# Why Is Excel Showing The Formula And Not The Result Excel Tip – Calculating A Cumulative Sum Or Running Total In Excel

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

Running total or cumulative total, these terms are often used in Excel and usually mean or refer to the same thing.

If this calculation is something you need to do and you don’t use a Pivot Table summary of your data in Excel with running total or percentage of running total as built-in options, then you need to get a little more use your Excel formulas because Excel doesn’t have a built-in function or formula , which would automatically do this for you. Getting the right result with a few mouse clicks is quite easy.

You can achieve the correct cumulative sum or running total output using the SUM formula. Typically, the SUM formula is located at the bottom or end of the row or column of cells you want to add or sum in Excel.

For example, deposits and withdrawals are in our value column, which is A2:A5 below

AB

1 TOTAL AMOUNT

\$2,100.00

3 – \$75.00

\$4,350.0

\$5,100.00

A typical Excel summation calculation would be in cell A6 to contain the following

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

Here, the running or cumulative total is slightly different because we use the SUM formula on each row and see the total after each deposit and withdrawal row by row.

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

=SUM(B\$2:B2).

The \$locks the reference to row 2 because that’s our starting point and it doesn’t change when the formula is dragged down the column of our cells (an absolute reference). By comparison, the B2 reference changes as we drag the formula down the column, called the relative reference. This type of reference is known as a mixed reference because it contains a mixture of absolute and relative references.

Let’s go ahead and drag the formula down in our column and you should get the running total or cumulative balance of your deposits and withdrawals.

AB

1 TOTAL AMOUNT

2 \$100.00 \$100.00

3 – \$75.00 \$25.00

\$4,350.0 \$375.00

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

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

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