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Financial Modelling Articles

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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23 August, 2015

In-house Training versus Public Courses

Considering holding a course in-house?  There are many advantages of arranging an

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07 July, 2015

Waterfalls and Other New Charts in Excel 2016

Now that the Introduction to Financial Modelling course as well as my book Using Excel for Business Analysis has finally been updated for Excel 2013 after several months of hard work, you can imagine my surprise and delight when the preview of Excel 2016 became available for download :-)

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14 June, 2015

Reducing the Risk of Error in Financial Models

In this practical webinar, financial modelling expert, Danielle Stein Fairhurst recording in Dubai for Informa, discusses and demonstrates hands-on strategies for reducing the risk of error when creating financial models.

One of the biggest issues facing financial modellers using Excel for their models is the possibility that there could be a mistake in their work!  It’s probably one of the most career damaging things that can happen to a financial modeller, and certainly a high risk of any business using Excel for the purpose of financial modelling.

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15 May, 2015

What Makes a Good Financial Model?

A well-built model will have the following attributes:

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13 April, 2015

Quick Dashboards in Excel - Video Tutorial

Using Sparklines, Slicers, Conditional formatting & coffee

Dashboards are in-vogue now. Chances are your boss is asking for one right now. Traditionally dashboards are associated with a six week development lead time or big budgets, which means critical business decisions that should be taken yesterday are now delayed by two months. But we can create quick, powerful and awesome dashboards using Microsoft Excel in less than two hours (ok, maybe three).

Download the workbook

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30 March, 2015

Last few spots for Chandoo Masterclass - Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane

A word from Chandoo.....

Oh, we must talk about cricket first.

What a week it has been for Australian Cricket. First a very comprehensive win against India in semi-finals and then a clinical display of bowling & fielding that led to winning your fifth cricket world cup. Congratulations.

Don't worry, I am still going to talk about Excel. I just can't help but admire Australian team's success.

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06 March, 2015

Using Excel for Business Analysis, Revised Edition

Using Excel for Business Analysis provides practical guidance for anyone looking to build financial models. Whether for business proposals, opportunity evaluation, financial reports, or any other business finance application, this book shows you how to design, create, and test your model, then present your results effectively using Excel 2013. The book opens with a general guide to financial modelling, with each subsequent chapter building skill upon skill until you have a real, working model of your own.

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27 January, 2015

Performing Break-Even Analysis in Excel

In this informative webinar, financial modelling expert, Danielle Stein Fairhurst recording in Dubai for Informa, discusses and demonstrates the various ways of calculating the break-even point using Excel.

The webinar covers determining the break-even point as part of the financial modelling process which can be a critical decision-making tool in determining the profitability and pricing potential for a new or existing business.

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27 January, 2015

Financial Modelling & Excel Resource Links - Updated

I wrote a blog article a while ago with links to some good Excel and Financial Modelling online resources.  Due to its popularity at the time, and the fast moving pace of the online world, I thought it was time to update it!  www.plumsolutions.com.au/free-stuff is a good place to start, but there are a lot of other online resources available as well.

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12 January, 2015

Job Opportunity - Brisbane Based Analyst

Can you fill this chair in the sunshine? A large North Brisbane-based enterprise is seeking a Business Improvement Analyst who can utilise Excel 2013 in an advanced capacity underpinned with cost accounting knowledge to be able to extract source table data from Ellipse and create operational reports and dashboards. They also need to be able to read an existing model and be able to maintain and build upon it.

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09 December, 2014

Creating a Splash with Simple Waterfall Charts

Waterfall charts, also called bridge or stepped charts, have become popular in recent years, particularly when displaying the output of a financial model. A waterfall chart displays very effectively the incremental impact of each period of time, or unit. It is a type of bar chart where the value of the second bar generally begins where the first one finished.

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04 September, 2014

Podcast - Excel Tips for Best Practice Modelling

Some of you will know that ever since Indian Excel guru and blogging sensation Chandoo visited Australia in 2012 to run his extremely popular Advanced Excel and Dashboard courses, I've been trying to convince him to come back Down Under and run another series.  We are hoping that he'll find time to make another visit in 2015 and we'll certainly keep you posted and hope to announce it soon.  He hasn't agreed to come just yet, but as we were chatting last week, he did talk me to into joining

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02 September, 2014

Tips for Preparing an Oral Presentation for Model Results

Extracted from Using Excel for Business Analysis, Chapter 12

Many analysts and modellers would agree that public speaking is not their favourite part of the job and whilst it might be fun to imagine your senior management in their underwear, it's probably more helpful to be prepared by following these basic tips.

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18 August, 2014

Tool Selection: Why do we Use Excel?

We often hear it said that Excel is the “second-best solution” to a problem. There is usually a better, more efficient piece of software that will also provide a solution but we usually default to the “Swiss army knife” of software, Excel, to get the job done.

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01 July, 2014

Deficit Levy Tax Calculator

If you're interested in how the new deficit levy will impact your tax in the new financial year, then take a look at our latest Excel Income Deficit Levy Tax Calculator.  Our tax calculators have always been our most downloaded posts on the site and I'm not sure if it's because you're all so interested in financial modelling tax tier calculations, or you just want to know how much of your salary goes in tax!

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26 June, 2014

Improving Excel Memory and File Performance

If you have sluggish Excel models, it might not just be the file size that is slowing things down.  Often it’s the memory being used and when things get really bad, you might even get a “Not enough Memory” or “Not enough system resources to display completely” error message. When you get this frustrating message, the only solution is to close Excel and restart it, so let’s look at some ways to improve the performance of your Excel models.

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24 June, 2014

32-bit vs 64-bit Excel


Since the introduction of Excel 2010 two versions ago, Excel is now available in 64-bit and this has become a topic of discussion and interest for many Excel users. With all the buzz around 64-bit version, many of us are wondering – is 64-bit Excel better than 32-bit Excel? Should I make the switch? Is 64-bit MS Excel the solution to slow Excel performance?

What does 32-bit and 64-bit really mean?

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