These 6 Excel consulting firms offer support, training, and VBA development to help you automate tasks and increase efficiency when using Microsoft Excel.
A good Excel consulting company should have a wide range of technical skills, ensuring the consultant can complete the entire scope of the project successfully. These skills include VBA and macro development, SQL, general programming, and statistical services.
Below is a quick summary of each of these 6 companies. A detailed review and ranking for each firm is also included.
|Excel Complete||$50 hr||Custom Formulas, VBA, SQL, SharePoint|
|Automate Excel||$70+ hr||Automated VBA Code Writer Tool, Online Resources|
|The Excel Experts||Not Listed||VBA, SQL, Power BI|
|ExcelHelp||Not Listed||VBA, SQL, Business Intelligence|
|Excel & Access||Not Listed||Support, Training, VBA, Access Database Development|
|Excel4Business||Not Listed||Support, Training, YouTube Channel with Examples|
What Skills Should an Excel Consulting Company Have?
Often a business project that requires an Excel consultation will have data flowing into Excel or from Excel to another platform. Understanding what technical skills a company should offer will help your organization choose the correct consultant.
A macro is a command that can be run to automate tasks. Macros are coded in VBA. VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) was Development by Microsoft and is the programming langue used to extend Office programs and automate repetitive tasks.
Nearly every consultant should be fluent in VBA. Utilizing VBA opens up the door for custom Excel formulas, automated emails, creating dynamic files, and uploading/exporting data. Later in this article, we give more detailed examples of how VBA can be used.
When it comes to managing large amounts of data, a relational database is crucial. A relational database uses SQL to access, collect, and analyze all of the data inside the database.
Suppose an Excel consultant possesses strong SQL knowledge. In that case, you can create better source data files (with the use of view and stored procedures), link up SQL to Excel, or even inform you that an Excel solution is not ideal and help you implement a database-driven solution.
SharePoint is commonly used to distribute and share files across an organization. Many projects that require file uploads or downloads from SharePoint can be fully automated using VBA.
A good consultant will also be able to help create dynamic folders and dynamic permissions for these folders inside of the document library.
Depending on the project, you may need VBA code to access an external API, send files over FTP, or even create custom HTML emails.
VBA code can be condensed when the developer is well versed in other programming languages. For example taking advantage of arrays over Excel ranges will save computation time.
Organizations worldwide use ERP systems like SAP and data visualization tools like Tableau. Excel consulting services that are familiar with these tools can increase the scope of the project, reducing the need for additional consultants.
Free Excel Resources
Before using a consulting company, you might want to check out some of the online resources available for free. These resources offer Excel demos, sample formulas, VBA code, and training programs. The forums contain common business-related Excel questions.
- MrExcel – The largest online help forum for Excel. Very organized layout and many of the threads contain sample code and workbooks. They also have list of consultants that may be able to help with your project.
- OzGrid – Another online help forum. They have paid help section where you can post a question and then hire someone that could come up with a solution
- Exceljet – The largest online resource for Excel help topics. Tons of sample formulas and functions. They offer training books for a cost. Their help resources lack any VBA code.
1. Excel Complete
Excel Complete is a versatile Excel consulting company. They provide additional programming services, are very transparent about their pricing, and offer on-demand support for simple Excel troubleshooting.
Their website has a dedicated VBA development and consulting section and a help document section with code and formula examples.
Excel Complete Key Points
- Simple pricing – $50 an hour for projects.
- Schedule a Zoom project consultation at your convenience.
- VBA development, website building, SQL, and statistical consulting
- SharePoint development services + VBA (save and read files)
- Employs business professionals like CPAs
2. Automate Excel
Automate Excel has very transparent pricing and a simple way to submit your documents to request a quote. This service also has a list of functions and code examples to help get you started.
One of the coolest features of Automate Excel is a custom plugin they created to help your write VBA code, called AutoMacro. This makes learning a few advanced VBA concepts easy.
Automate Excel Key Points
- Simple, transparent pricing. $97 for smaller projects that take an hour. $71 an hour for larger-scale projects.
- Sample VBA code and online resources to get you started.
- A fantastic tool to help you write your own VBA code.
3. The Excel Experts
The Excel Experts offers general consulting services and VBA development. They also offer Power BI solutions. The Excel Experts is a service that sees the value in eliminating repetitive tasks. This firm also mentions the use of SQL.
The Excel Experts are based in the UK, so there may be a slight time zone difference for US clients.
The Excel Experts Key Points
- Pricing is not listed on the website.
- Their contact form offers no ability to attach a file. This can increase the amount of communication before starting the engagement.
- Additional services like Power BI and SQL
ExcelHelp offers a lot of Excel services, including VBA consulting. ExcelHelp has many examples and case studies on its website, which is a great resource. In addition, their home page has a phone number, making it easy to talk to someone for immediate help.
One of the biggest selling features is in-person or remote training. This training could be ideal for large-scale VBA projects requiring multiple employees to share/use a central file.
ExcelHelp Key Points
- No pricing is listed on their website.
- Phone support.
- In-person or remote Excel training
- Lots of case studies on their website are organized by industry or job type.
- They offer additional services like database implementation and SQL support.
5. Excel & Access
Excel & Access is a company that focuses on Excel Troubleshooting, VBA development, and database development. They also offer Access and Azure support, which are staples in an organization that uses Microsoft products exclusively.
Excel & Access has a solid track record of reviews on Google. While rates for their services are not listed on their website, many reviews mention an affordable cost.
Excel & Access Key Points
- They appear to have reasonable rates based on reviews
- Offers Excel and VBA consulting
- Database consulting, including SQL Server, Access, Azure
- Office locations in the US, Canada, and the UK
Excel4Business has a simple website but offers Excel support on demand. Their website doesn’t list specific prices but mentions offering fixed prices per job, which can prevent consulting fees from piling up from billed hours.
Excel4Business also has a YouTube channel that can help you understand the basics of Excel. This content is an excellent starting point before deciding to hire a consultant.
Excel4Business Key Points
- Phone number and email listed on their website
- They appear to have reasonable consulting rates
- On-demand support even for smaller jobs
- YouTube channel with lots of content to learn Excel
Reasons to Hire an Excel Consultant
Each project is unique, but consider these points when deciding what Excel consulting company to use. Here are some of the most important reasons to hire an Excel consultant.
A Fresh Perspective
After staring at an Excel workbook for a long time, the answer to even a simple problem may seem impossible. However, a consultant with a fresh perspective can step in and troubleshoot the issue better. In addition, they will have tricks to simplify formulas and simplify the flow of data in your workbook.
Depending on the job, an Excel solution might not be efficient. A good consultant can recommend to your company how to improve the overall process. Process improvements could include setting up servers with a database or building online forms.
Many times Excel projects can become unnecessarily complex. This can be because of duplicate data, inefficient formulas, or poor formatting. A consultant that can create custom formulas in VBA, simplify the flow of information, and take advantage of conditional formatting can quickly streamline an Excel Workbook.
When an Excel workbook is poorly created, the end result can be error-prone. This can be from bad source data, incorrect formats, or sloppy formulas.
For example, a workbook might use SUMPRODUCT to summarize sales by month and rep. However, if the source data contains text instead of numbers, the formula could return an #VALUE error. A good consultant can quickly spot this and either adjust the formula to ignore text or create a VBA solution to sanitize all source data before it is imported.
Excel VBA Project Types
To help guide your project, here are some tasks that can be better automated with VBA. Once you choose your VBA consultant, see if you can incorporate these tasks into the project scope; this will help to streamline your process further.
Send a notification email once a process completes. You can even attach a file or a SharePoint link.
Upload files to SharePoint
Perfect for budget planning or payroll reports. The templates can be populated from a SQL or BI report to give the accountant an idea of where prior year expenses were.
Read files from SharePoint
Once the data is an array, it can be easily manipulated. For example, read all employee payroll rates in a file, loop over a set of locations, and send a payroll summary to each location with only those employees.
Convert a CSV file to an array
Once the data is an array it can be easily manipulated. For example read all employee payroll rates in file, loop over a set of locations, send a payroll summary to each location with only that locations employees.
Create custom formulas
Instead of writing hard-to-read native Excel formuals, such as many nested IFs, custom VBA formulas can be created. This formula would take a few input cells and lay out the logic more carefully, allowing fewer errors and easier maintenance.