Paula Guilfoyle: “If you want to get ahead of the curve in your career, upskill in Excel.”
Paula Guilfoyle is a Certified Public Accountant who has worked across a broad range of industries as an Accountant, Internal Auditor and Financial Controller. As the force behind The Excel Club, Paula is passionate about sharing her knowledge and teaches student from around the globe that wish to upskill in Bookkeeping, Accounting, Excel and Power BI. Paula spoke to Alison about The Excel Club’s global reach, online publishing and the importance of setting goals when it comes to self-education.
I qualified as a certified public accountant (CPA) 20 years ago. I have a lot of experience across a broad range of industries and sectors, including accountancy, business management, process improvement, internal audit and operations management and training. While working as a financial controller, I noticed a skills gap among accountants in the area of Excel. I created my first Excel course in 2010, aimed at professionals looking to upskill. Teaching Excel became a passion and soon after I launched the blog TheExcelclub.com. I am now proud to say that 90,000 students from 168 different countries have taken my courses.
I came across Alison many years ago when I was starting out teaching online. They were one of these sites that I hoped to one day publish on when I became more established as an online instructor. All instructors want their content to been seen by as many people as possible and Alison is an extremely popular site and its massive reach allows me to tap into a market and share knowledge with an audience that would otherwise be out of my reach as an instructor. Alison also offers free education yet as an instructor, you can still earn a revenue.
I have two different sets of courses here on Alison. I have bookkeeping and accounting courses and I also have Excel courses. As an accountant myself, I feel both subjects go hand in hand. Excel is a tool for accountants and bookkeepers. Plumbers learn to use their tools and accountants should also learn to use theirs. If there is one thing that will progress your career as an accountant, it’s having amazing Excel skills. Accountants with excellent Excel skills are in high demand. So if you want to get ahead of the curve in your career, upskill in Excel.
Get ahead of the curve
and start learning
with The Excel Club
The course I am most proud of publishing was a once off charity course. This was an Excel course published to raise funds for Covid-19 relief work being carried out by the charity GOAL. I managed to get 25 of the world’s greatest Excel Bloggers and YouTubers together to collaborate with me, each producing a lesson for the course. We had Excel experts from all over the world and the course was a massive success in raising funds. A global course to raise funds for a global problem.
When you take a course, set yourself some goals: a simple goal like ‘I am going to complete this course in 5 days’. And then commit to the goal. Self-directed learning can be hard and it’s easy to get distracted. Goals really help keep you on track. When you sit down to the course, making a goal for that session also helps. A goal such as ‘I am going to complete Section 2 and all of the activities now’ is a great way to start.
Education is empowerment. The world is a very uneven place and free education moves the world towards a more even and inclusive place. If I knew how to teach the world how to love learning then I would. But I don’t know if it’s a thing you can teach.