Excel: The right format is the wrong format

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. I can't figure out why the decimals and commas in my Excel-based cash flow statement (using the "Accounting Format") don't line up properly (as pictured below). What's going on?

techqa1


A.
The problem is that you have selected the Right Align format, which overrides the Accounting Format's decimal orientation. You can correct this problem by selecting column H, and from the Home tab's Alignment group, making sure the Align Right, Align Left, and Align Center formats are deselected. Thereafter, the numbers will align ­according to their decimals, as pictured below.

techqa2

About the author

J. Carlton Collins (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

Submit a question

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to jofatech@aicpa.org. We regret being unable to individually answer all submitted questions.

SPONSORED REPORT

Tax reform complicates year-end tax planning

Get your clients ready for tax season with these year-end tax planning strategies, which address how to make the most of recent tax law changes, such as the new deduction for qualified business income and the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.

VIDEO

What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.