Contact us about completing this as an in-house course here.

Contact us about completing this as an When embarking upon the budget process for your organisation this year, practical Microsoft Excel tools and strong financial modelling skills will be critical for managing the budget process. It’s never been more important to build robust, flexible and dynamic budget models to accurately predict business outcomes and handle the volatile economic inputs likely to emerge in these uncertain times. Historically, the budget process involves pulling out the financials and rolling them forward, but last year’s actuals can no longer be an automatic target. Learn how to use standard Excel tools to improve and streamline your budgeting and forecasting process.

Course Outline

  1. Using Excel for the budgeting process
    • How we use Excel for budgeting & forecasting
    • Overview of commonly used Excel tools and techniques
  2. Applying phasing and seasonality to model drivers
    • Using time series and linear regression
    • Calculating seasonality
    • Creating a “rolling” forecast with live data
  3. Budgeting Techniques
    • Building flex budgets
    • Top down versus bottom up
    • Zero based budgeting
  4. Critique of the budget process
    • Behavioural impact of budgeting
    • Budgeting “soft” skills
  5. Capital expenditure budgeting
    • Building capex and opex into the budget model
    • Calculating depreciation
  6. Using management reporting to promote accountability
    • Building dynamic variance analysis reports
    • Scenarios – Stress-testing, break-even and sensitivity analysis

Danielle Stein Fairhurst is the Principal of Plum Solutions, a Sydney-based consultancy specialising in financial modelling and analysis. She is the author of “Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling”, Third Edition published by Wiley Finance 2019 and “Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies” published by Wiley in 2017.

Pre-Course Workshop

In preparation for this online course, please register for the free pre-course workshop. This is a live, interactive session, so please have your cameras switched ON and your microphone ready!

Delivery Format

This course is conducted as 3 x 3-hour online sessions on three consecutive days. At the conclusion of each formal session, a one-hour clinic is held where the instructor gives individual assistance and feedback. Each session is highly interactive, and participants are expected to complete each task independently and then share with their break-out group, or the class as a whole.

A download folder is provided, loaded with examples and templates. Students are encouraged to share their own experiences with the class and are welcome to bring examples of their own data or reports to discuss during the course.

All sessions are recorded, and participants can access recordings for 12 months following the course. As with all Plum Solutions courses, participants also receive access to the Excel Modelling Support Centre for 12 months following the course.

At each step during the course, participants build and practice each formula, tool and technique and will build their own models to take away for future use. 

Key Takeaways

  • Limitations of budgets and critique of the budget process.
  • Calculating and applying phasing and seasonality to model drivers.
  • Tried and true budgeting techniques such as top-down, bottom-up, zero-based and flex budgeting.
  • Tools to handle uncertainty building scenarios, sensitivities and break-even analysis into planning projections.
  • Budgeting for capital expenditure and depreciation.
  • Creating a “rolling” forecast with live data.
  • Building dynamic variance analysis reports.

Technical Requirements

You should have Microsoft Excel (any version) installed on your machine prior to the beginning of the class.


Session Times

Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th May 2021
3 x 3 hour sessions
plus clinic each day

  • 3-6pm Sydney
  • 3-6pm Brisbane
  • 5-8pm Auckland
  • 1-4pm Perth / Singapore
  • 9am-12pm Dubai
  • 6-9am London
  • 10pm – 1am Los Angeles

PRICE is AUD$445 plus GST (approx US$325)
GST is only applicable to Australian residents

* By signing up to this course, you agree to the terms and conditions

WAITLIST ONLY –  This course is now full.  Please contact us to go on the waitlist

PRICE is AUD$515 plus GST (approx US$380)
GST is only applicable to Australian residents

Receive an ebook version of Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling (RRP$115+GST) as well as Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies (RRP$43+GST) !  If you are based in Australia, we can provide a hardcopy version of the books instead.

* By signing up to this course, you agree to the terms and conditions

Contact us about completing this as an in-house course here.