The IRR function calculates the internal rate of return for a series of cash flows. It is commonly used in finance to determine the annualized percentage return that an investor can expect to receive from an investment.


=IRR(Values, [Guess])

Values An array or a reference to a range of cells containing the series of cash flows. At least one positive and one negative cash flow is required for the function to work properly.
Guess (Optional) An initial guess at the IRR. If omitted Excel uses 0.1 (10%) as the default guess value.

About IRR

When assessing the viability of an investment and aiming to gauge its potential profitability, the IRR function emerges as a pivotal tool in the realm of finance within Excel. Serving as a cornerstone for financial analysis, IRR furnishes investors and analysts with a means to discern the internal rate of return associated with a series of cash flows over a specified period, thereby offering valuable insights into the investment's performance and potential yields. By employing IRR, individuals can make informed decisions, optimize financial strategies, and assess the attractiveness of various investment opportunities based on projected returns and risks involved.


Consider a sequence of cash flows representing an investment: -$100, $20, $30, $40, $50. To calculate the internal rate of return for these cash flows, you would use the formula: =IRR({-100, 20, 30, 40, 50})

Imagine another scenario with cash flows of -$200, $50, $70, $90, $110. To find the internal rate of return, you would input: =IRR({-200, 50, 70, 90, 110})


How does the IRR function work in Excel?

The IRR function calculates the internal rate of return by finding the discount rate that makes the net present value of the cash flows equal to zero. Essentially, it determines the rate of return at which the sum of the present values of the cash inflows equals the present value of the initial investment or outflow.

Why is the IRR function important in financial analysis?

The IRR function holds significance in financial analysis as it provides a standardized metric to assess the potential returns on investments. By calculating the internal rate of return, analysts can compare different investment opportunities, evaluate their profitability, and make informed decisions based on projected cash flows and return rates.

Can the IRR function handle irregular cash flows?

Yes, the IRR function can handle irregular cash flows as long as there is at least one initial outflow followed by a series of inflows. It allows users to input a range of cash flow values, even when they are not uniform or occur at regular intervals.

What should I do if the IRR function returns an error or doesn't converge?

If the IRR function returns an error or doesn't converge to a solution, you can try providing a reasonable Guess value to assist Excel in the iterative calculation process. Adjust the Guess value to help the function converge on an accurate internal rate of return estimation.

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