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10 Excel Secrets Everyone Should Know

SalesHQ and Richard Rinyai

August 18, 2009

8. Calculating Discounts

Have you ever wondered how to calculate discounts on certain products/services that you or your firm offers? One of my colleagues had this dilemma a few days ago.

I tried searching around for an answer on Google, but no luck. It kept providing me topics that weren’t relevant to the particular answer I was looking for. I then checked Excel’s help file and there it was.

Here is how to calculate the difference between two numbers as a percentage:

For example, your earnings are $2,342 in November and $2,500 in December. What is the percentage change in your earnings between these two months? To do this task, use the ABS function and the subtraction (-) and division (/) operators.

A = November earnings: 2342
B = December earnings: 2500

The formula for this is:



Divides the difference between the second and first numbers by the absolute value of the first number to get the percentage change (0.06746 or 6.75%)

And don’t forget to click the % icon to format it into a percentage.