I have a list of data in excel with a date column. When I want to generate a report I typically create a new column in the data tab and type in a code in text format like "April08", then I put a hidden column on the report tab with that code and use a sumif formula to add up the quantities in the column matching the "April08" Is there an easier way to do this in Excel?

Using the
where column B in the Alternatively, use a 'helper' column as you have, but put a formula in it instead of manually typing "April08" etc. Something like 


You didn't specify what version you are using or exactly how your data is laid out, but using a pivot table is a powerful tool to present the information how you want from the list of data. If you aren't familiar with pivot tables, here is an excellent tutorial  Excel Pivot Tables Tutorial : What is a Pivot Table and How to Make one. 


You can use array formulas to get the sum you want without having to add a helper column, like so:
(see formula A in my example below) Where:
Example: This formula should also give you the same result (formula B above):
Just change it to suit your spreadsheet. Don't forget to commit the formulas using Ctrl + Shift + Enter. 

