5. Dates in Unexpected Places

Beware of Stray Dates

As noted earlier, CFO Scoreboard hunts through your  entire document in order to find a suitable row of dates, and it will latch onto anything it finds that might fit the pattern of month + year. Occasionally you might run into files that have date-like values in unexpected places.


Take a look at these files below, and see if you can find the problem:

The error we saw is:    The Income Statement does not contain the same months as the Balance Sheet


This particular batch of files presents a little bit of a detective problem. The first place to look, of course, is in the actual date headers on the actual numeric columns. Once you've confirmed these match up, though, you'll likely still see the same error. So where else could it be?

If you scroll down into the chart of accounts for the Balance Sheet, you'll find the culprit: row #51 is labeled September 2011.

This might be a little unusual, but it's not as rare as you think -- this case was replicated from an actual user's support ticket in early 2014, in fact.

What's happening here exactly? CFO Scoreboard is trying to parse the month of September 2011 in the Balance Sheet, which is not present in the Income Statement. This is because cell F51 has a value that looks exactly like a normal column header: month + year.

Luckily the resolution is very easy:

  1. All we need to do is change cell F51 minimally so that it cannot possibly be interpreted as a column header. There are several ways to do this. The easiest way is to just add a plain-English prefix, for example: Loan - September 2011. Once you make a chance along those lines, the error should be resolved.

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