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Financial Modelling Articles

24 August, 2011

Are you a Generalist or a Specialist Financial Modeller?

One of the fantastic things about financial modelling is that it is applicable across so many different industries.  Good financial modelling skills will always stand you in good stead no matter which industry or country you are working in!  A financial modelling consultant or generalist will prob

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08 June, 2011


LOOKUP functions, especially VLOOKUPs are very commonly used in financial modelling – sometimes a little too commonly used!  Knowing when and how to use them – and use them well is a critical skill for any financial modeller.   Let's explore some of the problems with LOOKUP functions and how to make their more robust. 

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07 May, 2011

How Long Does it Take to Build a Financial Model?

Whether you are a consultant building a model for a client, or an internal modeller, you or the person who has commissioned the model build will – understandably – want to know how long it will take.  The answer is never straight-forward, as like many other tasks  it really depends on how long you have got (and there’s never enough time!) and how much detail you need to go into.

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04 May, 2011

Best Practice in Financial Modelling

Whilst not the most sexy topic for a blog article, this is probably the thing that I'm asked most about by clients.  Because many modellers are self-taught, a lot of them don't necessarily adhere to best practice.  Or perhaps they do - but don't realise why they are doing it! I thought it might be helpful to lay out my views on the topic, and as always, I'd welcome any reader input...

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22 March, 2011

Excel Poll Results are in!

Thanks to all of the subscribers who contributed to our ‘Which Excel version are you using?’ poll – results are in, and we have some very interesting feedback! 

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10 January, 2011

Excel School - Second Intake

We got some really great feedback from those who attended Chandoo's online Excel course in September - registrations are opening again on 12th January if you missed out on the last round!

Those who've been following me for a while will know that I'm a big fan of using online resources as much as possible. 

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31 December, 2010

Happy New Year! Which version of Excel are you using?

Seeing as we're now heading into 2011 I'm interested to know which version of Excel most users are on.  It's been a while since any research was done on the topic, so I decided to set up a Linked In Poll to canvass our subscribers on the subject.  I think we'll be surprised to see how many users are still on 2003!

Take the Poll

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15 September, 2010

Excel School

Those who've been following me for a while will know that I'm a big fan of using online resources as much as possible. 

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29 June, 2010

2010/11 Excel Income tax calculator

How much income tax will you be paying in the new financial year? The tax brackets are changing again, which of course, means that from 1st July 2010 we all pay less income tax!  Download our handy new Excel-based tax calculator and find out roughly how much you will save.

Starting a new job and want to know how much of that whopping great new salary you'll lose in tax?  Find out!

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01 May, 2010

Scenarios, Sensitivities, What-if Analysis – What’s the Difference?

What a great question.  A potential delegate for my upcoming course in Kuala Lumpur asked this very question and I liked it so much I decided to answer it in detail.  Scenario analysis, sensitivity analysis and what-if analysis are a very important part of financial modelling but are really only slight variations of the same thing.

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30 March, 2010

What to look for in a Financial Modeller

When you decide your company’s financial models are not as good as they should be, is the first thing you do; send your staff on an Advanced Excel course?  Whilst this is helpful, there’s an awful lot more to Financial Modelling though than being good at Excel!

Do you need an Excel Jockey, a Finance Wizard, or a Financial Modeller?

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08 February, 2010

Six reasons your spreadsheet is NOT a financial model

I’ve often been asked the difference between a spreadsheet and a financial model, and there is a fine line of definition between the two. In a nutshell, an Excel spreadsheet is simply the medium that we can use to create a financial model. (Of course there are other programs besides Excel that can be used for modelling, but that’s another story!)

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21 January, 2010

Why your Business DOESN'T need a Budget

OK, you’ve taken the plunge - gone out on your own – told the boss to stick it and set up your own business.    You’ve left the corporate world behind and you’ll be playing by your own rules from now on!  No more management hierarchies, no boring meetings, no budgets and no getting sign-off to spend any money.  From now on, you’re your own boss and no one can tell you what to do. 

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09 January, 2010

Tips for mastering financial modelling of balance sheets

The Balance Sheet can be one of the trickiest financial statements to model, as several line items are the result of decisions you make for the other financial statements. Most importantly, getting your balance sheet to balance (and stay balanced!) can be quite a challenge.

Here are a few tips to help you master the balance sheet:

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22 December, 2009

How to Stress-test Your Business Case

In a volatile economic environment, creating a business case for a new project or product which contains financial projections is an extremely difficult task.  Looking at historical data and extrapolating the numbers to create future projections simply doesn’t cut it anymore.

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19 November, 2009

Should you Upgrade to Excel 2007?

The upgrade from Excel 2003 to Excel 2007 is probably one of the most significant changes for Excel users yet.  There are many new functions, most of which are an improvement to 2003 but they do take some getting used to!  As a financial modelling consultant and trainer, I'm often asked by my clients what are the advantages and disadvantage of upgrading to Excel 2007 and whether organisations should even bother.

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05 November, 2009

Five Excel Formulas to make you cringe

When creating a financial model, there are always multiple ways to write a formula which will all give you the same result.  The key is to write formulas intelligently so they are easily deciphered by yourself at a later date, or by another party reviewing your model.  As well, writing a formula one way may cause problems for your model at a future date when you start inserting rows and columns, and expecting the new data to automatically be included in calculations. 

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19 July, 2009

Excel Model File Size Getting out of Hand?

Once you start getting a fair amount of data in your financial model, it’s pretty easy to end up with an enormous great big hairy Excel file which takes ages to calculate, especially if you are using an older version of Excel.  If you find your model getting out of control, here are a few tried and tested tips you can try to keep that file size down.

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21 April, 2009

Should we use Array Formulas in everyday models?

The array formula is probably one of the most powerful tools in Excel - but also the most under-used.  For some reason it is a tool that is shunned by many - even advanced users - of Excel.  But just because most people don’t know how to use them, does that mean they should be avoided in a financial model?

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