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Thread: Formula to find possible combinations to a target amount
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    Default Formula to find possible combinations to a target amount

    Hello!

    I'm trying to find what possible combination of numbers is causing a variance. I saw someone do a formula once to find this but I don't have that formula. We have a statement with close to 500 lines and I wanted to be able to find which combination of those number would make $$$ amount that I'm off.

    I just tried a method I found online using solve add-in and it's been over 30 mins and excel is still working on that. It's basically frozen, so far it says it's on the 20,000+ subproblem and counting up fast, but I haven't seen any solution yet. When I saw this person do a formula before it didn't take long at all, so I'm wondering if there's a different way.

    Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance!

    Milly

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    MrExcel MVP Eric W's Avatar
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    Default Re: Formula to find possible combinations to a target amount

    Hi,

    This problem comes up from time to time. I'm not aware of any formula to do this, but there are some programs that work. The Solver method would probably only work on a smaller number of lines. Here's a link to where I explain where to get the program, and how to use it:

    https://www.mrexcel.com/forum/excel-...ar-amount.html

    in post 2. With 500 lines though, I suspect you'll get too many results to be useful. You'll probably have to find another way to find the discrepancy, like checking each line for typos.
    Cheers,
    Eric

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    Board Regular Toadstool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Formula to find possible combinations to a target amount

    I don't know of a formula, just some hints about what Accountants used to do in the days numbers were typed in:

    Hint 1: Divide the discrepancy by 2 and search the statement for that number (to find a debit/credit error).

    Hint 2: Divide the discrepancy by 9 (or .09 if you've cents). If you get no remainder then there was probably a transposition of two digits (e.g. 123.54 instead of 123.45)

    Hint 3: Is the discrepancy a three error? (i.e. the discrepancy is .03, .3, 3, 30, 300, 3000 etc) then it was probably a numeric pad entry error of hitting the wrong row (e.g. a 1 for a 4, an 8 for a 5, etc).
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