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How to ask your boss to pay for Excel training

Ask boss for Excel Traning

One of my favorite business quotes is from Peter Baeklund:

A CFO asks a CEO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?
The CEO responds: What happens if we don’t and they stay?

Asking your boss whether the company will pay for Excel training can seem daunting at first.  However, it’s worth remembering, as highlighted by the quote above, that most companies want to invest in the development of their employees; it actually provides a benefit to the company.  Employees who are trained, motivated and suitably challenged are significantly more valuable.

From my experience of working in various offices, there are two types of bosses:

  • Those bosses who can use Excel well and understand the benefit that can be gained from training their employees
  • Those bosses who can’t use Excel well, and are grateful for anybody in their team who can

Either way, there is a good chance that your boss believes Excel training is good for you and for the company.  Even if your request is declined, it demonstrates that you are conscientious and have a desire to progress, which is never a bad thing.

Training request template

Starting the conversation is the hardest part.  So why not use my e-mail template below.  Copy and paste it into your e-mail client.  Change the sections in the square brackets, add any other personal touches, then click send.


Hi [insert your boss’ name]

I’ve been learning a lot about Microsoft Excel recently, specifically using a site called It has already helped my understanding of spreadsheets and enabled me to save time in everyday tasks.

The site recommends learning VBA and Macros as a way to reduce errors and save even more time. I am writing to ask whether [insert name of company] would be willing to pay for an online course to invest in my professional development.

Obviously, undertaking this training would improve my productivity. So, while I will benefit from the training, [insert name of company] will benefit too.

I’m excited to about the opportunity to work on my professional development. Let me know what you think.

Thanks in advance.

[insert your name]


The type of training to ask for

Too many of us have been on generic classroom based beginner, intermediate and advanced Excel courses.  These are the courses where the tutor says “if you can take away just one or two things from today then it’s worthwhile”.  Er… I don’t think so.  One or two things is the absolute bare minimum.  This isn’t the tutor’s fault, it’s the problem of having too many broad topics all covered in one day of training.

This is why highly focused Excel training spread over longer time periods is beneficial.  Online courses are generally a much better option:

  • Learn at your own pace
  • Repeat difficult topics
  • Provide higher levels of learning retention
  • Total cost of an online course is normally much lower
  • Do not need to take time away from the business

If you’re now wondering which courses I recommend, check out my list of best online Excel courses.

That’s it.  Now it’s all up to you to enjoy the training and really put it into practice.

Want to Learn VBA & Macros?

If you want to automate Excel and save time, my recommended resouces for learning VBA Macros are:

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