Earlier this year, I asked members of the Financial Modelling Group for their best tips for reducing financial model file size and got some fantastic tips. I’ve edited my original list of personal favourites to include some of the best tips and tricks and credited the authors below:
We used to be able to simply look at last year’s actuals, apply growth trends and the seasonality to build budgets and forecast going forward but we just can’t do that anymore! It’s never been more important to have the skills to be able to build robust, flexible and dynamic budget models to accurately predict budgets and forecasts for future periods.
I am very much looking forward to my new LIVE and ONLINE sessions on one of my favourite topics – budgeting and forecasting! During the many years I’ve been working as a finance & analytical consultant, I’ve built, overseen, implemented and reported against scores of budgets and forecasts across a multitude of industries, but forecasting has never been as much of a challenge as it is at the moment.
Personally, I’ve never been particularly interested in entering any of the financial modelling championship competitions – I suppose I never felt the need to prove anything and it all seemed rather high-stress and hyper-competitive, with the questions being released at all hours of the night. When the new Financial Modeling World Cup launched last month with a small entry fee and a two-hour commitment, I entered more out of curiosity than anything and found it actually quite stimulating and challenging. Being my first attempt and not taking it seriously (admittedly taking a phone call and then making myself tea and toast during the allotted time probably wasn’t wise). I completely bombed, and was rather relieved to see the names are not shown publicly for those who do poorly. Despite my pitiful results, I did find the challenge quite addictive and I took it far more seriously in the second round. I actually made it onto to the leader board at #34, although I am not sure if this rank takes into account my first attempt. I do hope so, as it means I’ll have a better chance at improving!
Happy Halloween! I have been meaning to write about phantom links for a while, and Halloween is a good time to talk about hunting down and exorcise this ghoulishly annoying phenomenon from your financial models.
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:
If you’re planning to pursue a career in financial modelling, there is no shortage of free resources to help you improve your financial modelling skills.
There are also hundreds of financial modelling training courses to choose from; most will give you a certificate of attendance, and an opportunity to claim Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points from your professional body.
Some will even give you a Certificate of Completion (note the capital C!)
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.
We are very excited to announce that the very popular “Dashboard Reporting in Modern Excel” is now available online as a live, webinar-style workshop! This interactive dashboards course will be run LIVE over three days from 10th – 12th November 2020, so you can join us wherever you are in the world. Download the brochure.
With the huge amount of data available to us every day, a well-built and designed dashboard report is one of the best ways to interpret and communicate large quantities of information. Using new Modern Excel tools, learn how to synthesise information into a logical framework, summarise it into a meaningful format, and then display the summary into easy-to-read tables and graphs using Excel or Power BI.
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!)
It’s never been more important to have a well built, flexible and robust financial model to use to predict outcomes and it’s at times like these a financial model really proves its worth. With a global pandemic unfolding and the situation changing daily, having a model that can you can quickly and easily update as the situation requires, is going to make it so much easier to make the quick decisions that are going to be necessary in the coming weeks or months.