You don't need to learn a complicated Excel function to calculate your company's annual sales. The program's SUM function returns the total sum from all of the values in specific cells. For example, the function can add the value of each cell in a range of consecutive cells, such as a range of cells representing the 12 months of the year. You only need your monthly sales data to use the function to get your annual sales total.
Open a new spreadsheet, then enter the name of each month of the year in each cell from A1 to A12. For example, type "January" in cell A1, and then type "February" in cell A2.
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Enter the total sales for each respective month in cells B1 through B12. For example, enter sales for the month of January in cell B1, and then enter sales for February in cell B2.
Enter "Annual Sales" in cell A13, and then enter "=SUM(B1:B12)" in cell B13.
Press the "Enter" key. The SUM function adds the range of values and displays the annual sales number in cell B13.
Excel's AutoSum feature can also sum numbers in a row or column. Click the cell at the end of a row or column of numbers that you want to add, then click the "Home" tab. Click "AutoSum" in the Editing group, then press "Enter."
If you keep track of your sales quarterly or biannually instead of monthly, adjust the number of cells you use accordingly; one cell for each reporting period.
If you're using a larger report with multiple figures representing costs, sales, taxes and more, you can also use the sum function to target specific cells for calculation. For example, if the quarterly sales totals are located in cells B4, C4, D4 and E4, you can use "=SUM(B4, C4, D4, E4)" to add the values of only those cells.
Although Excel spreadsheets can handle a lot of data, there is a break-point where minute details can take longer to enter and calculate than is reasonable. Try to take your sales data in as large a chunk as you can. It's more efficient for you to calculate based on monthly or quarterly sales than on daily or weekly.
Information in this article applies to Microsoft Excel 2013. Instructions may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.