How to use the YEARFRAC Function in Excel

In this article, we will learn about how to use the YEARFRAC function in Excel.

YEARFRAC function calculates the fraction of year between the start_date & end_date. A period of six month is half a year which is 0.5 years. So to view the results in the year format use the YEARFRAC function.

The YEARFRAC function is a built-in financial function which returns the fraction of year between the start_date & end_date.


=YEARFRAC ( start_date, end_date, [basis])

Start_date : A valid date which represents the start date
end_date : A valid date which represents the end date
basis : [optional] Day count basis. Default is 0.

Basis Day count basis
0 US (NASD) 30 / 360
1 actual / actual
2 actual / 360
3 actual / 365
4 European 30 / 360

Let’s understand this function using it in an example.

Here we have values to calculate the YEARFRAC value between the two given dates.

Use the formula:

=YEARFRAC ( A2, B2 )

A2 : start date given as cell reference.
B2 : end date given as cell reference.
B5 : 0 (default) specifies Day count basis method choose US (NASD) 30 / 360 .[optional]

Here all the arguments to the function is given as cell reference.

Note: Dates in the formula must be entered using cell reference or DATE function. Excel date format creates #VALUE! error while computing results. Use the cell reference or DATE function in excel while taking date as input to the function 

Now Press Enter to get the YEARFRAC value

The result specifies the year gap between the two dates.
Now copy the formula to other cells using the Ctrl + D shortcut key.

As you can see here, the function works fine. Now see the below notes to remember some observational mistakes



  1. Excel stores dates as serial number and is used in calculation by the function. So it’s recommended to use dates as cell reference instead of giving direct argument to the function.
  2. The function returns the #VALUE! Error if the input start_date & end _date are not a valid date.
  3. The function returns the #NUM! Error if the value of argument basis is either < 0 or  > 4. 


Hope you understood how to use YEARFRAC function and referring cell in Excel. Explore more articles on Excel function here. Please feel free to state your query or feedback for the above article.

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