Simple subtraction not calculating correctly

Copper Contributor

I think I'm losing my mind.    I have a subtraction (Actuals - Planned) and it works for some months and not others.  It's exactly the same formula, just for different months (hence different values).  I checked all the references and they're pointing to the right cells.   Jan/Feb don't work,  rest of the year does.   Copying/pasting the formula hasn't worked (in fact it yields the results of the originating cell even though the references say otherwise) and even deleting and retyping doesn't fix it.  I've attached screen shots for reference.    This is just subtraction... why so hard?!


Screenshot 2023-07-31 at 3.45.13 PM.png

 J results are wrong, P is correct


Screenshot 2023-07-31 at 3.45.45 PM.png

 Formulas view so you can see they are the same

Screenshot 2023-07-31 at 3.46.48 PM.png

This is the formatting on both cells which explains why one is red and the other is not.

4 Replies


Could you attach a small sample workbook demonstrating the problem (without sensitive data), or if that is not possible, make it available through OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or similar?

@Hans Vogelaar  Sorry for the delay.   Thank you for your response.   I have created this Sample for you to see.  Let me know if you  have any trouble accessing it.


Thanks. Cells Q4 (January) and AA4 (February) on sheet 'Booking Fee Details 2022-2023' contained circular references. The formulas in these cells were inconsistent with the formulas in the cells below. When I copied Q5 to Q4 and AA5 to AA4, the problem disappeared.

See the attached version.

THANK YOU!!!!! I feel like my head is swimming in formulas these days. BLESS YOU