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Financial Modelling Articles

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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09 December, 2009

Do You Really Need an ‘Advanced Excel’ Course?

Excel is the backbone to any custom built financial model, and one of the core attributes of a financial modeller is to have good technical Excel skills.  When struggling with their financial models, some managers’ first reaction is to send their staff on an advanced Excel course to improve their modelling skills.  However, with training budgets under constant scrutiny you really need to make sure that you get the best value out of your training options.

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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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05 February, 2009

Online training targets tight budgets

Plum Solutions is very pleased to announce the release of their first online course!  With more bad news regarding the economy every day, we are responding to market demand with this low priced training option.  Introduction to Financial Modelling in Excel is now available for the introductory price of $99 plus GST.  This course is aimed at those new to financial modelling and with limited knowledge of Excel.  It is also ideal for those wanting to undertake the popular Financial Modelling intermediate course but lacking confidence in their financial or Excel experience.<

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08 January, 2009

Excel skills a key issue for professionals, survey shows

Thanks to all of the subscribers who contributed to our Financial Modelling attitudes, trends and uses survey!

Key findings were:

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09 December, 2008

Find out if you should be Salary Sacrificing with our latest Financial Model

Consistent with our commitment to provide you with the latest in financial modelling tools and resources, Plum Solutions has joined forces with boutique financial planning firm, Majella Wealth Advisers to bring you an Excel-based calculator to help you calculate how much you can benefit from salary sacrificing into your superannuation account.       

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21 July, 2008

Excel or Access?

Choosing the best software solution

Here at Plum Solutions we use Excel in our training courses, as that is most
appropriate for the kind of business case demonstration model the students build
during the course. It is worth considering, however, that many solutions would be
better built in Access so take a moment to contemplate your choice of software
before designing a solution.

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21 July, 2008

Changes between Excel 2003 and Excel 2007

For a more recent article, please see What’s New in Excel 2013

The upgrade from Microsoft Excel 2003 to Excel 2007 is probably one of the most significant changes for users yet. There are many new functions, most of which are an improvement to Excel 2003 but they do take some getting used to!

To get a feel for the interface, view the short demonstration from Microsoft illustrating the major changes in Excel 2007.

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21 July, 2008

2008/2009 Excel Income tax calculator

How much will you save under the new 2008/2009 financial year taxation changes? As of 1st July 2008, the tax brackets are changing, which means we all pay less income tax! Download our handy new Excel-based tax calculator and find out roughly how much you will save.

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21 July, 2008

Avoiding Excel Errors in Financial Modelling

“Hmm, these numbers don’t add up…”

Sound familiar? We’ve probably all said this at one time or another, and it can be a frustrating experience.

In this article, we’ll explain the pitfalls of financial modelling in Excel, and give you a few survival tips to help you get accurate and reliable results from your models.

Microsoft Excel is a very flexible, powerful and ubiquitous tool for the purpose of financial analysis, however, astute users understand the dangers of a poorly built financial model.

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