You may encounter a #VALUE! error within the locked cells inside any Palo Alto Software program. This error message is the program's method of letting you know about invalid or missing data in the unlocked, data entry cells of the table.
The #VALUE error in plan tables indicates that one or more cells that should contain number values are blank or are being read as text instead. This error is most often caused by blanks in data entry cells. However, it can also indicate errors in data entry, or errors in user-entered spreadsheet formulas.
Double check all of your data entry
The data may look like numbers to you, but it is possible that the software is interpreting them as text. Often cells have been left blank, no numbers at all, which the software interprets as a space, not a number.
The software formats numbers automatically, such as the "$" for currency or "," for thousands. Therefore, when entering numbers into cells, enter the NUMBERS ONLY, with no formatting characters or spaces. Manually entering formatting codes or pressing the spacebar while entering numbers causes the program to "see" the data as text.
To test a value that looks like a number but seems to be interpreted as text, re-type it beginning with an equal sign and numbers only. For example, if the problem seems to be with a cell showing "$999,999", type =999999 into the cell and see what happens.
Where to start
The tables in Business Plan Pro are linked with financial formulas, to produce accurate statements. This means that an error in one table may affect several others:
First, check the Profit and Loss table.
- If the error shows up in Sales or Cost of sales, then your error originated in the Sales Forecast table.
- If the error shows up in Interest Expense or Taxes Incurred:
- in the first month - the missing value is probably in either the Start-up table or the Past Performance table, as these tables set opening values of your debt.
- In a later month- look in the debt-related rows rows of the Cash Flow table.
- If the blank cells are not found in either of these locations, then look at the Interest Rate rows of the General Assumptions table.
- If the error shows up in the Payroll row in the Profit and Loss table, then it most likely originated in the Personnel Plan table.
- If the error shows up in any other part of Profit and Loss, its source is probably right in this table.
Next, look at the Balance Sheet table.
- If the error shows in any of the starting balances, then the source is either the Start-Up table, Start-up Funding or the Past Performance table.
- If it shows up anywhere else, look for a blank cell in your General Assumptions table or your Cash Flow table.
The cells which are most commonly left blank
- In the Cash Flow table - Current Borrowing (repayment) - Long Term Borrowing (repayment)
- In the Start-Up or Start-Up Funding tables - Other Expenses - Investor 1 - Investor 2 - Short Term Liabilities - Long Term Liabilities - Starting Cash
- If your value for any of these items is blank type 0 into the cell. Don't leave it blank.