Financial Modelling for Non-Financial Modellers

Want to know what it takes to be a Financial Modeller?  Spend a day immersed in the world of an expert modeller, building your own financial models to take away for future reference during this intensive, hands-on course. For those new to Financial Modelling, this course focuses on the fundamental concepts of building a financial model using Excel and before you know it you’ll be creating your own customised models.

This course is part of the Financial Modelling Series:

  1. Financial Modelling for Non Financial Modellers  (Financial Modeling for Dummies)
  2. Financial Modelling in Excel
  3. Advanced Financial Modelling in Excel


Learning Objectives

During the course, participants will learn how to design and create a user-friendly model using best practice techniques which can then be taken away for future reference.

You will learn to:

  1. Use cell referencing for model optimisation
  2. Create a simple self-balancing error check formula
  3. Learn techniques to prevent model errors
  4. Document model assumptions
  5. Link and change variables
  6. Build and use drop-down boxes
  7. Create a set of financial statements
  8. Perform scenario analysis


Public courses are run in a computer laboratory with workstations provided. Participants may bring their own laptops if they prefer.   The course is demonstrated using Microsoft Excel 2016, but participants can use Excel 2007, 2010 or 2013 if they prefer.  Course materials contain instructions for different versions, and Excel 2011 for Mac users are also catered for. Those who would like to use a Mac are most welcome to bring their own laptops.

If no public workshops of this course are available in your area, consider taking the course online, or running it at your organisation inhouse.

Each participant on this course receives a hard copy of the book Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies by your facilitator, Danielle Stein Fairhurst.


Dummies Book coverCourse Content

What is Financial Modelling?

  • Overview of Financial Modelling
    Definition of a financial model.  Can all spreadsheets be called financial models? Can I put financial modelling on my resume?
  • Model Design
    Designing and planning the layout of your model.   Considering factors such as the purpose and audience of the model.
  • Excel Versions
    Upgrading to Excel 2016 and technical differences between versions. Considerations when building a model for users of different versions.
  • Overview of Scenario Analysis Methods
    Technical methods of creating scenario and sensitivity analysis in Excel

Modelling Tools

  • Linking for Best Practice
    Why including links in model is important and how to create a simple dynamic model using links
  • Absolute & Relative Cell Referencing
    Using referencing for best practice in financial modelling
  • Calculating Project Costs
    Applying absolute referencing to a simple project costing calculation model
  • Logical Nested Functions
    Using IF, OR and AND functions, and nesting these together to create simple but intelligent formulas for use within financial models
  • Conditional Formatting
    Creating an automatic variance alert.  Using icon sets, colour scales and data bars to add visual interest to model outputs.
  • Assumptions Documentation Methods
    Why document assumptions? Linking to source referencing to create dynamic assumptions documentation.

Building a Financial Model

  • Creating a Financial Model with Inputs & Assumptions
    Start the model-building process with well-documented assumptions documentation and linked cells. Build a simple error check formula.
  • Calculating Revenue & Expenses
    Build costing and revenue calculations whilst applying best practice techniques to reduce potential for error
  • Building a Profit & Loss statement and Cashflow forecasts
    Calculating depreciation and forecasting cashflow from EBIT
  • Building an Integrated Financial Model
    Adding a simple balance sheet and summarising your model into dynamic financial statements

Model Analysis Tools

  • Bullet-Proofing your Model
    Using worksheet protection to prevent entry, and restricting data entries using data validations. Prevent misuse of your model by restricting incorrect inputs.
  • Protecting your Workbook 
    Using “Read Only” and password protection. Hiding unnecessary information
  • Scenario Analysis
    Adjusting inputs variables to impact outcomes in our financial model.  Modelling scenarios using drop-down boxes
  • Presenting the Data
    Using charts to display data. Choosing the best chart type to display model output

Who this Course is for

This course is aimed at those who do not necessarily have a financial background but who will need to use or build financial models in Excel.  The course material includes moderate use of Excel and participants will gain the maximum benefit from this course if they are already comfortable with using basic spreadsheet tools and functions.

At minimum, it is assumed that participants will know how to:
•    Navigate confidently in Excel
•    Create and use simple formulas
•    Link between workbooks

It is assumed that participants have had some exposure to financial terminology; basic financial concepts such as revenue, interest and what financial statements look like are not entirely new to those attending the course.

This course builds on students’ basic knowledge of simple formulas and incorporates these into a financial model.

Comments from past students

  • “The course was exactly what I was looking for. It sets the fundamentals right for a robust financial model and teaches ways to go around building one. The speed and contents were just right for me and the online option was just great….  Will surely recommend this course.”
  • “I knew this was the right program for me when the presenter kept emphasising “best modelling practices”.  Looking forward to going deeper!  I did not sense the presenter talking down to me or over me but if felt like someone was coming alongside me to help and guide.  Really like the style of training you offer.”
  • “The course was exactly what I was looking for. It sets the fundamentals right for a robust financial model and teaches ways to go around building one. The speed and contents were just right for me and the online option was just great….  Will surely recommend anyone who is looking for further training in excel/modelling!”
  • “Thank you, I really enjoyed the introductory course on Financial Modelling; the course is well-structured and organised, and it delivers!”