# How to count the number of business days in a given period using the NETWORKDAYS function

Microsoft Excel uses actual numbers to store specific dates inside of Excel.

By subtracting these two numbers, you can then tell how many days there are between a given start date and a given end date. However this doesn’t necessarily take into account days like Saturdays and Sundays which may not be trading days for a business. The NETWORKDAYS function is a very easy and simple way to find out the number of business days given a start and an end date.

The video tutorial below will walk you through using the NETWORKDAYS Function (a full transcript of the video is below):

### NETWORKDAYS Function Tip Video Transcript:

Microsoft Excel uses actual numbers to store specific dates inside of Excel.

By subtracting these two numbers, you can then tell how many days there are between a given start date and a given end date. However this doesn’t necessarily take into account days like Saturdays and Sundays, which may not be trading days for a business.

The NETWORKDAYS function is a very easy and simple way to find out the number of business days given a start and an end date. The NETWORKDAYS function also has the ability to exclude specific days that are specified as holidays; these could be public holidays, days of religious observance, non-trading days, etc.

Let’s take a look at the NETWORKDAYS function in action:

Looking at this particular Excel spread sheet we can see that we have a start date and an end date already set up, plus a list of public holidays that we would need to include in our NETWORKDAYS calculation.

NETWORKDAYS requires the start date, the end date and any specific public holidays between these two dates. Please note that the 1st of January falls on a Sunday in 2012, meaning typically that the public holiday for that day falls to the Monday. Hence 2nd of January would be a non-working day as part of the Monday to Friday week, so it is therefore removed from these calculations.

By entering these particular parameters, I can see there are 21 working days for the month of January, but I can also extend this across a number of months, say, to the 30th of April. Taking into account just the one public holiday on the 2nd of January, you can see that there are 85 working days between the 1st of January and the 30th of April.

However we can adjust the holiday’s option to include a range of public holidays or religious observance days that are not necessarily continuous in pattern. Instead of just looking at one particular cell for our range of holidays, I can select a range of cells each of those cells can have a specific date relevant to this particular range of dates.

So my start date is the 1st of January 2012 to the 30th of April 2012 and all of the dates listed in cells G6 through to G10 represent specific days that we will not be trading in the Monday to Friday standard work week. Taking into account human rights, Easter and freedom day, we can see that we now have 81 work days for the date range given.

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