How To Apply the Excel Accounting Number Format [Easy Guide + Video]

Excel accounting number format is straightforward to implement. All you have to do is select the range you want to change (or the whole sheet) and click the shortcut in the “Home” menu.

I’ll show you how to do this, along with a few alternative ways to ensure you can find a method that suits your needs. Read on to learn everything there is to know about accounting format in Excel.

What Is the Excel Accounting Number Format?

The accounting format in Excel is a way of displaying numbers as financial values in the spreadsheet software.

For example, when I apply the accounting format in Excel, it automatically displays the numbers with the appropriate currency symbol, such as the dollar sign ($) and proper decimal values. For this reason, I find the accounting number format in Excel very useful when working with financial data.

In my personal experience, I have used this format as a financial professional to create Excel sheets that are visually appealing and help with accurate calculations.

At first glance, the accounting number format might look the same as the currency format. However, there are a few key differences, which are:

  • Currency: The Excel accounting number format places the currency symbol on the leftmost part of the cell.
  • Zeros: The cells with no value or a zero will instead show a dash (/) symbol. This is a visual indicator that can stand out among the other numbers.

Benefits of the Accounting Number Format in Excel

The accounting format in Excel is great! Especially for people like me (and probably you) who work extensively with currency formats. Here are some of the benefits I appreciate when using this number format:

Customization Options

I can easily customize the format to include or exclude currency symbols when needed. This flexibility lets me customize the appearance of my financial data to match my specific needs.

Decimal Point Precision

The format ensures that decimal points are consistently displayed, which is essential for maintaining precision in calculations. This consistency reduces the risk of errors in my financial reports.

Removes Zero Values

The format automatically removes zero values. This feature reduces visual clutter and ensures that these values do not interfere with my calculations, improving accuracy.

Convenience

Applying the accounting number format is straightforward and convenient. It saves me time and ensures that my financial data looks professional without much effort.

How To Apply the Excel Accounting Number Format

Now that you have a better understanding of what the Excel accounting number format is, we can move on to applying the function using the following two methods.

Applying the accounting number format is extremely easy and can be done using two simple methods. The first method requires only a few steps, making it extremely accessible. However, the second method gives you more control over how to format the data. I would personally recommend you try both methods to see which one you prefer using.

Short on time? Don’t miss my 1-minute step-by-step video guide below!

[adthrive-in-post-video-player video-id=”7hYMUGpy” upload-date=”2023-10-31T13:56:38.000Z” name=”How to Use Accounting Format in Excel” description=”I’ll show you two quick ways to use accounting format in Excel. The first is the easiest, and it only takes seconds.” player-type=”default” override-embed=”default”]

Also available on our Spreadsheet Point YouTube channel: How to Use the Excel Accounting Number Format video

Apply the Excel Accounting Number Format Using the Ribbon

Excel can apply the accounting number format to the selected cells right in its ribbon bar. Here is how to apply the accounting format in Excel:

Excel accounting number format using the ribbon
  1. To use the accounting number format, I first open my spreadsheet with the data and select the cells with the data.
    • Alternatively, I can select some cells or the entire spreadsheet using the Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut.
  2. Click on the “Home” button in the main toolbar and then click on the “Accounting Number Format” button in the “Number” section.
    • This will open a drop-down menu where you can select the type of currency for the numbers.
    • Alternatively, click on the “Number Format” button to select from other currency options.
  3. For this example, I used the $ English (United States) option.
  4. I can click the “Increase Decimal” or “Decrease Decimal” buttons to increase or decrease the decimal points.
    • To entirely remove decimal points, click the “Decrease Decimal” button till all decimal points disappear.
    • This will confirm the format of the selected cells according to my choice.

Related: 5 Free Google Sheets Accounting Templates You Need Today

How To Apply the Excel Accounting Format With Format Cells

Another great way to use Excel’s accounting number format is the format cell window. Here is how you can apply the accounting number format in Excel:

  1. To use the accounting number format, I first open my spreadsheet with the data and select the cells with the data.
    • Alternatively, I can select some cells or the entire spreadsheet using the Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut.
How to Apply the Accounting Format in Excel With Format Cells
  1. Then, I right-click on the selected cells, which opens a drop-down menu.
    • Here, I click on the “Format Cells” option.
    • In the new window that opens, I can choose the type of number category and other options to format the cells.
    • Some other options include: Alignment, Font, Border, Fill, and Protection.
Available options in Excel
  1. In the “Number” tab, select the “Category” section and click on the “Accounting” option.
  2. Here, I can specify the type of format that I want to use.
    • By clicking on the arrows, I can change the Decimal places.
    • To change the currency sign, I can click the “Symbol” option and choose my preferred character.
  3. Click the “OK” button to apply the changes with my preferred options selected.

Related: Google Sheets vs Excel – Which Is Better In 2024?

How To Use a Keyboard Shortcut to Apply the Accounting Format

Although there isn’t a proper keyboard shortcut to apply the accounting format in Excel, you can use Excel’s hotkeys. Here is the keyboard sequence that you can use to apply the correct number format code:

  1. Select the cells that you want to format with the accounting style.
  2. Press the Alt key on your keyboard to activate Excel’s shortcut function.
  3. Press the H button to access the “Home” tab on the Excel ribbon.
  4. Now, click the A button and then the N button to select the “Accounting Number Format” button.
  5. To change the decimal places, follow steps 1-3 and then click on 0 or 9 to increase or decrease decimal places.

Related: 11 Best Excel Courses Online in 2024

Things to Remember While Using Accounting Number Format Excel

When using the accounting number format in Excel, here are a few things that are worth keeping in mind:

  • Instead of selecting a range of cells, I can click on the column or row bar to choose the entire column or row.
    • I can also select the whole spreadsheet by tapping the tiny square above 1 or to the left of A.
  • I always make sure to remove any unnecessary symbols from the data.
  • I can choose how many decimal places I want to use in the data.
  • When I work with a custom Excel number format, it only changes the visual representation of a cell’s value, altering how it’s displayed without affecting its actual value. The original value remains unchanged.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Accounting Number Format in Excel?

The Excel accounting number format is a method of showing numbers as financial values in a spreadsheet. The format type will automatically add the appropriate currency symbol and decimal values, making this format great for people working with accounting spreadsheets.

This format makes your spreadsheet more visually appealing. Any zeros in the data set will be replaced by dashes, which helps reduce visual clutter.

How Can I Apply the Accounting Format in Excel?

Follow these simple steps to apply the accounting format in Excel:

  1. Open the spreadsheet and select the cells to use the accounting number format.
  2. Right-click to open the drop-down menu and choose the “Format Cells” option.
  3. In the new window, under the “Number” tab, select “Accounting” in the “Category” section.
  4. Customize the decimal places and currency symbol, then click “OK” to apply.

What Is an Easy Way to Apply the Accounting Number Format?

Follow the simple steps below to apply the accounting number format quickly and easily:

  1. Open the spreadsheet and select the cells to apply the accounting number format.
  2. You can choose the entire sheet with Ctrl + A.
  3. Click the “Home” button, then “Accounting Number Format.”
  4. Pick your currency from the drop-down menu, for example, $ English (United States).
  5. Adjust the decimal points using the “Increase Decimal” or “Decrease Decimal” buttons, or remove them by repeatedly clicking “Decrease Decimal.”

Wrapping Up

To summarize, you simply have to change the formatting in the ribbon to apply the Excel accounting number format. However, feel free to use any of the methods that we have discussed above. We would also welcome any comments about which method worked best for you. Leave your comments below!

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