Sum Child Rows when "children" are a different column


I am sure this has been asked before, but I can't seem to figure out a solution that will work in my sheet. I am trying to sum the child rows of a specific column, but my formula isn't working. Can someone take a look at the screenshot and see if you can help?

I need to add the individual expenses (in the Expense Total column) for each item under "Lastname, Firstname" (Description column). Currently my formula in the Expense Total parent row is =sum(children[Expense Total]@row), but this isn't working, I'm guessing because the children are technically in the 'description' column. Is there a way I can write the formula to sum the individual expenses for the children of "Lastname, Firstname" in the Expense Total column?

Thank you in advance!



  • J Tech
    J Tech ✭✭✭✭✭


    This should work:

    =SUMIF([Description]@row:[Description]@row, "Lastname, Firstname", [Expense Total]@row:[Expense Total]@row)

    This formula will sum the values in the Expense Total column that correspond to the rows where the Description column matches "Lastname, Firstname".


    J Tech

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  • ejrbean
    ejrbean ✭✭

    Gave that a shot, but I got the error #circular reference. Any other ideas?

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭
  • Genevieve P.

    Hiya! Just hopping in here as I noticed you have your hierarchy set up in multiple levels.

    SUM(CHILDREN will work for one level down, but it looks like your totals are actually on the second Child level. If you will not have a summary on each of the direct parents, then you could use:

    =SUM(DESCENDANTS([Expense Total]@row))

    instead! 🙂

    Otherwise, Paul's suggestion will work as long as you put it in every level (e.g. in Conference row level as well as the top level)



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