Use sum and working lines

Sometimes, your budget values are made up of details not shown in the Profit and Loss statement. You can use sum or working lines to include this detail in the Main tab. Then, you and your team can see the breakdown of where money is coming from or going to and get answers to your questions straight away.

Sum and working lines are great for starting your budget and adding basic details and calculations. However, if you don’t want your Main budget worksheet to have such detail or if one working line drives multiple budget rows, use a Manual Entry tab instead.

Sum lines automatically calculate budget values. The values in the sum lines sum up to the main (parent) row. Sum lines are handy for expense accounts, such as office supplies and maintenance, that typically have supporting schedules managed elsewhere (external spreadsheet). Rather than viewing only the total value in the budget and looking elsewhere for the details, you can use sum lines to view the breakdown of the total right underneath the main budget row. For example, you might have a row for the Maintenance expense with multiple sum lines underneath for the cost of painting, roof replacement, and so on.

Working lines are more versatile than sum lines, and you can use them in two ways: add the data for information purposes or reference the data in formulas in the main budget row. Working lines are particularly handy for managing budget items based on a percentage of another item. For example, you might budget 2% of sales for your Advertising expense. You can enter the percentage into the working line and use a formula to calculate the expense, referencing the percentage and the Sales value. Then, if the sales value increases, the Advertising expense increases automatically.

Add a sum or working line

To add a working or sum row:

  • For a single budget item, hover over the first column of the row and click the blue Add button that displays.

    Then select either Working line or Sum line as required.

  • For multiple budget items in bulk, select the applicable rows, then hover over the first column of any selected row and click the blue Add button that displays. Alternatively, you can use the Row menu.


    In the Add [sum or working] lines window, enter a name for the sum row and click Apply. If you want to add a working row instead, click the toggle button to switch the sum row to a working row, then click Apply.

Example - Use a sum row

For example, suppose your Insurance budget item is made up of three types of insurance items that aren’t individually accounted for in the Profit and Loss but you want to budget for each type of insurance, as these costs are expected to be incurred.

Add a sum row for each type of insurance, then enter the values in the applicable cells. The values in the Insurance account row automatically update to reflect your additions. You can no longer edit the main budget row, as it is effectively “driven” off the new sum rows.

Example - Use a working row

For example, suppose your Interest Expense budget item is a function of the current loan balance and a variable interest rate.

Add three working rows, one each for the loan balance, repayments and interest rate. Next, use a formula in the first Interest Expense cell to calculate the loan balance across the 12-month period (= Interest Rate * Loan Balance / 12), then copy the formula forward.

As the loan balance will change each month (increasing by the interest change and reducing by any repayments), use a formula in the second Loan Balance cell to calculate the loan balance value (= Loan Balance + Repayments + Interest Expense), then copy all rows forward to populate the remaining cells.

Now if you change the interest rate or repayments amount, the system will automatically update the Interest Expense values.

Customize the format of the measures in a working row

Click the menu button (three dots) at the start of the working row and define your custom format. See Format measures in working and sum rows for more information.

You don't have the option to apply a custom format to sum rows because it sums up to its parent row.

Delete a sum or working row

Expand the sum/working row, then hover over the first column of that row to display the Delete button. Click the Delete button, then click Delete to confirm.