Say you have a quarterly Profit Statement and your Sales for Q1 and Q2 have been reasonably well but in Q3 they dropped dramatically. You are left with one quarter to meet your Net Profit goal of $200,000.
You can use Excel´s Goal Seek feature (under What If Analysis) to find out what Sales you need to achieve in Q4 in order to meet your Net Profit goal of $200,000.
STEP 1: Select the cell that you want to achieve your goal of $200,000 which is the Total Net Profit in cell F7, which is a Sum formula (Important: This cell must be a formula for the Goal Seek to work)
STEP 2: Go to Data > What If Analysis > Goal Seek
STEP 3: SET CELL: This is the cell that contains the goal we want to achieve, F7, and is selected automatically
STEP 4: TO VALUE: Type the goal value that you want to achieve. In our example, it will be 200,000
STEP 5: BY CHANGING CELL: Enter the reference for the cell that contains the input value that you want to adjust. In our example it is the Q4 Sales forecast in cell E5
STEP 6: Press OK and Goal Seek will run and produce a result. Press OK to keep the results or Cancel to discard
With Goal Seek we need to achieve Q4 Sales of $437,730 in order to achieve our Net Profit goal of $200,000. Over to the Sales team then to make it happen!