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The Last Business Day

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: The Last Business Day.

When developing a worksheet, you may have a need to know the last business day of a given month. Assuming that your business days run Monday through Friday, the following formula will return the desired date:


This formula returns a date that is only a Monday through Friday, and always the last such day in the month represented by the date in A1. For some purposes, you may need to know what the last Friday of any given month is. This is easily determined with this formula:


This formula calculates the last day of the month for the date in cell A1 and, based on what day of the week that date is, subtracts the appropriate number of days to return the previous Friday.

If you want to take business holidays into account, then the complexity of the formula gets quite high, quite quickly. Because of that, it is best to create a user-defined function (a macro) that will determine the last business day and compensate for holidays.

The following macro returns a date, Monday through Friday, that represents the last business day. The date is compared against a holiday list (HolidayList), which should be a named range in your workbook. If the date is found to be a holiday, then the ending business day is decremented until a suitable day is located.

Function LastWorkDay(lRawDate As Long, _
    Optional rHolidayList As Range, _
    Optional bFriday As Boolean = False) As Long

    LastWorkDay = DateSerial(Year(lRawDate), _
      Month(lRawDate) + 1, 0) - 0
    If bFriday Then
        LastWorkDay = MakeItFriday(LastWorkDay)
        LastWorkDay = NoWeekends(LastWorkDay)
    End If

    If Not rHolidayList Is Nothing Then
        Do Until myMatch(LastWorkDay, rHolidayList) = 0
            LastWorkDay = LastWorkDay - 1
            If bFriday Then
                LastWorkDay = MakeItFriday(LastWorkDay)
                LastWorkDay = NoWeekends(LastWorkDay)
            End If
    End If
End Function
Private Function myMatch(vValue, rng As Range) As Long
    myMatch = 0
    On Error Resume Next
    myMatch = Application.WorksheetFunction _
        .Match(vValue, rng, 0)
    On Error GoTo 0
End Function
Private Function NoWeekends(lLastDay As Long) As Long
    NoWeekends = lLastDay
    If Weekday(lLastDay) = vbSunday Then _
      NoWeekends = NoWeekends - 2
    If Weekday(lLastDay) = vbSaturday Then _
      NoWeekends = NoWeekends - 1
End Function
Private Function MakeItFriday(lLastDay As Long) As Long
    MakeItFriday = lLastDay
    While Weekday(MakeItFriday) <> vbFriday
        MakeItFriday = MakeItFriday - 1
End Function

Notice that there are three private functions that are included. These functions are called from within the main LastWorkDay function. The first one, myMatch, is a "wrapper" for the regular Match method. This usage is included because of the required error handling.

The second function, NoWeekdends, is used to back a date up to the previous Friday if it just happens to be a Saturday or Sunday. The MakeItFriday function is used to ensure that a date will always be a Friday.

To use this user-defined function from your worksheet, you use it in a formula, like this:

=LastWorkDay(A1, HolidayList, TRUE)

The first parameter (A1) is the date to be evaluated. The second parameter (HolidayList) is an optional list of holiday dates. As shown here, it is assumed that HolidayList is a named range in the worksheet. If this parameter is provided, then the function makes sure that any date it returns is not on the list of dates in HolidayList.

The final parameter is also optional; it can be either TRUE or FALSE. (The default, if it is not specified, is FALSE.) If this parameter is set to TRUE, then the function always returns the last Friday of the month. If this parameter is TRUE and the HolidayList is provided, then the function returns the last non-holiday Friday of the month.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2452) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: The Last Business Day.

Related Tips:

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


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Comments for this tip:

Michael (Micky) Avidan    04 Dec 2014, 11:31
Although there is no need for a UDF - if one wants to go this way - based on Tom's suggestion and while the cell has the full(!) date - I would use the following UDF:
Public Function LastBusinessDay(d As Date)
   d = Application.EoMonth(d, 0)
   d = d - Choose(Weekday(d), 2, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1)
   LastBusinessDay = d
End Function
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

Michael (Micky) Avidan    04 Dec 2014, 10:59
Well, it seems as if the following formula is the shortest that provides the last working day in a given Month (by date):
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)
Tom Robinson    03 Dec 2014, 14:09
Here is my easy-to-understand VBA version:

' Calculate the last Mon-Fri business day of the month
Public Function LastBusinessDay(y As Long, m As Long) As Date
Dim d As Date
d = DateSerial(y, m + 1, 0) ' last day of month M is 0'th day of month M+1
If Weekday(d) = vbSunday Then d = d - 1 ' If Sunday, move back to Saturday
If Weekday(d) = vbSaturday Then d = d - 1 ' If Saturday, move back to Friday
LastBusinessDay = d
End Function

Michael (Micky) Avidan    25 May 2014, 08:32
...and by the way - I checked your first proposed formula for the: 26/12/2013 (dd/mm/yyyy) - and I got: 31/12/2013 which is a Tuesday.
It should return: 27/12/2013 which was the last Friday in Dec. 2013.

Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)
Michael (Micky) Avidan    25 May 2014, 08:23
The formula can be much simpler.
In order to return the last Friday's date for a given month determined from a date in Cell A1:
In order for the EOMONTH to be available - one must enable the Analysis Toolpak (via Tools > add-on)
That EOMONTH became a build-in function in the newer versions of Excel.
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2014)

DaveC    23 May 2014, 19:39
And thank you for that last workaround!

DaveC    23 May 2014, 19:38
Sorry about that last comment, figured it out. What I'm really trying to accomplish is use this macro and add an additional macro which would essentially pop out the last working day of the previous week checked against the holiday list. Tried reworking your code here and was unsuccessful, any advice would be appreciated
awyatt    23 May 2014, 18:49
Dave: I believe that you can do it by changing this:

   Month(lRawDate) + 1

to this:

   Month(lRawDate) - 1

I haven't tested it though, so you'll want to do that.
Dave    23 May 2014, 18:34
The macro actually returns the last friday of whatever month you specify. How would one fix that and have it automatically calculate the prior month's last working day?


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