的管理層,他們常做數據分料,每天用Excel。不過Excel的技巧都不好,卻又沒有空去上課,又沒有時間去找書、看書。看月刊的話,一點一點學,正適合他們。
  另外,這本雜誌的流通量有3萬本,比我的網站的訪問率要高,對我的publicity也有幫助。再說,我也想出版一本英文的Excel書(希望有一天能在Amazon找到自己的書!)。
 
2005年9月11日(日),我寫了一封電郵給編輯 Mike Hurle,問他有沒有興趣:
Dear Mr Hurle,

I am one of the members of HKICPA, and am happy to see the publication of APlus, an interesting magazine that just fits my appetite. I am writing to see if you are interested in adding a column in APlus to discuss about the usage tips of Microsoft Excel, which is the main tool used by fellow CPAs in office.

I was elected as one of the 2,600 Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) in the world by Microsoft this year because of my solid knowledge in Excel and willingness to share my knowledge with others. (For details of the MVP program, please refer to http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/.)

I found that many members lack the necessary skills to carry out their works with Excel efficiently. I hope that I can make a change.

The attached is a slide I used for a gathering held by Microsoft HK. It contains a brief introduction of me.

Look forward to your reply. Thank you very much.

Best Regards,
Carson

 
2005年9月13日(二),他試著打電話給我,沒有打通,寫了一封信給我:
Hi Carson,

I tried to call you earlier. If you would like to discuss please give me a call on XXXX XXXX.

Otherwise, maybe you can go ahead and put together a short column of 200-300 words, something like, "Five tips to improve your excel skills, by Carson Cheng"

Do you have another photo we can use? That one in the PPT slide is quite dark.

best,
Mike Hurle
Editor

 
成功了!他有興趣啊!還乾脆叫我寫一篇給他看!
  看到他建議的標題 "Five tips to improve your excel skills",會不會有點太平凡?想了一想,如果用SOX做主軸,說一些關於內部控制的Excel技巧,不是更有趣嗎?我要加點gimmick,要教大家做到符合SOX要求的spreadsheets!
  突然想到StarBucks的一張海報,它不用 brew 而用上 engineer 來形容他們泡咖啡的技巧,那我也可以說 engineering SOX-compliant spreadsheets!
 
 
2005年9月14日(三)清晨,我回覆:
 
Hi Mr Hurle,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Sorry, I’m currently in Taiwan. So please call my cell number if you need to get hold of me.

I’ve been actually working on a SOX404 project for a year. So I’m thinking of using SOX as a theme when I write my Excel tips. Spreadsheets are used extensively particularly in Asia. The flexibility becomes a big concern for SOX. Readers are interested to know how we can build a more secure and well-controlled spreadsheet.

I will prepare for a sample for your review ASAP.

Thank you very much.

Best Regards,
Carson

 
同日,他表示十分支持我的idea:
Hi Carson – something on the applicability of excel to SOX 404 would be perfect. Can you put something together in the next few days for the October issue, or should I hold off until November issue?

Many thanks

 
幾天就把題目敲定,不到兩個星期我已經收到校對稿,謝謝現今科技!
  這是我第一次寫專欄,也是我第一次寫英文的專欄,很富挑戰性!請大家多多指教!!
 
介紹專欄的原文(我覺得我寫得不錯~):
Spreadsheets are ubiquitous in our workplaces. Most users had been enjoying the flexibility and power offered by spreadsheets – until the Sarbanes-Oxley clock started ticking.
  By now, slightly more than one year before the overseas deadline for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, both management and spreadsheet users should have understood the potential risks behind their neatly aligned cells – and the urgent need to devise tighter controls. Spreadsheets should be classified according to their complexity and purpose and those with high risk should be screened out for more stringent control measures. Unfortunately, the literature rarely addresses an important step: How exactly spreadsheets should be built? Most IT departments do an excellent job in network administration but few know Excel well enough to offer advice in this area.
  In coming issues, I will offer some hands-on tips on engineering Sarbanes-Oxley compliant spreadsheets – particularly in the area of access control, input control, security and integrity of data. In this issue, as a warm-up exercise, let’s look at the treatment of dates in Excel – after all, we are all daunted by deadlines.
 
 
這些事情當然要給老板知道,不出所料,他們都很高興(我們公司在香港還沒有據點)。
 
Carson,
 
This is outstanding initiative and I look forward to learning more about using excel effectively in a SOX compliant manner in your future articles.
 

 

[刪除]
 
And well done to Carson for taking the time to make a contribution to the firms marketing efforts and eminence building even while very busy in Taiwan.
 
 
 
按:諷剌的是,我還沒有收到這期的A Plus,希望沒有寄失。

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