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Rounding negative numbers

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  • Rounding negative numbers

    Don't recall this being mentioned before.

    When using the ROUND() function be careful to consider how the function behaves when the last digit is a "5". Consider the following sequence:

    [FONT=Courier New]?round(6.775, 2)
    = 6.78
    ?round(-6.775, 2)
    = [COLOR="#FF0000"]-6.77[/COLOR]
    ?round(6.775, 2) + round(-6.775, 2)
    = [COLOR="#FF0000"]0.01[/COLOR]
    This surprised me. I have an app that permits offsetting entries. When the client reversed a transaction by entering a new record with negative values they wound up with a penny left over.

    Upon reflection I realized that the ROUND() function is behaving consistently. When the last digit is a "5" the function rounds "up". Negative 6.77 is "higher" than negative 6.78, right?

    Thought it might be helpful to mention this here, since it's not mentioned in the helps.
    Last edited by Tom Cone Jr; 02-14-2013, 09:39 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Rounding negative numbers

    Thanks Tom. I use reversals in Invoicing apps. and never noticed this. Good catch.
    See our Hybrid Option here;

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    • #3
      Re: Rounding negative numbers

      Math... who needs it?
      Al Buchholz
      Bookwood Systems, LTD
      Weekly QReportBuilder Webinars Thursday 1 pm CST

      Occam's Razor - KISS
      Normalize till it hurts - De-normalize till it works.
      Advice offered and questions asked in the spirit of learning how to fish is better than someone giving you a fish.
      When we triage a problem it is much easier to read sample systems than to read a mind.
      "Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler."
      Albert Einstein


      • #4
        Re: Rounding negative numbers


        I assume you worked out how to handle the situation but for any others who have the issue.

        amt = 6.775
        ?round(amt, 2)
        = 6.78
        amt = -6.775
        ?round(amt, 2) [COLOR="#0000FF"]'causes trouble[/COLOR]
        = -6.77
        ? if(amt>=0,round(amt, 2),round(abs(amt), 2)*-1)
        = -6.78
        There can be only one.


        • #5
          Re: Rounding negative numbers

          Thanks, Stan. Don't get to use the ABS() function very often, do we?

          -- tom


          • #6
            Re: Rounding negative numbers

            Not since Fortran IV, anyway.
            There can be only one.


            • #7
              Re: Rounding negative numbers

              Am I maybe missing something? It seems broken to me...

                amt   n   round(amt,n)   awayfromzero   halfup
               6.775  2      6.78           6.78         6.78
              -6.775  2     -6.77          -6.78        -6.77
               6.75   1      6.8            6.8          6.8
              -6.75   1     -6.7           -6.8         -6.7
               6.5    0      7.             7.           7.
              -6.5    0     -7.            -7.          -6.
              It looks like the algorithm used by ROUND() has logic in it instead of just math, and doesn't match any standard rounding method. Of course they can't change it because who knows what would break, but they could add a few new ROUND()-type functions that correctly implement standard rounding methods.

              This is all very complicated. Wikipedia has a good description of it here. If I recall correctly it didn't work right in early Excel either, which caused all sorts of trouble.