Accounting number format in Excel

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The accounting number format is used for numbers representing money in finance and is designed with a currency symbol, a thousand separator and two decimal places.  

Figure 1.   Final result: Accounting Number Format

How to apply Accounting Number format

In order to apply the accounting number format, we select the cells we want to format, then apply the accounting number format through either of these two methods:

  • Number Format menu on the ribbon
  • Click Home tab > Number Tools drop-down arrow > Accounting

Figure 2.  Accounting Format menu option

  • Format Cells in menu options or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 1
    • Right click the cells and select Format Cells

Figure 3.  Format Cells option

The Format Cells dialog box will appear.  

  • Select Accounting in the Number tab
  • Choose the appropriate symbol and number of decimal places  

Figure 4.  Accounting format settings in Format Cells

Accounting Number Format

After we have setup cells C4:C7 to an Accounting Number Format, we copy the values in column B into column C.  

Figure 5.  Output: Accounting Number Format

Note that for the accounting number format as shown in column C:

  • A currency symbol “$” is added
  • Currency symbols are lined up at the left side of the cells
  • A thousands separator is added
  • Default format is set to two (2) decimal places
  • Decimal places are lined up at the right side of the cells
  • For negative values, a minus sign “-” is added before the number
  • A zero value is displayed as a dash  “-”