Column Types: Number & Currency

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

I don’t really use the currency field much, but then I haven’t had much cause to. I generally use the number field. Both of them have their uses, and apparently currency provides a slightly higher degree of accuracy. Each list will automatically have one number column called ID. This is so that SharePoint can differentiate one line of data to the next.

Microsoft has this to say about Numbers and Currency columns:

Tips for choosing a Number or Currency column

Both the Number and Currency column types store numerical values.

  • Use the number column field type to store numerical values that are not monetary values, or to store numeric data for mathematical calculations that are not financial calculations or do not require a high degree of accuracy.
  • Use a currency column to store numeric data for financial calculations or in cases where you do not want round numbers in calculations.

Unlike a Number column, a Currency column is accurate 15 digits to the left of the decimal point and 4 digits to the right. Both the Number and Currency column types provide predefined formats that determine how data appears.

You can customize a Number column in these ways:

Specify minimum and maximum values Limit the range of numbers that people can enter. For example, if the column stores the amount of work that has been completed for a task as a percentage, you can specify zero as the minimum value and one hundred as the maximum value. Similarly, if the column stores the number of attendees for an event and you want to limit attendees to a specific number, you can enter the maximum number of attendees as the maximum value.

Include decimal places Specify whether the numbers contain decimal places and the number of decimal places to store. If the column may need to store numbers that have more than five decimal places, you can choose Automatic when selecting the number of decimal places to include. Automatic is also a good choice if the column stores the results of calculations and you want the result to be as precise as possible. However, if you want to ensure that all values in the column have the same number of decimal places, it’s a good idea to limit the number of decimal places to zero, for whole numbers only, or another number of decimal places through five.

Display a default value Automatically display a specific number when someone adds a new item, while also allowing people to enter different numbers if they need to do so. A default value helps people enter information faster. For example, if the column stores the number of computers that each team member has and every team member has at least one computer, enter 1 as the default value. As a result, 1 appears automatically when a new item is added to the list, and team members do not have to enter the number.

A default value can be either a number that you specify or the result of a calculation, which is called a calculated value. Calculated values are helpful when you want to display a specific number automatically but the number might vary depending on who added the item, when the item was added, or other reasons. To use a calculated value, you enter a formula, instead of a specific number, as the default value. The formula can calculate a number based on information in other columns or system functions.

Format the number as a percentage Indicate whether to display and store the number as a percentage, and to treat it as a percentage when it is used to calculate other values.

You can customize a Currency column in these ways:

Specify minimum and maximum values Limit the range of currency values that people can enter. For example, if the column stores reported expenses for an event and your organization limits reporting to amounts within a specific range, you can specify those limits as the minimum and maximum values.

Include decimal places Specify whether values include decimal places and the number of decimal places to store. For currency values, you can choose two decimal places or, if you prefer to store only round values, you can choose zero. For non-monetary values used in calculations that require a high degree of accuracy, you can choose to limit the number of decimal places to zero through five or, for more precise values, choose Automatic to automatically use the appropriate number of decimal places for the result of the calculation.

Display a default value Automatically display a specific value when someone adds a new item, while also allowing people to enter a different value if they need to do so. A default value helps people enter information faster. For example, if the column stores expenses incurred for setting up new accounts and that expense is typically the same for all new accounts, you can specify that amount as the default value. As a result, that value appears automatically when a new item is added to the list, and team members do not have to enter the number.

A default value can be either a value that you specify or the result of a calculation, which is called a calculated value. Calculated values are helpful when you want to display a specific value automatically but the value might vary depending on the item, who added the item, when the item was added, or other reasons. To use a calculated value, you enter a formula, instead of specific text, as the default value. The formula can calculate a value based on information in other columns or system functions.

Choose a currency format Ensure that all of the values in the column are based on the same currency by selecting a specific currency format for the column.

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