Teenager wins World Excel Championship, accountants rejoice

Your Guide to State, Local, Federal, Estate + International Taxation

Excel, Microsoft, spreadsheet, accountingIf there is one thing that accountants of all backgrounds share, it is a fondness of Excel. I know it might sound kind of nerdy, but there is just something satisfying about creating a clean, functioning spreadsheet. In our office, I’ve seen tons of Excel spreadsheets and templates. Some of which are used to perform complicated calculations; others sift through vast amounts of data; some save an immense amount of time; and others do stuff such as tracking fantasy football pay ins and determine who won what prize. I have even seen people using Excel spreadsheets where a Word document would be much more efficient. Needless to say, Excel is a valued tool for accountants.

Recently, I was forwarded a link about a newly crowned World Excel Champion. The cool part of it was that the winner was only 15 years old. Kevin Dimaculangan, a sophomore in high school, is this year’s winner of the Excel portion of the Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship. Prior to reading this article, I didn’t even know such a competition existed. I found out that it is a competition for students between the ages of 13 and 22. On top of being the World Champion, Kevin also won the National Championship. In the World Championship, he competed against more than 760,000 candidates from over 116 countries, so Kevin had plenty of competition!

When I was reading more about the competition, I found out a few interesting things about Kevin. He is an accomplished pianist and mathematician. Excel is a hobby he picked up just last year. For winning the competition, he received a cash prize of $7,000, a medal, trophy and an Xbox. He said something I didn’t expect anyone to ever say, “For Excel, there’s not too much more to learn.” He wants to go to MIT and become a software engineer.

One of our Partners mentioned to me that if being a software engineer didn’t work out, he could come design spreadsheets for us to help us navigate the new Section 199A deduction (if you don’t know what that is or how complicated it can be, read our three blogs on the topic here, here and here).

Richard Christensen