Sousixer said:

I often use the accounting format with no

dollar sign. Sometimes a cell which contains

a formula resulting in zero will show the zero

as - (which I prefer). Other times the zero will

be shown as 0.00 or even (0.00).

The "-" appears only when the value is exactly zero. The value of the cells

that appear as 0.00 or (0.00) is not exactly zero.

This arises one of two ways:

1. Your formula might result in numbers with more decimal places. Common

case: multiplying by a percentage (e.g. interest rate).

2. Infinitesimal "errors" (aberrations) are introduced in arithmetic

operations because most numbers with decimal fractions cannot be represented

exactly internally. For example, =10.1-10 is not exactly the same as the

constant 0.1. Try =IF(10.1-10=0.1,TRUE). It returns FALSE(!).

Fix this one of two ways:

1. Use the ROUND function in formulas, at least in any formula that should

result in a dollars-and-cents value; i.e., =ROUND(formula,2).

Do not rely on formatting with 2 decimal places. That rounds the

__appearance__ of the value. It does not round the actual value.

2. Use the "Precision as displayed" option (PAD) under Tools > Options >

Calculation (in Excel 2003).

Generally, I deprecate the use of PAD because it is applied

indiscriminately and because setting the option can change constants cell

values (e.g. interest rates) irreversibly. If you choose to try PAD, be sure

to make a backup copy of the Excel file before setting the option.

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