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Duncan Williamson: the web site!

Duncan in December 2008Welcome! I set up this site around 2001 and you are one of around 25,000 visitors a month ... latest statistics show that in April this year 40,000 unique visitors arrived! More than welcome! I set it up to be a resource for students and practitioners of accounting and so far I think it has been pretty successful at achieving that objective.

I really don't update this site like I used to but my Excel site cum blog is an ever growing and fantastic FREE resource: here

My Excel Book has been published ...

Kindle Version

Paperback Version

I have published a sister book on Excel, Excel Work Book: Kindle version. The book is selling slowly and it is also in one or two libraries that I know of but PLEASE SUPPORT THIS SITE AND BUY MY EXCEL BOOKS!

I talk to some of my visitors by email from time to time as they ask me questions or offer corrections to the mistakes I sometimes make. I try to respond to all queries within around 24 hours of receiving them but because of my travelling commitments that is not always possible. It's very rare for me to ignore you altogether though and my apologies if I do!

Each Tab on this page contains an overview of it as well as the latest news from it. Just click on the Tab and see what's on offer.

I don't update this site as much as I would like but there is a lot here and if you have any suggestions for things for me to do, just ask and I will do what I can.

Training Courses


Duncan has teamed up with a colleague to offer public and in house training programmes around the world. Well known for the high standards of his work, Duncan is continuing to live up to his mission of Taking Accounting to the World.


Take a look at this dedicated new website we have created here to see what is on offer:

  • management accounting
  • financial accounting
  • financial management
  • production and more

This is a new venture and your calls and equiries are more than welcome. Please contact us via the links in the new web site in the first instance and we will discuss your requirements with you.

Value for money, high quality, flexibility are our watch words.

Management Accounting


This management accounting section is mainly aimed at the introductory to intermediate reader. I have spent my working life working in management accounting. I am passing on some of my knowledge and expertise here.


I have written a page on Target Costing. I was inspired to write this page when I found a perfect example of target costing being discussed, accidentally, in a self building PC forum on the internet. The page includes this example and others, including the Mercedes M Class.

If you are a management accountant you need to see the books I have bought recently ... combined with how I have learned to use Spry Data Sets in Dreamweaver CS4. Go to the management accounting home page and follow the trail.

Financial Accounting


This section has the objective of providing you with a basic review of many of the fundamentals of bookkeeping and financial accounting. The sub objective is that the section introduces some elements of financial reporting under International financial Reporting Standards.


A good case study on ratio analysis based on Tesco plc, comes with a teaching note for teachers.
A great new page ... on British Petroleum ... taking ratio analysis a stage further: this page helps to illustrate what can come out of an analysis of the results of a company when we use rate of growth or rate of change ratios. You might even be surprised!




This section is the non financial section of my web site in which I talk about matters of business that are removed from management and financial accounting. This section can contain information on the widest range of topics imaginable that can come under the heading of business!


I corrected a chart in my PDF file of how to create a Box and Whisker chart: thanks to the help of a visitor, Pallavi.

A timely page from me on the bonus culture now that the G20 is about to meet to "sort it all out". I hope they read this page first!

I have prepared, October 2008, a simple page on the subject of the reporting of the UK GDP figures. I have done so partly in response to the dreadful way that the BBC and the Financial Times have reported them. Look under Economics and UK GDP in the menu.

Brian Clough: big mouth, football pundit, genius! There are some people whose passing really is a tragedy, Brian Clough is one such. Take a look in the Management section of the menu at the wit and wisdom of the man, as extracted from his autobiography by yours truly!

I read the chapter of a book on managers who have made a difference by changing their organisations: this was on the changes made by Colin, Lord Marshall, at British Airways. I then constructed a case study from it: look at the menu under Management.

Microsoft Excel and other Spreadsheet Knowledge and Skills


The objective of the section is to share some of my Excel and other spreadsheeting knowledge and expertise. I am not an expert by any means but I have used Excel to develop proper management accounting models. I have also held many training courses on Excel and my aim here is to share some of the things I do.


I have finished two books on Excel ... not just a how to do everything book but one that will be useful for accountants, manpower planners, engineers, marketeers and many others.

Kindle Version

Paperback Version

I have also just published a sister book on Excel, Excel Work Book: Kindle version.

Box and Whisker Charts in Excel 2007: by request I have prepared a new page, on BoxPlots using Excel 2007 this time. Fully comprehensive with lots of screenshots and a step by step explanation of how it's done. Just go to the Spreadsheets section.

I have updated two presentations: on Designing Spreadsheets and on Creating Pivot Tables ... these presentations are for beginnings AND the PowerPoint Presentations will only run properly if you use Internet Explorer ... download the PDF file if you don't use Internet Explorer or don't want to!

How about learning how to create a waterfall chart? How about a chart based on data that comes from using a combobox? They're here now! My first real demo, of sorts, using Excel 2007: making a chart communicate more effectively.

Two fantastic pages: one on the VLOOKUP function together with Range Names and the other one on the ISERROR function together with Conditional Formatting. Both of these new pages have beend designed to be used in the context of financial ratio analysis.

You might need to use the XNPV and XIRR functions some day so here's a page that shows you why and how. This page also reveals a minor Excel error and a potentially more serious one. This page is also of use to OpenOfficeOrg spreadsheet users.

Book Reviews


The objective of this section is simple: I read a book and tell you what I thought of it.


Three murder stories on the bounce: Shamini Flint's Inspector Singh Investigates: a Bali conspiracy most foul is a slow but steady read with some nice cameos of Bali; Simon Kenrick's Target is a very fast paced kindap turned murder turned mayhem story well worth reading; and John Burdett's Bangkok Haunts is again slower paced but methodical with a good story line.

Adrian Mole is back and welcome too, laddie. Read Adrian Mole: the prostrate years by Sue Townsend, you won't regret it.

A book I would almost certainly not have bought and read if a friend hadn't mentioned reading one of his books one day: Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is the latest book I have read! Not sure if I recommend it because I am not sure whether it is a book on alchemy or philosophy!

My Blogs: now we are twain!


I've got two blogs now: my original personal blog, Duncan's Diurnal Diatribe (DDD1) and now my new one, Duncan's Diacritical Discussion (DDD2) which will concentrate on my writings on business and kindred matters.

My personal blog is where I let off steam, put the world to rights and generally enjoy myself. The new blog contains accounting, business and non accounting and non business things.


The by line of Duncan's Diurnal Diatribe tells you all you need to know really: some serious and some lighthearted ramblingsfrom a Tyke!This is the most dynamic part of my web site so trying to list its latest content would be futile. However, just to give you some idea of what I talk about, here are the headings from the last week or so.

  • Free entertainment needed? Sit near the hat rack
  • ... as others see us
  • Taxi Sir?
  • Is it a barrage balloon or just a balloon?
  • Pony tails on men
  • Are you sure?
  • Long legs: top travel tip

The by line of Duncan's Diacritical Discussion is the ruminations of a realistic writer on the behaviour of business and that is a big hint too! The first article in this new blog concerns General Motors, GM:

  • Why GM needs massive reoganisation

There you are, enough to whet your appetite!

eShop: about Duncan Williamson


This section is purely aimed at the (corporate) buyer who wants to know why they should use my services; and for non corporate buyers to see some of the few materials that are available for sale from me.


I am a self employed author, consultant, educator and trainer ... you need to know what I can do for you. Here is my sales pitch! I specialise in:

  • management accounting
  • financial accounting
  • spreadsheet modelling
  • simplifying difficult concepts
  • redefining the idea of giving 100%
  • my own web site

I have

  • spent my entire career working in the areas of management accounting, financial accounting, education, industry, commerce and programming spreadsheets!
  • spent a lot of time writing books, manuals, case studies, articles, papers, presentations, spreadsheet models ? an absolute mountain of things.
  • dedicated my life to working to very high standards and to working quickly. Built up an encyclopaedic knowledge of management accounting, financial accounting and financial management.
  • learned a lot about business life in general: his web site shows that if nothing else.
  • acted professionally and in amateur dramatics. As a professional actor I appeared on National Radio in Malawi, taking a leading role in a play entitled Sasintha. In amateur dramatics I have appeared in a number of productions both in the UK and in Malawi.

Duncan Williamson
15th January 2014


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