How to Hire an Excel Expert First let me clarify Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is an incredible powerful language and tool.  In the right skilled hands, it can do magic. It can control not only Excel, Word, Outlook and Access it can, through the COM (common language interface), control and use many other programs as well.  Those skilled hands are out there you just need a little help in finding one- The right one.
You have a big, complex project coming up and have the sense that Microsoft Office has the capability to do it but, you are uncertain.  Or perhaps you have a repetitive time-consuming Spreadsheet, Database, Outlook, or word process that you are confident – there must be a more efficient way to get it done. The one thing you are sure of is you and the crew do not have the necessary skill set.  You are exploring the option of bringing in outside help but are not sure how to hire a Microsoft Office Developer.  I have been a Microsoft Developer (VBA) for a very long-time and I can help you through the steps on How to Hire an Excel Expert.
Before you make that call
  1. Take the time to document what you want the process to do: identify the key deliverables, the must haves and the nice to haves.  If it is an existing process take the time to document how it works today and how you think it might be improved.  Even if it is just bullet points get them down in a word document or a spreadsheet. This generally is not complete specifications, but it gives the developer a good idea of what you are after.
Finding the Who First a bit of caution, be wary of those first few pages on the Internet.  The firms that appear there pay dearly for the privilege of ranking high on keyword searches.  if we look at NeilPatels site Here it tells us firms pay an amazing $17.83 per click to be amongst the top ranking for the Keywords “Excel Expert”.  Dont kid yourself their Clients end up paying for that directed advertising.
  1. You do not want just a developer; that is a person who takes your specifications and simply codes them.  You want an experienced businessperson that offers suggestions to maximize the utility of the code.
  2. Depending on the nature of the project you may want to avoid the allure of inexpensive international outside help.  Particularly if you think you will need immediate response to queries time differences might prove problematic.  Cultural differences are real and can impede progress, I have seen that firsthand.
  3. Make sure you speak with the developer, communication and rapport are everything- coding complex tasks can be very iterative with lots of back and forth.  If you are not on the same page or cannot effectively communicate with your developer, it will not end well.

The project

  1. In the best of all worlds give the developer a sub project to test his skills and the fit.  This may not always be possible.
  2. Get a quote on delivering a turnkey project.
  3. Make sure the code is properly annotated.  It will make it easier for the next developer and save you time and money
  4. Test it thoroughly before you pay for it, make sure you have access to all code.
  5. Set deliverable dates.  If possible, segment the project with intermediate delivery dates so you can gauge progress.
  6. Make sure the error handling identifies what went wrong.
  7. Have screen level edits to make certain all inputs meet their relative specifications to help application users succeed.

I have been a VBA freelance developer for some time.  I always operate under the “No Surprises” mandate, that means I deliver what I promise at the price I quoted.  I learned by working hard for my clients to succeed I succeed as well.  Stick to my steps and hiring an excel expert is can be done. 

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Raymond Mills, M.B.A., M.S.  has spent over 20 years of his career as Accountant, Investment Bank and Credit Card Technical Auditor/ Data Analyst.  His specialty was using Excel to get Big Databases including Teradata, Oracle,  Squel Server and Sybase to give up their secrets. Ray has said “I love nothing better than using VBA to unleash the power of Microsoft Office.” You can contact Ray @ 484 574-3190 or by emailing him Here

If you have a challenge with Excel, Access or Word and would like to speak with Ray,   You can get his contact details by clicking here: Contact Me