Non-intuitive behavior of number or currency precision

#1

Just a heads up for anyone who hasn’t noticed this non-intuitive behavior.
For Numbers and Currency Field types the “precision” selection can affect the values, not just the formatting. It looks to me like Airtable is inconsistent here though, so results can get pretty funky.

For example, create a column that is a Number or Currency and set the precision to 1.00 or $1.00. Type the value 0.49 in the first row and replicate it 9 more times for a total of 10 rows. The sum shown at the bottom of the column will be 4.90, which is correct. The value displayed in each row is 0.49.

The non-intuitive behavior comes when you change the precision. Change the precision to $1 instead of $1.00. Each row now shows $0, which makes sense given the rounding. The total at the bottom is now $5, which doesn’t make much sense given all the numbers are 0. Also doesn’t make much sense given the actual values are $0.49 and the actual total is $4.90. Now change the precision back to $1.00. All the rows are now $0.00 and the total is $0.00. (I guess Airtable gets to pocket the $4.90?).

I can imagine this behavior causing serious headaches. Imagine I’m keeping a budget, and I want to see the values to the dollar sometimes, and to the cent other times. If I change the precision, I absolutely do not want it to be changing the values. But there seems to be no way to prevent this.

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Currency decimal change wipes out cents for good
#2

No, the numbers are still 0.49, because it’s formatting, not rounding.

I just tested it and it’s true, and for me it is a bug.

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#3

I confirm the bug as well, I also tested what happens to currency precision formatting of currency in a formula field, which does not exhibit this odd behavior(i.e. it behaves as we would expect, the the number preserved and only changes in how it is displayed)

@Katherine_Duh, this is an issue cited by at least 4 users, and I did not see it in the bug reports.

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#4

I’m new to Airtable and among the frustrating things I’ve found is that when I change the display of my currency field from $1.00 to $1, and then back to $1.00, it has wiped out the cents. For example, $1.25 becomes $1, and then $1.00. Permanently.

It should instead store the original full amount and merely change the display of the number. I am certain most users, if not all, would expect it to work this way.

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#5

I’ve replicated the issue, exactly as you described. For reference, its been replicated by others as well.

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#6

Thanks Mike. Being new with Airtable, I’m not sure of how responsive the tech team is, but it seems like this bug would have been squashed soon after it was discovered as it can certainly wreck havoc for people who don’t notice it right away.

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