25. COUNTIF: Count what matters simply – Startup and investor excel model training

Intro to Excel model training

This is part of a series on Excel model training focused on helping founders and investors to actually enjoy and get proficient in excel. It’s such an important skill to have, and there’s no excuse to not be able to do all the ‘advanced’ stuff, let alone the basics.

This is a pragmatic course where you will only learn the most useful things; those that I actually use regularly. We’ll go through the obvious applications, but also include some hacks I’ve developed over the years.

To get the excel example for this and all the other instalments, subscribe with the pretty box on the right and you’ll get the excel tip of the day sent directly to your inbox. Within a month and ten minutes practice, you’ll be a boss in no time.pitch deck

You can join up to the training here.

What’s the point of the COUNTIF?

In the last class we did SUMIF. This let’s you add stuff.

COUNTIF… yup, let’s you count stuff. So you select some data, as the question and it tells you how many there are.

COUNT is the poor cousin. That let’s you simply count how many cells there are. Yes, there are uses for that, but SUMIF is cooler.

One extra function worth being aware of is COUNTA. The A at the end means that it does not count empty cells! I’m sure you can imagine why that would be useful (why do you want to count empty cells?

Let me show you example from the staff sheet of our fundraising templates. Here we add up the number of staff where their salary is greater than zero. Since we are not paying salaries, there must not be staff, right?


How do I do these things you speak of?

COUNTIF is even simpler than SUMIF as there are only two parts to it. The range and your criteria.

=COUNTIF(range , criteria)

Here ‘range’ is your list of cells over which you want to ask your questions ‘criteria‘.

criteria’ is the question you want to ask. Remember it eeds to be in [“”] to work as usual.


The excel example sheet will help you to learn this with an example.


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