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## Excel Tip – Calculating A Cumulative Sum Or Running Total In Excel

A running total or a cumulative total, these terms are commonly used within Excel and usually mean or refer to the same thing.

If this calculation is something you need to do, and you are not using a Pivot Table summary of your data in Excel, which has a total run or a percentage of the total as a built-in option, then you will need to do a little more get it put your hands on your Excel formulas because there is no built-in function or formula for Excel to do this for you automatically. It’s very straightforward to get the right result with just a few clicks of your mouse.

You can get the exact cumulative total or run the total output using the SUM formula. Usually the SUM formula will be at the bottom or end of a row or column of cells that you add or ‘sum’ in Excel.

For example in our column of values below in A2:A5 we have deposits and withdrawals

AB

1 PRINCE TOTAL

2 $100.00

3 – $75.00

4 $350.0

5 $100.00

A typical calculation for Summing in Excel would be in cell A6 containing the following

=SUM(A2:A5) and the result will be $475.00

This is where a running or accumulated total is a little different, because we use the SUM formula in each row and we will be able to see a total row after each deposit and withdrawal.

So, let’s use the same data, but the formula we can enter in B2 is this

=SUM(B$2:B2).

The $ reference locks Row 2, because this is our initial reference point and it won’t change when the formula is drawn into our column of cells (an absolute reference). In comparison, the reference to B2 will change as we move the formula down the column—known as a relative reference. This type of reference is known as a compound reference because it contains a mixture of absolute and relative references.

Let’s go ahead and drag the formula into your column and you should end up with a total or cumulative balance for your deposit and withdrawal.

AB

1 PRINCE TOTAL

2 $100.00 $100.00

3 – $75.00 $25.00

4 $350.0 $375.00

5 $100.00 = SUM(B$2:B5)

As seen in Excel, even if you’re not using a Pivot Table, it’s really easy to get a running or cumulative total using the Excel Sum formula.

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