How to Format Debits and Credits in Excel

By Tara Kimball

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet solution that simplifies tracking your accounts and managing finances. When you are tracking activity in an account, one common task you'll need to perform is calculating your deposits and expenditures, also known as "credits" and "debits." Excel gives you considerable flexibility in how you format your data. Correctly format your spreadsheet so you can identify your credits and debits at a glance.

Step 1

Right-click the cell you want to format. Alternatively, highlight an entire column if the column will only be used for debits and credits, with no additional text or input. Click the letter label at the top of the column to highlight it.

Step 2

Press the "Ctrl" and the "1" keys simultaneously or right-click the highlighted area and click "Format Cells." Select "Accounting" in the Category column.

Step 3

Select the option if you want the dollar sign to indicate currency. Choose the number of decimal places you want to see in the cell. Click "OK." Excel will automatically place parenthesis around debits for you, since the formatting triggers it when you use the "-" to indicate a negative number.