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Excel - cumulative totals

There are many situations where you might want to calculate a cumulative total in an Excel spreadsheet, from a straightforward running total for a list of bank transactions to cumulative values for use with an Excel chart that is animated over time.

Running totals for a single column

We will start with a formula to calculate a running total in a column adjacent to a set of values sorted by a date/time field. When I run Excel induction courses for the new intake of accountancy firms one of the first practical areas I cover is the use of dollar signs to fix elements of a cell reference – often known as an absolute, as opposed to relative, reference. Part of the related exercise I inflict on my victims involves adding a running total to a list of monthly balances. My suggested answer is to use a SUM() function with the row element of the start of the range fixed, but the end of the range left relative.

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