# Alternative to IF

## I use an IF function to compare two values to confirm they balance and put a 1 if they don’t balance and a 0 if they do balance. Something like =IF(A1=B1,0,1). I then SUM the 1’s to see how many don’t balance. Is there an easier way?

By Neale Blackwood
In Excel you don’t need to use the IF function to do a logical comparison between two values. Assume columns A and B have values. In C1 you could enter the formula =(A1<>B1)*1 to display 1if the two numbers DON’T balance and 0 if they do balance. Using <> (the less than symbol followed by the greater than symbol) means “not equal to” in Excel.

You can then use a SUM formula to find out how many errors there are.

The logical test (A1<>B1) will calculate to either TRUE or FALSE. In computing (binary) terms TRUE = 1 and FALSE = 0. So when the logical test in the brackets is multiplied by 1 they calculate to 1 or 0, which can then be added up.

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