# How to Count Business Days in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Counting business days in Excel can be a real time-saver, especially when working on projects with tight deadlines. It’s all about using the right functions to exclude weekends and holidays. With a few simple steps, you can automate this process and avoid any manual counting errors. We’ll walk you through the process using the NETWORKDAYS function.

## How to Count Business Days in Excel

Using Excel’s built-in functions, you can easily count the number of business days between two dates, excluding weekends and holidays. The following steps will guide you through the process using the NETWORKDAYS function.

Make sure your data is organized and you have your start and end dates ready. You can enter these dates in two separate cells for easy reference.

### Step 2: Select the Cell for the Result

Next, select the cell where you want the result of the business days count to appear.

This will be the cell where Excel will display the number of business days. It’s a good idea to choose a cell that’s easy to find, like right next to your date entries.

### Step 3: Enter the NETWORKDAYS Formula

Then, type the formula =NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, [holidays]).

Replace "start_date" and "end_date" with the cells containing your dates. The "holidays" part is optional but useful if you have specific holidays to exclude.

### Step 4: Press Enter

After typing the formula, press Enter to get the result.

Excel will calculate the number of business days between your start and end dates, excluding weekends and any holidays you specified.

### Step 5: Verify and Adjust

Finally, double-check the result and adjust if needed.

If the result doesn’t look right, make sure your dates are in the correct format and that any holidays are properly listed.

Once you complete these steps, Excel will display the number of business days between your selected dates, excluding weekends and any specified holidays.

## Tips for Counting Business Days in Excel

• Use Named Ranges: Create a named range for your holiday list to make your formulas easier to read and manage.
• Double-Check Dates: Ensure your dates are in the correct format to avoid errors.
• Test with Known Data: Test the formula with a known date range to make sure it works correctly.
• Use NETWORKDAYS.INTL: For more control over which days are considered weekends, use the NETWORKDAYS.INTL function.
• Document Your Steps: Keep a note of your steps and any customizations for future reference.

### What does NETWORKDAYS do in Excel?

The NETWORKDAYS function calculates the number of business days between two dates, excluding weekends and optional holidays.

### Can I include holidays in the count?

Yes, you can include holidays by listing them in a range of cells and referencing that range in the NETWORKDAYS formula.

### What if my weekends are different?

Use the NETWORKDAYS.INTL function to specify custom weekend days if your weekends differ from the standard Saturday and Sunday.

### Why is my formula not working?

Check that your dates are in the correct format and that you haven’t made any typos in the formula.

### Can I count business days for multiple date ranges?

Yes, you can use multiple NETWORKDAYS formulas or sum their results to count business days for multiple date ranges.

## Summary of Steps

2. Select the Cell for the Result.
3. Enter the NETWORKDAYS Formula.
4. Press Enter.

## Conclusion

Counting business days in Excel can significantly streamline your workflow and ensure you meet all your deadlines accurately. By using the NETWORKDAYS function, you can effortlessly calculate the number of business days between two dates, excluding weekends and holidays. This function is particularly useful for project managers, accountants, and anyone who needs to track workdays efficiently.

If you frequently work with varying weekend days, consider using NETWORKDAYS.INTL for even more customization. Always double-check your dates and holidays to ensure accuracy. With these steps and tips, you can become an Excel pro in no time. For further reading, explore more advanced Excel functions and how they can simplify your tasks.

Ready to master Excel even more? Dive into tutorials on VLOOKUP, pivot tables, and conditional formatting to take your Excel skills to the next level. Happy calculating!