Autosum in Excel

Use the autosum fucntion in Excel to save time with financial modelling.

Why use Autosum in Excel?

The autosum function in Excel is a great way to speeding up your financial analysis.  It allows you to easily add up a series of numbers either vertically or horizontally without having to use the mouse or even the arrow keys on the keyboard!

For a financial analyst performing calculations all day long, even a small increase in speed for one function can add up to a lot of time saved over the course a day, week, or even year.

In industries like investment banking, keyboard shortcuts are critical, and analysts are expected to know them all by heart (see our guide on how to get a job in investment banking).

How Autosum works

The autosum shortcut is very simple, just type two keys:


Step 1: place the cursor below the column of numbers you want to sum (or to the left of the row of numbers you want to sum)..

Step 2: hold down the Alt key and then press the equals = sign while still holding Alt.

Step 3: press Enter.

Example of Autosum in Excel

Here are two screen shots of the auto sum shortcut in action.

The first example shows the autosum formula being used on a vertical series of numbers, and the second example shows the formula on a horizontal series of numbers.

It’s important to place your cursor in the correct place before pressing “Alt =”.​

See Excel screenshots example below:

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