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Financial Modelling Articles

26 June, 2016

Meetup: Where are we going and are we there yet? Creating a Roadmap for Financial Models

One of the most frustrating things about using other peoples' spreadsheets is that there is no obvious architecture or roadmap. How do you "drive" it and how does the logic get us from A to B?

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24 June, 2016

Use your Budget Surplus

One of my favourite scenes from The Office is when Michael's accountant tries to explain to him the concept of the budget surplus and why they needed to spend it before the end of the day. 

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17 May, 2016

Three Ways to Split Data without Using Power Query

I was only kidding. One of them IS Power Query. Seeing as Power Query is one of the best things to happen to Excel data analysis since the invention of the …. PivotTable, how could I possibly write about splitting data without mentioning Power Query? Note that Power Query is now confusingly called Get and Transform in Excel 2016 but I’m going to stick with the name Power Query - for now.

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11 May, 2016

Demand for Financial Modelling Skills Reaches new Heights

Guest post by Lance Rubin

Have you noticed lately how many finance roles have “financial modelling” listed as a core skill? Financial modelling is now one of the most sought after skills in today’s corporate world and demand for financial modelling experience continues to outstrip supply! The changes we see in our everyday lives are reflected in the corporate world and the finance industry is no exception.

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29 April, 2016

Webinar: Data Visualisation And Presentation For Financial Analysts

Danielle Stein Fairhurst recently ran a new webinar which was streamed live from Dubai for Informa Middle East.  The recording is now available.

As a diligent analyst once you’ve completed your analysis of your business or financial information, presenting the output into a compelling and engaging presentation is often a more difficult task than it appears. Learn to develop presentations to persuade executives of the strategic implications of the analytical outputs of your work.

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28 April, 2016

How Financial Modelling can help you make a Step Change in your Career

My love of Financial Modelling and Excel is always leading me to new and exciting places.  I just returned from Perth yesterday where I presented the one-day Data Analysis & Dashboards as a closed private in-house workshop.  Next week I'm also looking forward to travelling and presenting at the PASS conference in San Jose, California for a couple of days. 

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27 April, 2016

Understanding Incremental Cash Flows and Sunk Costs

We recently held a Meetup for the Brisbane Modellers' Meetup group and I'm pleased to say that the video is now available below.  The speaker  Eris O'Brien is a highly experienced modeller and at this informative presentation he took a look at the basics of incremental cash flows for both new, standalone projects, and for projects at existing sites, to see if we can isolate the incremental effects, or

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17 April, 2016

Webinar: Scenario Tools in Excel

The recording & transcript of our first Plum Webinar is now available!  This hour-long webinar was free to attend and during Part One of this webinar, online trainer, Danielle Stein Fairhurst led us on a short technical demonstration of how to create scenarios using plain Excel without any add-ins or other software.

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03 April, 2016

Five Ways to Speed up the Excel Model-Building Process with Macros & VBA

Automating repetitive tasks with Excel Macros can dramatically cut down the time you spend building financial models, and can significantly increase your productivity.  A well-written (or recorded) macro enables you to repeat operations that you would normally do by hand but much more quickly and reliably. If you find yourself repeating the same action over and over again whilst building or editing your models then the use of VBA can increase speed and accuracy.

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15 March, 2016

Skills Needed for Financial Modelling

When you decide your financial models are not as good as they should be, should you immediately send your team on an advanced Excel training course? Whilst this is certainly helpful, there's a great deal more to financial modelling than being good at Excel!

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10 March, 2016

Which version of Excel am I using?

No, it's not a silly question and since the "Modern Excel" was introduced in 2010, the changes have been pretty subtle and it can be a little difficult to tell the difference. 

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03 March, 2016

Art and Perception in Financial Modelling - Meetup

Ask a room of art critics their understanding of what an art work means and they will all have a different opinion. The design and interpretation of a financial model is the same. We all have different perspectives and biases that will lead us in sometimes opposing directions, and this does affect how we approach our work.

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16 February, 2016

The Golden Rules for Model Design

There are a few rules for model design that should be followed when designing the layout of a model. Most experienced modellers will follow these instinctively, as they are generally common sense.

Extract from Using Excel for Business Analysis, Chapter Two

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09 February, 2016

The Workbook Anatomy of a Model

Model design and structure can be one of the most difficult parts of building a financial model.  Typically, modellers will work from back to front when building their model. The output, or the part they want the viewer or user to see, will be at the front, calculations will go in the middle, and source data and assumptions should go at the back. The image below shows an example of what your tabs in a well-structured model might look like.

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02 February, 2016

The Bankers Perspective: Modelling for Capital Raising

Do you know what kind of metrics and ratios a bank or investor looks for in a financial model? At a recent Sydney Modellers' Meetup, hands-on working capital lending specialist Matthew Costello gave a short presentation on what lenders, investors and acquirers look for in a company’s financial models in terms of the financial ratios, sales pipelines and model stress testing from both a historical reporting and forecasting perspective.

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15 January, 2016

What’s the difference between a Formula and a Function in Excel?

Ever been guilty of using Excel as a fancy calculator?  If so, you’d just be using a formula in Excel.  If you entered a calculation such as =A1+A2 or =452*12, then that's just a formula.  If a formula is all you need, then that's fine.  But Excel can do so much more!

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02 November, 2015

Excel Top 10 Tricks

I've been showing this video supplied by Microsoft in my training recently, and lot of people have asked me for a copy, so here it is! Some of my favourite new features in Excel 2016 are:

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01 October, 2015

Using Tables in Financial Modelling

Structured Reference Tables have been around for a while, but have become a lot more powerful in recent versions of Excel.  They can be extremely useful when using Excel for the purpose of data analysis and modelling but I’m always surprised by the number of people coming along on my training courses who’ve never heard of them, let alone seen them used.  

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20 September, 2015

How to Create a Structured Reference Table

The Table feature in Excel (not to be confused with PivotTables or Data Tables!) is a great tool for organising and analysing large amounts of data.  For this reason, like PivotTables, they are sometimes not used in pure financial modelling, but as a very useful tool in reporting and analysis, they are also worth a brief mention.  See this article for more information about the use of Tables in Financial Modelling.

The two useful features of a Table are:

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03 September, 2015

Named Ranges – a Must-Have for Modellers?

Those new to named ranges sometimes struggle to see the benefits of including them in financial models. It's true that most of the time named ranges are not entirely necessary, but there are some good reasons to use named ranges when building a model:

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