Excel - inconsistent conversion of values

I am a recently appointed school governor. The LEA last year provided an Excel file for schools submitting budgets. There has been a problem because Excel has converted text values when using the plus sign (+), but has not converted text values when using @sum.

The school have asked me if they can take any further action as a result of this which has left them £30,000 short of funds. I do not have particular forensic skills to know how the values in two cells were entered as right aligned text values rather than as numbers.

However in the column two to the right where there was a formula using the value which used the plus sign there was no indication of the problem. The total of the column containing the cells used the @sum formula. Sadly it was this lower total which rippled through to the budget submission.

I can see that Microsoft have documented the conversion "If you enter a different type of value than is expected, Microsoft Excel sometimes is able to convert the value." Why isn't there consistency?
Peter Wolstenholme

Comments
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How about a check column?

AccountingWEB |
AccountingWEB's picture

Thanks to Paul and Neil

Peter Wolstenholme |

Responding to Neil's comments

AccountingWEB |
AccountingWEB's picture

Paul, again

neileg |

I don't think your problem lies with any file conversion or data

AccountingWEB |
AccountingWEB's picture

Responding to Paul Mitchell

neileg |

Spite by Microsoft?

AnonymousUser |

An assumption of correctness

neileg |