The Ultimate Guide for PDF Files (for Accountants and Bookkeepers)

According to Statista, 1.25 million accountants and auditors were employed in the USA in 2016. It is predicted that there will be 1.44 million accounting professionals by 2022. The accounting industry in the UK is expected to reach £5 billion in 2018. But let’s forget about stats and answer one question.

pdf for accountants


What does every accountant or a bookkeeper have?

A PDF file, at least one document saved in a PDF form. PDF files are simply inevitable in the accounting and bookkeeping industry, especially when you want to protect your documents, to print a document or to send it to your colleague or a client. Although your working document is in a different form, probably .xsl(x), if you want to print your document, to send it to someone else or to secure it, you will save it to PDF first because PDF is the best choice in such situations. For the same reason, most accounting documents you receive are probably in PDF.

If you are working as an accountant, you cannot ignore PDF files. A decade ago PDF technology was very restricted but nowadays, it has been improved enough to start to feel comfortable when dealing with PDF files.

To work with PDF files implies using PDF software that is at the same time PDF converter and PDF editor. In the following crash course, we want to give you a helping hand in working with PDF files in accounting and bookkeeping niche. Here you will find everything you need to know to convert PDF to Excel. Depending on your proficiency and the usage of various computer programs, we present three different levels of the course: basic, intermediate, and advanced.


Beginner Level- Convert PDF to Excel


If you:

  • Are not sure how to convert PDF to Excel
  • Don’t know how to convert PDF to CSV
  • Don’t have a clue how to rotate a PDF

You need to convert PDF to Excel when you need to make changes in Excel document that was saved or sent to you in a PDF format. When you convert PDF to Excel you make a working version of the document. This type of conversion is very used among accountants because all these documents such as balance sheets, invoices, audit and payroll reports etc, are made in Excel or other programs similar to Excel and saved in PDF. The easiest way to reuse such PDF worksheets and tables is to convert the file in its original format, xls(x).

Apart from xlsx format, many accounting documents are saved in .csv format. In layman terms, csv files also present data in tabular form as xlsx files but csv files hold plain text and numbers whereas xlsx files consist of content, images, charts and formatting (conditional formatting, numbering, coloring and other).

So, in addition to PDF to Excel conversion, converting files from PDF to CSV is also a common thing when dealing with accounting documents.

Another very simple trick that everyone can learn is to rotate a PDF file. Financial documents often have different tables and charts and it may happen that you need to rotate a PDF page to view the data in a horizontal position.


Convert PDF invoices and balance sheets to Excel or CSV


In the following examples we will show you how to turn your invoices and balance sheets, to convert PDF to Excel or CSV. But you can convert any other type of PDF document, not just invoices and balance sheets.

pdf converter elite

The first step is to start the program PDF Converter Elite and to click the Open button (the first button from the left side of the screen).

Then click on the Excel button excel button  or CSV csv file, depending on the type of conversion you need.

The simplest way is to use buttons on the toolbar, but you should know that you can also choose the type of conversion from the Convert menu, as shown on the images below.

convert pdf to excel

pdf to excel

When you choose the type of conversion (the output file), a sidebar will appear on the right. In order to activate the Convert button, you need to click on of the three selection options.

select area of pdf

Select area– choose this if you don’t want to convert the whole document or whole pages, but only a section of one page. After you click on this option, drag the mouse on the document to select the area (check out the video below and the image above).


Select All Pages– use this option to select the whole file.

Select Page Range– this option is useful when your PDF is huge, and you want to convert only specific pages. To activate this option, type the consecutive page numbers, for instance 5-7. If you want to select only one page, type one number and then press Enter on your keyboard.

The last thing to do is to click the Convert button and your PDF file will be converted to Excel or CSV.


Rotate PDF invoices and balance sheets


Another PDF tip at the basic level is rotating PDF files or pages. To rotate PDF file clockwise, you can click on the rotate button rotate a pdf which is placed at the bottom of the screen (the footer bar).

rotate pdf file

Intermediate Level- Average Knowledge of PDF Software


If you:

  • Don’t know how to convert scanned PDF files
  • Are not sure how to merge PDF files
  • Want to split a PDF file


Many PDF files that contain accounting and financial data are not native PDF files. The reason is simple- a client or a colleague can scan a printed document and send it to your electronically. As a result, you will receive a scanned PDF file.

Assuming you’ve passed the basic level, you now know how to convert PDF to Excel or CSV. What do you think would happen if you apply that knowledge to convert a scanned PDF? The file will be converted to Excel, but it would be useless. The scanned image will be turned into another file format, but the content inside that image will still be locked. So, if you want to be able to edit such document, you need to learn how to convert a scanned file by using OCR technology.

If you have reached this level of knowledge and comprehended previous PDF management lessons, you will find the following two easy. In addition to conversion and PDF editing, PDF merge and split options can be found in many PDF converters.

We will teach you how to merge multiple audit reports, payroll reports or other types of documents into one PDF document. Merging documents is especially useful when you want to have all financial reports in one place. Data analysis becomes much easier and not to mention calculations of financial statements.

Although in some situations you need to collect your financial data in one document, in other cases you may need to get rid of unnecessary data. When you learn to split PDF files into two or more smaller files, you will see how quickly you can analyze the tabular data.


Manage scanned PDF audit reports


Scanned PDF conversion involves additional steps prior to those basic PDF conversion steps we discussed at the beginners’ level.

When you open a PDF file in PDF Converter Elite, click the Convert menu and then on OCR Options. Select the option Convert Using OCR. In this way, you activate OCR engine which will extract text from your scanned (image OCR) PDF and you will be able to edit it.

scanned pdf conversion

Then apply the knowledge you’ve learned at the basic level: click on Excel or CSV, choose select option and convert.

convert scanned pdf

To remind you again, you can apply all these features to every kind of document, no matter it is an invoice, an audit report, or a payroll report. We used specifically these types of documents, for the lesson purposes.

Merge PDF payroll reports


We have already mentioned why it can be useful to merge PDF files in some cases. If you want to combine sheets and tabular data from different reports into one file, check out this tutorial:


  1. Start PDF Converter Elite and click the Open PDF to open one PDF file.
  2. Click on the Edit button edit pdf
  3. Choose the option Merge PDF Files in the right sidebar.

merge pdf files

  1. Select another PDF file you want to merge with the first file and click Open.
  2. A small window will pop up, as shown on the image below. Type in the fields First Page and Last Page. If you want to merge only one page, type the same number in both fields. Have in mind that all the pages between the first and the last page selected, will be merged. So, in case you want to merge multiple pages that are not consecutive, you need to repeat the process more than once.


For example, select pages from 3-7 first and then finish the process. Click the Merge PDF files, select the same PDF to open and type different page number.

Under this image you will find the last two steps of merging PDF files.

pdf merge

  1. In the Before Page drop-down menu, select the option that suits you best. You can add the pages or the whole document at the end of the first open PDF document. You can also add pages before any other page number.
  2. Finally, click Merge.

Split PDF Reports

The last lesson at this intermediate level is to learn to split PDF file. Whenever you work with large files full of tabular data and numerous spreadsheets, you can split the file into multiple smaller documents and revise each document separately.

This process is like the merge option, you start by opening a PDF file and clicking on the Edit button. The same sidebar will appear on the right, and under the button Merge PDF files, you will see the button Split PDF File.

split pdf file

Upon clicking on that button, you will see a small window with two fields, First Page and Last Page. Like merge, you need to select from what to what page you will split a file and the pages need to consecutive. To finish the process, just click the Split button. Another window will pop up (see the image below), asking you to name the file and choose the location where you will save the split document.

save as pdf

You can repeat the split process with the same file repeatedly, to have more than two smaller files. In that case, you need to click the same button again, to open a file and to select the page numbers again.


Advanced Level- Full proficiency knowledge of PDF Software


If you:

  • Need to add, delete or manually move rows or columns
  • Want to learn how to add or delete PDF tables
  • Don’t know to edit a PDF without conversion


Here we are at the last stage of our PDF crash course. So far you have learned to convert PDF to Excel and CSV, even scanned files, to merge and split PDF pages, and to rotate PDF as well. If you want to acquire full proficiency knowledge of managing PDF documents, you need to learn custom PDF to Excel and CSV conversion as well as PDF text editing.

To convert PDF to Excel or CSV with advanced options implies that you manually move rows and columns directly on a PDF, prior to conversion. This trick saves much time because you are preparing your PDF tabular data for conversion and making sure the result is satisfying. In addition to manual row editing, you can add new or delete existing rows, columns and tables.

PDF editing practically means you edit a PDF directly, without conversion. That saves much time but if you need to make a lot of changes or to work with data in Excel, then conversion is a better option. However, it would do no harm to learn to edit a PDF especially when your tabular data only needs small changes.


Manage PDF fixed asset reports- add, move, or delete new rows and columns


In this last session of this PDF crash course, we will use samples of fixed asset report and cash flow statement to show you how to use advanced features to convert PDF to Excel.

Start by opening a PDF, clicking on the Excel button, and choosing the selection option. In case you skipped the beginners’ and intermediate level, PDF Converter Elite offers three selection options: to select the whole file, only certain pages, or the document area.

The same way, you can choose to convert file from PDF to CSV instead to Excel. Custom PDF conversion works the same for both output files (Excel and CSV). In this example we will show you convert PDF to Excel with customization.

pdf to excel conversion

When you choose the selection option, click on the Advanced Options to open custom PDF conversion options. A new sidebar will show up with all the options you need to customize PDF tables prior to conversion. On your PDF document you will see green lines that show the place where the columns are.

add rows in pdf table

To add new columns in the document, click the Add Columns button and click on the position in the document where you want to add a column. If you want to remove a specific column, click on Erase Column Line.


If you want to move columns, click on the green line in the document and drag the mouse to the position where you want to move it. You can move rows in the same way, making them smaller or bigger (check the video below).


To add rows, you need to tick boxes Show Rows and Manual Row Editing to activate the option Add Rows. Click on that option and then on the document where you want to add a row. Erase Row Line should be used to remove rows, and in that case first click that option and then the green line (row).


Add or delete PDF tables in fixed asset reports

add tables in pdf

If you have a PDF document that presents data without tables, you can make tables. Simply click the Add button in the Tables section of the right sidebar and drag the table on the document. In the example above, you can see that we dragged only a part of this data in order to show you the difference. But you can mark the whole page so all the data fits in one table.

If you are not satisfied how much data you included in one table, click on Delete. Then click on the table (green lines area of the document).

Finally, when you customize your PDF tables, tick the box Show Preview to check if you are satisfied with the look of your data. To start the conversion, click the Convert button and you will see how better result you can get when you customize tables, rows, and columns before conversion.

Edit PDF cash flow statements without conversion

pdf editor

Open a PDF in PDF Converter Elite and click the Edit button. The sidebar will appear on the right side of the program. Click on Add to add additional text and then on the document, exactly where you want to add additional text. Type what you need and click anywhere out of that field to confirm the changes.

As you can notice under the Add option, you can change the font style but also its size and colour. For instance, if you want to add comments to a cash flow statement, you can add text in different colour that will stand out.

To remove certain parts of the document, click Delete and then again on the document. You will see the red lines which will show you what part of the sentence can be deleted. The program itself groups the words as one phrase you can remove. Just click on the text to remove it.

pdf editor

This PDF editing option helps you make small changes to the document without losing time on conversion.

Bonus tips:

How can I repair damaged PDF files?

When you work with scanned PDF files, it may happen that the quality of the scan is poor.  Because of that you are not able to get a great result. Sometimes even OCR doesn’t help.

To learn about scanned PDF conversion, check the Intermediate level of this PDF course.

 However, there is one thing you can do to repair the damaged PDF file, or at least to try. Open a PDF in any PDF reader, not converter.

Go to File menu, Print options. From the list of printers choose PDF Converter Elite Printer and click the button Print.

The damaged file will be “reprinted” and replaced. Now apply your knowledge to convert a scanned PDF to Excel or CSV.

print pdf

Can I resize a PDF file?


If you have passed the advanced level, you already know to use Edit options. So, open a PDF, click on Edit and click on the button to resize a PDF file.

resize pdf

You don’t need to resize all the pages, only several but consecutive ones. If you need to resize pages that are not consecutive, you need to repeat the process more than once. To resize only one page, type the same page number in the first and the last page field.

There are different sizes to choose from. It is setup by default to have a custom size, so you change the values in the width and height fields. Finally, click Resize.


Have you find this PDF crash course difficult?


We encourage you to share with us in comments what lessons did you find difficult. It is never too late to start learning and if you are working as an accountant, you should learn to manage PDF files. That skill will save you much time and nerves.


How to Cite a PDF File

how to cite a pdf file

In our previous posts you could learn how to cite a PowerPoint or Word document. Do you know how to cite a PDF? Research papers and other longer documents are usually preserved in PDF because it guarantees that the layout and the content will be preserved. In case you need to provide citations and reference guide, keep reading to find out how to cite a PDF document in MLA, APA and Chicago style. MLA style is mostly used in literature, arts and humanities documents. APA style is mostly required in psychology, education, linguistics, journalism. Chicago style is used in history, information and political science but also in communications and publishing.


How do you reference a PDF document


First of all you need to decide what citation style would you use to cite a PDF. Every citation style has slightly different rules but most of them require to write citations in an alphabetical order. In the post about how to cite a PowerPoint we mentioned what information you need to include in each style.

If you want to add citations or references in a PDF document you need to convert a PDF to Word first and to make changes in Word document. When you add citations in Word version of the document, just convert it back to PDF. You can convert files with this online PDF to Word tool by simply uploading a file and leaving your email address. The converted file will be ready to download and use.

However, if your citation source is a PDF file and not a book, you can add a comment that your citation is based on a research you found in a PDF document. For instance, in MLA style you can write that your medium source is a PDF. In APA style you will write that in the same section where you write title of the source and not in the medium section. In Chicago style you should also mention that the source is a PDF, in the same place where you write the title. However, in APA style you should separate title and “PDF” with brackets whereas Chicago style doesn’t require using brackets.

How do you cite an ebook


Ebooks are usually saved in PDF, MOBI or EPUB format. So if your ebook is in PDF format, you can apply the rules mentioned in how to cite a PDF guide here. Usually, you need to include the author’s name, the publisher of the book as well as the year and place of publication, the exact book title but also the website when the ebook can be downloaded.


How do you cite an article online


You’ll need to copy down the author’s name, title of the article, name of the journal, volume number, issue number, date of publication, page numbers of the physical copy, and the web address of the journal article.

So next time you are preparing a research document, don’t hesitate to use PDF files as your sources. You can easily cite a PDF file and include it in your reference list. If the content of the PDF file is valuable and has credibility, do need to worry about using PDF works.


How to Remove Formatting in Word

When writing in MS Word you are usually more focused on the content than on the technicalities. What you write is more important than how you write it, what font do you use for different content sections. That is the first phase of the work. But when the content is finished and the images are added, the only thing left to do is to improve the look of the document. To do so, you need to format the text in a way every part of the text fits with the rest of the document. It often happens that the text doesn’t have the same font, especially if you copied the information from another document or internet. The quickest way to fix the document is to clear formatting. Here is how you can remove formatting in Word so you can format it again.


Clear Formatting in Microsoft Word (for all versions)


First thing first, select the part of the text where you want to remove formatting in Word. If you want to clear formatting of the whole text, use Select All option. Press CTRL and A keys on the keyboard, or click on the Select button in the right top corner of Word document and click on Select All.

select all

If you want to select a particular part of the text, you can do it with the mouse- click on the left mouse side and drag the cursor where you want to select it. Continue reading >>

How to Password Protect a Word Document

Document security has become very important in everyday lives of ordinary people. Consider that many documents are of sensitive nature, be it legal or business documents, many people need to secure them. Putting restrictions on your document is a wise move, because only persons you’ve chosen will be able to see your confidential document. Technology has gone a step further and now you can even decide what kind of document permissions you will to someone. Generally, what most individuals need is to set up passwords for their confidential documents. Securing a PDF file has become a common knowledge, but what about Microsoft Word? If you like working in MS Office, learn how to password protect a Word document.


Step by Step- Password Protect a Word Document


MS Word 2007: Review> Protect Document > Encrypt with Password > Enter a password

MS Word 2016 and 2013: File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password > Enter a password> OK

 To password protect a Word document (2016) that has already been saved, follow the steps above. If you need to save a Word document first, click on File and then on Save, to name a file and choose the location where you will save it. Before you click the Save button, click on the Tools option next to it. Go to General options and enter a password to lock a document. You can specify two different passwords, password to open and password to modify.

The passwords should be different because you may not want to give everyone access to both options. If you want to protect your document from changes, you can tick the Read-only box.

how to password protect a word document

MS Word 2016 for Mac: Preferences> Personal Settings> Security> Password to open (set up a password so only individuals with the password can open that document)/ Password to modify (the document can be opened by everyone, but password is needed to make the changes to the document.)


How to Save a Word Document as a PDF


How to Save a Word Document as a PDF

Securing a Word document from other people is very useful if you want to keep your document confidential. But there is one more thing you should protect- the layout of your document.

Since you have learned how to password protect a Word document, it would be useful to learn how to save that documents as a PDF. Why?

To protect your content and its layout.

It is known that Word documents can present data in a different way if used on different devices. If you need to share your document with someone else, whether to print it, to send it by email or to upload it on the cloud, you should better save a Word document as a PDF first. In that way, you will protect the layout of your document. Even a document receiver uses different computer or MS Office package, he/she will see the document the way it is.

Here’s how to save a Word document as a PDF:

The first way is to go to File menu> Save as> Save as type> PDF. In this case you need to open your document first and save it.

If you are far away from your computer but you want to convert it to PDF, it is better to upload it here and you will receive a converted file in your inbox.

The last way is to use PDF Converter Elite desktop program for professional PDF creation. Here you can learn how to create secured and unsecured PDF files.

How to Change Slide Size in PowerPoint

According to some stats, 30 million presentations are created daily. PowerPoint is the most popular tool for creating a presentation. If you have ever created a presentation, you probably tried this amazing program. When you learn PowerPoint skills and finish your presentation, that is not the end. Another thing may come up and you need to learn it- how to change slide size in PowerPoint.

It may happen that your ppt slides look different when you use them on a projector. The version of the program you used and the projector don’t have the same slide size. If you want to present slides in the best looking way, their size should correspond to the size of the screen of the projector.


How to Change Slide Size in PowerPoint 2013, 2016


You can change the size of your ppt slides before or after you put content in them. It is better to set up the size before you start, otherwise you can ruin your slide design. Continue reading >>

How to Make Columns in Word

A text document can be difficult to read, if it is not well formatted. If you are preparing a Word document, you should know that writing plain text is simply not enough, even if you add some images to it. You should try out formatting options in MS Word and present your information in a way that will be easier to read. In addition to bullet points, subtitles and using variety of fonts, you can make tables and columns. Here is a detailed guide on how to make columns in Word. It can be useful when you want to elicit some data.

You can create as many columns as you want, but if you want to present your data properly, don’t make more than three columns per page.

It is useful to know that you can search for column templates in the Word template gallery, the same way you search for other Word templates. But here we will explain you how to make columns in Word by yourself.

How to make columns in Word on only one page


First of all, select the part of the text that you want to include in the column.

Click on the Layout menu, and then on the Columns button, which is in the Page Setup tab.

Choose the number of columns. Continue reading >>

How to Cite a PowerPoint

Using citations is very useful, especially in PowerPoint. Presentation slides often contain less text than a Word document, so it is hard to include everything in them. If you use citations, you can refer your presentation audience to additional resources. In case you didn’t know, citations are sources you used to write a presentation or any other work. You should put them at the bottom of your work. The list of all sources that are cited is called references. Every citation contains the author’s name and the year of publication, as well as the number of pages that were used. Now you just need to learn how to cite a PowerPoint presentation.


How do you add a citation in PowerPoint

There are three different citation styles: MLA, Chicago and APA. Depending on the style you want to use, you can apply different formatting rules.

Continue reading >>

How to Print Multiple Slides on one Page

When you need to deliver a presentation it often requires some additional skills apart from PowerPoint. Assuming you know how to make a presentation in PowerPoint, the only skill you need to learn is related to printing such presentations. In some situations, it is not acceptable to send a PowerPoint presentation via email, and you are expected to print and deliver it instead. If you presentation is too long it means you will need much paper. To cut the printing costs and contribute to environment protection, you can print multiple slides on one page. If you fit more slides on the page you will have less pages to print. Plus, the person who needs to evaluate your presentation will have less paper to go through.


How to print multiple slides on one page only


Note: This guide is meant for users of MS Office 2016, 2013, 2010.


  1. Click on the File menu and then on the Print button. As you can see from the images below, the File menu is at the left top of the program and the button Print is also at the left side of it.

Continue reading >>

How to Print PowerPoint with Notes

PowerPoint is often used for making various presentations. Business people, teachers and students are often in need to present their business, work or research. Most presenters rely on technology and use projectors to show their PowerPoint presentation. But in certain situations it is necessary to print your presentation and hand it out. It is a common knowledge how to print PowerPoint document but not so many people know how to print PowerPoint with notes. So, if you need to retain the comments and notes in your presentation, here is the simplest way to do it.


Print PowerPoint  with Notes in Office 2016, 2013, 2010


Go to Print menu via File, then click on the Full Page Slides and the Print Layout options will show up. Full Page Slides is the default option, change it to Notes Pages.

how to print powerpoint with notes

In addition, you can specify the page orientation, to be the Portrait or Landscape. By default, it is chosen to be the landscape orientation.

To print your notes in color, click the arrow next to the Grayscale button and then click on the preferred color.

Finally click Print.


Print Notes in PowerPoint without Slide Thumbnails


First you need to go to View menu and click on the Notes Pages button, under the Presentation Views tab. Then, select the slide thumbnail you want to remove and click Delete.

The follow steps are pretty much the same as explained in the previous section, start by clicking on File and Print. In the Page Layout select Notes Pages instead of Full Page Slides. Again, finish the process with Print. Continue reading >>

How to Highlight in PowerPoint

Highlighting is useful when you want to emphasize specific parts of a presentation. If you rely on Microsoft Office to create presentations, here is a guide on how to highlight in PowerPoint. First we will explain how to highlight in PowerPoint 2016 (only for Office 365 subscribers), and then we will show you some secrets how to do that without Office 365.


How to highlight text in PowerPoint

The following guide is only for PowerPoint 2016, for Office 365 subscribers. It is very easy to do that: first select the text you want to highlight and then select the arrow that stands next to the “abc” icon. Choose the highlight color and the selected text will be marked with that color.

If you need to highlight text that is not consequent, don’t select the text first but click on the arrow we mentioned above. Choose the color and then click on the text area on the slide. To turn off the highlighter, just press the Esc button.

If your presentation was saved in PDF format, use this PDF to PPT converter to convert your presentation back to PowerPoint.


Useful Tip:

If your PowerPoint version doesn’t support the highlighting feature, you can apply highlight settings in Word and then copy paste the text to PowerPoint. Just make sure to choose the following paste option: Paste and keep source formatting.

Continue reading >>