# Tag: Worksheet Function

## Excel Tip: Using Today() versus NOW()

By David Ringstrom, CPA
Many users rely on the NOW() function to return today's date in a spreadsheet. This is a perfectly valid purpose, but in certain cases NOW() can cause a formula headache.

The NOW() function returns both today's date, but also the current time as well. For instance, if it's 12:00 p.m. on December 21, 2012, the formula =NOW() in a worksheet cell will return 41,264.50. This is because 12/21/12 is 41,264 days subsequent to January 1, 1900.

The .50 portion represents half of a twenty-four-hour day. Thus, if you're comparing a static date value, such as 12/21/12 to the NOW() function, Excel will indicate that they don't match, because 41,264 isn't equal to 41,264.50.

The solution for comparing dates is to use the TODAY() function instead, since it returns the date portion only; for example, 41,264 for 12/21/12.

David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at david@acctadv.com  or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link

## Excel Tip: Automatic Backup of Key Excel Workbooks

By David Ringstrom, CPA

From within the Save As dialog box of Excel, click the Tools menu, and then choose General Options.

Click the checkbox to Always Create Backup to have Excel automatically create an .xlk version of your file. For instance, if you save the workbook as Participant Hours Tracking.xlsx, each time you save the file Excel will create or overwrite a second workbook named Backup of Participant Hours Tracking.xlk.

The backup copy is only as old as the last time that you saved, so if you compulsively save every five minutes, your backup will always be five minutes old, but it does offer a bit of a safety net.

David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at david@acctadv.com  or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link

## Rounding Numbers To Nearest Multiple

Use MROUND to round a number off to a specific multiple. If cell A1 contains 12.93, in cell B2 =MROUND(A1,0.05) returns 12.95

## TODAY() Versus NOW()

TODAY() returns a date, while NOW() gives a date AND time. For best results use TODAY in formulas that compare today's date to a date range.

## Rounding Tricks

Rounding tricks: =MROUND(331,25) returns 325; =CEILING(331,25) returns 350; =ROUND(9865,-3) returns 10,000 (rounds to nearest 1000)

## N() Function

The N() function allows you to embed notes within formulas, e.g. =SUM(A1:A5)+N(“Sums rows 1 through 5”). N evaluates to zero.

## IFERROR Function

Resolve #DIV/0! errors in Excel 2007 with =IFERROR(A1/A2,0) – puts a zero in the formula cell if either A1 or A2 are blank.

## Creating A Series Of Letters

Enter this formula in cell A1 to return the letter A: =CHAR(64+ROW()).Copy down the column to create a series of letters.