Apply an Accounting Number Format in Excel

Quick Methods to Apply an Accounting Number Format in Excel

There are different formats which can be applied to worksheets in Excel.

These formats can allow you to change the way that values are expressed.

For example, the Accounting Number Format in Excel.

The accounting number format is commonly used to express monetary values.

This special format is distinctive from similar formats as it lines up things like decimal points and symbols of currency – making numerical data easier to visualize.

This format can be very useful if you have a lot of data in number form that you need to appear more orderly. 

For instance, if you want to take different amounts within the same column and line up the decimals and currency signs in each cell within that column.

Applying an accounting number format in Excel is easy to do. A

lso, this type of format can be a great help to giving your spreadsheet a cleaner and easier to understand format.

There are also different ways that you can go about getting the accounting number format – adding to the convenience of getting this task done.

This tutorial will provide you with a lot of time-saving tips that you can use immediately.

Within it, there are multiple ways that you can go about applying the desired format.

Let’s get started.

Here’s how to Apply an Accounting Number Format in Excel:

Number Group Technique

In Excel’s ribbon menu, there is a number group to the top, right side of the screen.

The number group is comprised of different options which you can use to apply different number formats to numeric values in Excel. 

For example, if you wanted to change the arrangement of numbers and symbols within a cell, the number group has to options to make this happen.

The number group also has an option within it that you can access in order to apply the accounting number format. 

The number group technique will focus on the number group in Excel and is a very fast and easy way to get numbers formatted the way that you want them to be.

To apply the accounting number format in Excel with the number group technique:

  1. Click and select the cells of the numeric values or numbers that you wish to have accounting format.
    Number Group Technique
  2. Go to the ribbon menu in Excel and click on Home.
    Number Group Technique1
  3. On the right side of the menu should be the number group. Click on the small downward-facing arrow within this number group. This should open up a drop-down menu or list with currency options to choose from.
    Number Group Technique2
  4. Select the currency of your choosing from the menu.
    Number Group Technique3

That’s it!

You should now see the selected numbers on your spreadsheet appear in accounting format.

Number Formatting Option Technique

The number formatting option technique is another way that can help you to format your numbers the way that you want them to appear.

This technique focuses on using the number formatting option, which is a feature that can allow you to change the appearance of numbers or numeric values in Excel.

This method can be particularly helpful if you need to have your numbers in accounting format.

This is also a quick technique for formatting values into the desired arrangement.

Steps that you can take to use the number formatting option technique are as follows:

  1. Click and drag to select the cells of the numbers that you wish to be in accounting number format. Be sure to select all of the cells that you want this change to be applied to in order to avoid having to do this more times than necessary.
    Number Formatting Option Technique
  2. Go to the ribbon menu, then click on the ‘Home’ tab.
    Number Formatting Option Technique1
  3. Go to the number section on the right side of the screen and press the arrow of the drop-down list that says ‘General’, then select the option ‘Accounting’ from this menu. This step should apply the formatting to the numbers that you’ve selected and should allow the changes to occur.
    Number Formatting Option Technique2

At this point, there should be nothing further to do. The numbers from the cells should now appear in the desired format as a result.

Format Cells Method

Format Cells is an option is Excel which makes formatting numbers in your spreadsheet much quicker.

The format cells method will involve using the Format Cells option to complete this task.

This method is a great technique that can be used to change the arrangement of your numbers and put them into accounting format in barely any time at all.

Implementing this method can also be done within a few steps as well.

To put this effective technique to use:

  1. Click and drag to select the cells or range of cells in your spreadsheet that you wish to change into accounting number format.
    Format Cells Method
  2. On any of the selected cells, right-click. This should bring up a drop-down list. 
  3. Click to select the “Format Cells” or “Number Format” option from this list. This should open up a new box for formatting cells.
    Format Cells Method1
  4. In the Format Cells or Number Format box, click on ‘Accounting’ from the category list. This should bring up more options within the box.
    Format Cells Method2
  5. On the right side of the Format Cells box, choose the number of decimal places you would like your numbers to have. Next, select the currency from the Symbols list. 
  6. Press ‘OK’ at  the bottom of the dialog box.

After using the Format Cells option as specified, the numbers you’ve selected should now be in accounting number format.


We have learned some easy ways to apply the accounting number format to a spreadsheet in Excel.

These easy steps can be a cinch if you need to do a simple task such as this while saving time.

If you are having trouble at any point throughout the process, be sure to go back over any steps to see if you missed anything.

Hope these techniques have helped you get results which you have been looking for!

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Denise is a Financial Controller with experience in Office Software (Excel & Word), Accounting, Bookkeeping, Business Incorporation/LLC, Taxes and IRS Issues and more. She Graduated from Portland State University in Business Management and went onto Seattle University to complete her Graduate (Masters) Degree in Organizational Systems Renewal. She contributes to with her knowledge of Business Software, in particularly Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.