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Financial Modelling Articles

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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23 February, 2014

Using Excel in the Age of Big Data

We are constantly being told that we are living in the Information Age.  The Industrial Revolution marked the beginning of the Industrial Age and similarly, the Digital Revolution started the Information Age.

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12 February, 2014

Is a Power Pivot Training Course Right for Me?

Have you even been on a training course and found you were completely out of your depth?  Or have you been on a "advanced" course and discovered that half the participants haven't a clue and the instructor spends most of the day on the basics?  We want to make sure that this doesn't happen to you! 

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19 December, 2013

New Female Financial Modelling World Champion

Yes, you heard correctly - there is indeed a Financial Modelling World Championships! The finals of Modeloff 2013 were held last weekend, and we now have a new world champion, Hilary Smart, who was the only female to make it to through to the final round.

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02 September, 2013

Learn to Love your Excel Errors

As I was scrolling through the index for my book recently, I noticed the #REF error jump out at me.  Why is it that the #REF strikes such fear into a modeller’s heart?  Probably because out of all common Excel errors, it is the one which is the most difficult to fix.  It means that your formula is referring to a cell that doesn’t exist anymore!  If someone has saved a model with

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04 August, 2013

Get to Know your Excel Error Values

Error values such as #REF!, #NA! or #VALUE! are Excel’s irritating but necessary way of telling us that something’s not quite right with your formula or function.  Although they can be frustrating and time-consuming to rectify, dealing with them is an obligatory part of modelling.  Instead of being ignored, supressed or yelled at, Excel errors should be heeded, taken care of and according to a recent article, perhaps even celebrated!

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24 June, 2013

Which Office 2013 for PowerPivot?

by Liam Bastick, FCA, FCMA, CGMA, Excel MVP and Director of SumProduct

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11 June, 2013

Have you Considered PowerPivot?

Imagine analysing your monthly results in real time without an army of management accountants / consultants spending valuable time and money constructing delayed, unfathomable reports. Did we say “imagine”? You might be doing this already. How useful would it be for you and your colleagues to produce key analysis in seconds from automated reports talking to your existing management information systems?

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04 June, 2013

Are Volatile Functions Slowing you down?

A common problem modellers have is that of file size and calculation speed. In fact, it is one of the most commonly posted topics in our popular Financial Modelling in Excel LinkedIn forum. Since writing the article Excel Model File Size Getting out of Hand a few years ago, I have since come to appreciate the role that volatile functions can also play in slowing down the performance of models.

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03 April, 2013

The Power of PowerPivot

PowerPivot: The Next Big thing in Business Intelligence?

What's all the fuss about PowerPivot?  Well, I could go on and on about the wonders of Excel – it’s really the tool of choice for business users who need to very quickly analyse data, create reports and share them with other users. Wonderful as it is, however, Excel stops being quite so wonderful when your data is more than 1,048,576 records long, or if the data needs to be consolidated from multiple sources.

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06 March, 2013

What’s New in Excel 2013

Why do they keep changing my Excel? As we all rely on Excel every day for our financial modeling and analysis work, it’s only natural that any new release will generate a lot of excitement as well as anxiety amongst users.

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07 February, 2013

Everybody Loves a Shortcut

Who doesn’t love a shortcut? With all the hours we Excel users spend on the computer, a huge amount of time can be saved every day by learning the keyboard shortcut commands. Did you know that for every mouse click on your computer, it takes several times longer than the equivalent keyboard shortcut? (If you don’t believe me, try creating a new document with the mouse versus the shortcut Control-N!)

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15 November, 2012

What’s so great about a Census?

If you have attended one of our Plum Solutions Intermediate Financial Modelling in Excel courses, either online or as a workshop you might remember that we used population projection data to index our customer forecast for our new product business case.

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