Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Calculating a Date Five Days before the First Business Day.

Calculating a Date Five Days before the First Business Day

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 28, 2017)

DeWayne has a date in cell A1, and it is easy to extract the month from that date. What he needs to do, however, is to calculate the date that is five calendar days before the first business day of the month. Thus, if the date in cell A1 is April 26, 2017, then the first business day of the month would be April 3 and five days before that would be March 29.

There are many different formulas you can use to derive such a date. The shortest one that I've come across is this one:


It subtracts the day of the month from the current date, which gives the last day of the previous month. Using this as a parameter for the WORKDAY function, along with a second parameter of 1, gives you the first workday (business day) of the current month. Five days is then subtracted from this date, giving the desired result.

You could also, if you prefer, use the EOMONTH function within the formula, in this manner:


The EOMONTH(A1,-1) portion of the formula gives the same result as A1-DAY(A1), which is the last day of the previous month.

You could also use the third parameter of the WORKDAY function to take holidays into account, if you desire. The easiest way to do this is in this manner:


In this usage, MyHolidays is a name you assign to a range of cells, where each cell contains the date of a holiday during the year.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12179) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Calculating a Date Five Days before the First Business Day.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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