Monday, 16 November 2015

Using advanced Google Sheets functionality: ArrayFormula

Since Blink Reports is built on top of Google App Engine, Google Apps Script, and Google Sheets, you can leverage the power and functionality of all three products to work with your financial data in ways you may not have thought was possible before.

The ARRAYFORMULA function, in conjunction with OFFSET and MATCH, can help you manage dynamic data sets by allowing you to search for a specific piece of information and then manipulating that data elsewhere. In our template, for example, we use an ARRAYFORMULA on the Operating Expenses Extract sheet to pull data from the XeroPL sheet, which (by default) shows the profit and loss report for a single month.

The old-fashioned way to do this would be to use hard-coded lookups on each individual row in the Operating Expenses Extract worksheet. While this does work, it makes any changes difficult to manage and can increase the amount of time you spend finessing the spreadsheet instead of focusing on the work you need to do.

Instead, by using the ARRAYFORMULA, we are able to pick any worksheet as a source, with any date range, and generate the report you see below.

This chart will now be automatically updated when any changes to the source data occur. Even if a hundred new line items appear in your P&L report, you'll see them in the Operating Expenses Extract right away, without any additional work needed on your end.