Prepare for the Level 1 “Advanced Financial Modeler” (AFM) certification exam with this intensive online exam prep course from FMI approved training provider, Plum Solutions

This intensive course is very hands-on and practical and each participant will be expected to create their own financial model. During the course, participants will use the Excel tools and techniques learned as well as financial modelling best practice to build interactive and dynamic financial models that adhere to the highest industry standards.

Delivered 100% online, this course builds on students’ knowledge of Excel formulas and incorporates these into fully integrated financial models.  At each step during the course, participants build and practice each formula, tool and technique.

Who this course is for

This course is suitable for those who wish to earn the Level 1 AFM Certification from the Financial Modeling Institute (FMI).  For more information on the certification, see www.fminstitute.com/afm The AFM program is open to anyone who has an interest in or currently works in the financial markets. From finance students to seasoned industry professionals, the AFM designation is ideal for those who:

  • Understand the fundamentals and methodologies of financial modelling
  • Want to hone and validate their skills
  • Work as part of a larger team to provide support for improvement or new projects
  • Work extensively with Excel in their day-to-day work to make material financial decisions

The FMI exams are held twice a year in various locations around the world and you must independently register for this exam directly with the institute. It is not a requirement before undertaking this course that you are registered for, or sit this exam. This course will prepare you for the FMI exam but your attendance will in no way guarantee your exam results. 


Attending this training course should form the final part of your preparation for this exam.  Candidates are expected to devote between 25 and 100 hours to preparation in total and attendees should already be familiar with the FMI Body of Knowledge and the skills checklist prior to attending this course.

Software used

To undertake this course, you need Microsoft Excel. Excel 365 is preferred, but participants can use any version of Excel if they prefer, including a Mac.

More detail about how the online courses work

Modules in this Course

About the Level 1 (AFM) Exam – Available now

  • Learning Materials (watch a preview)
  • What to expect on Exam day
  • The Grading Process

Basic Excel skills – Available now

  • What’s New in Excel 2016
  • Linking for Best Practice
  • Absolute & Relative Cell Referencing
  • Calculating Project Costs
  • Logical Nested Functions Part 1
  • Logical Nested Functions Part 2
  • Data Validations & Drop-Downs
  • Conditional Formatting
  • Mixed Referencing and Named Ranges

Essential Tools & Formulas – Available now

  • Aggregation Functions
  • LOOKUP Fundamentals
  • Practical Capital Budgeting with LOOKUP functions
  • Formula Selection
  • LOOKUP functions
  • Tiering tables
  • Using the OFFSET function
  • Form Controls

Financial Modelling Techniques – Available now

  • Skills Needed for FM
  • What Makes a Good FM?
  • Building Error Checks
  • What-if Analysis with Goal Seek
  • Rebuilding an inherited model
  • Escalation Methods
  • Macros in FM

Financial Modelling Best Practice – Available now

  • Shortcuts
  • Model Design
  • Overview of Scenario Analysis Methods
  • Anatomy of a Financial Model
  • Best Practice

Three Way Modelling – Available now

  • What is a 3 way financial model?
  • Dummies Case Study: Financial Statements Part 1
  • Dummies Case Study: Financial Statements Part 2
  • Dummies Case Study: Financial Statements Part 3
  • Preparatory Case Study: Building a simple vertical model (yet to be released)

Model Planning, Setup and Assumptions – Available now

  • Model setup and layout
  • Inputs and assumptions
  • Assumptions Documentation Methods

Designing for scenario analysis – Available now

  • Scenarios, Sensitivities and What-if Analysis
  • Data Tables
  • Advanced conditional formatting
  • Scenario manager
  • Building Scenarios Exam Prep (yet to be released)

The Revenue Schedule and COGS – Available now

  • Setting up the Revenue Schedule
  • Completing the Revenue Schedule
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

Building the Depreciation Schedule – Available now

  • Depreciation in Financial Modelling
  • Modelling for a Capital Purchase
  • Modelling Depreciation (End of Useful Life)
  • Depreciation Schedule Waterfall

Income Tax Expense and Working Capital – Available now

  • Building the Tax Schedule
  • Setting up Working Capital Assumptions
  • Calculating Working Capital

Building the Debt Schedule – Available now

  • Debt Definitions
  • Dealing with Circularity in Debt Calculations
  • Modelling a Revolver Line of Credit
  • Components of the Debt Schedule
  • Adding the Revolver
  • Completing the Debt Schedule

Equity & Completing the Financial Statements – Available now

  • Equity Schedule Case Study
  • Building the Equity Schedule
  • Piecing together the final components of the financial statements
  • What to do when the balance sheet doesn’t balance
  • Error Checks

Summary Page, Formatting, Presentation and Scenarios – Available 7th August

  • Summary page Setup
  • Which Ratios to Include
  • Calculating Ratios
  • Adding Scenarios
  • Formatting and presentation

Price: $525 ex GST

This course is still under construction and launching soon.  Get the Pre Launch special for 40% off, enter the code FMI2020 at check out.

Study Group + Mock Exam

Get the best results by combining your online course with the study group + mock exam program. The study group starts on 10th September 2020. You’ll meet every week (via Zoom) and be held accountable to your study buddies as you work to prepare for the exam together. On 10th October, you’ll sit a mock exam prior to the FMI exam on 24th October. Find out more

Take this Course

Course Content

Lessons Status

About the Level 1 (AFM) Exam


Basic Excel skills


Essential Tools & Formulas


Financial Modelling Techniques


Financial Modelling Best Practice


Three Way Modelling


Model Planning, Setup and Assumptions


Designing for Scenario Analysis


The Revenue Schedule and COGS


Building the Depreciation Schedule


Income Tax and Working Capital


Building the Debt Schedule


Equity & Completing the Financial Statements


Summary Page, Formatting, Presentation and Scenarios Available on: August 7, 2020 12:00 am