Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling;
a Practical Guide

(Third Edition)

A hands-on guide to using Excel in the business context

Danielle has done an incredible job of explaining all the component parts of financial modelling and demystifying what is often seen as a complex and difficult area.  Her book contains useful insights of benefit to everyone performing business analysis in Excel – regardless of their level of experience.  It’s the book I wish had been available when I started my career.

Kenny Whitelaw-Jones

Partner at Gridlines

Highly recommended. I wish I had this book when I was learning Excel! This handy guide covers everything you need to know about modeling business problems and analyzing data.

Purna Chandra Rao Duggirala (Chandoo)

Microsoft Excel MVP, Founder of Chandoo.org

Danielle’s expertise and experience shines through in a very readable book, introducing the key concepts and considerations inherent in financial modelling.  From novice to advanced modeller alike, readers are presented with many useful tips. tools, techniques and pragmatic examples to refer to time and time again.  Readily digestible, this book plugs a gaping academic hold that illustrates the risks and rewards of taking a spreadsheet by the throat and converting it into a robust, transparent, and flexible decision-making device.  It will help you to “Excel”.

Dr Liam Bastick

Microsoft Excel MVP, Managing Director at SumProduct


About this book

First published in 2012, Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling contains step-by-step instructions of how to solve common business problems using financial models, including downloadable Excel templates, a list of shortcuts and tons of practical tips and techniques you can apply straight away.

Whilst there are many hundreds of tools, features and functions in Excel, this book focuses on the topics most relevant to finance professionals. It covers these features in detail from a practical perspective, but also puts them in context by applying them to practical examples in the real world. Learn to create financial models to help make business decisions whilst applying modelling best practice methodology, tools and techniques.

  • Provides the perfect mix of practice and theory
  • Helps you become a DIY Excel modelling specialist
  • Includes updates for Excel 2019/365 and Excel for Mac
  • May be used as an accompaniment to the author’s online and face-to-face training courses

Many people are often overwhelmed by the hundreds of tools in Excel, and this book gives clarity to the ones you need to know in order to perform your job more efficiently. This book also demystifies the technical, design, logic and financial skills you need for business and financial modelling.

How to get your copy of “Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling”

Come on a training course

A copy of this book is included in all Financial Modelling training courses conducted by Danielle Stein Fairhurst

What’s in the Book?

An easy reference guide for those who need to build financial models to solve business problems for their organisations.

The book is organised into twelve chapters, arranged in order based on different aspects of Excel modelling. There are step-by-step instructions for how to use each feature, but these are detailed in a practical example, and the live models are provided for the reader to build it on their own. For example, the book explains what a Goal Seek is, and why one would use it. It then takes the reader through a practical example of needing to work backwards to calculate the maximum interest that be paid before exceeding the repayment capacity, using a goal seek.

Chapter 1

What is Financial Modelling?

Chapter 3

Best-Practice Principles

Chapter 5

Using Excel in Financial Modelling

Chapter 7

Tools for Model Display

Chapter 9

Common Uses of Tools

Chapter 11

Stress Testing, Scenarios, and Sensitivity Analysis 

Chapter 2

Building a Model

Chapter 4

Financial Modelling Techniques

Chapter 6

Functions for Financial Modelling

Chapter 8

Tools for Financial Modelling

Chapter 10

Model Review

Chapter 12

Presenting Financial Model Output

About the Author

Danielle Stein Fairhurst,

With over fourteen years’ experience as an analyst, Danielle Stein Fairhurst helps her clients create meaningful models in the form of business cases, pricing models and management reports. She is the Principal of Plum Solutions, a Sydney-based consultancy specialising in Financial Modelling & Analysis. She has hands-on experience in a number of industry sectors, including telecoms, information systems, manufacturing and financial services.
Danielle is the author of several books on financial modelling and is a judge for the Financial Modelling Innovation Awards. She has been featured on Excel TV as well as many industry podcasts. She has regular engagements around Australia and globally as a speaker, course facilitator, consultant and analyst. She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) and has taught management accounting subjects at Sydney University.

Access the Supplementary Content

Download the supplementary online materials and templates

The supplementary content for this book consists of several documents which supplement the information in the book, including additional instructions, materials, downloads, and models. Each chapter (except chapter 1) has its own Excel file which contains a soft copy of the many screenshots shown throughout the book, and their applicable page numbers. Using these files, you’ll be able to recreate many of the modelling situations, tools and functions described in the book. Several Excel model exercises and sample models have also been included.

Get a copy of both books

Purchase a bundle of all three Financial Modelling online training courses with Danielle Stein Fairhurst and receive a copy of both of her current books “Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling” and “Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies”.

Dummies Book cover

More Information

Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling

is written for finance professionals who want to use the power of Excel to do their jobs faster, more efficiently and with fewer errors. The book is an invaluable reference guide for finance staff wanting to improve their marketability and value to their organisation by working on their Excel modelling skills. It contains all the critical how-to and step by step instructions of how to use Excel for business modelling.

Dummies Book cover

Looking for "Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies"?

Also written by Danielle Stein Fairhurst, this book is an accessible way to get started with Financial Modelling.

  • Download the supplementary files & access the “Cheat Sheet”
  • Purchase a copy from your preferred Amazon site.


Looking for "Using Excel for Business Analysis (Second Edition)"?

Also written by Danielle Stein Fairhurst and published by Wiley Finance in 2015, this is the previous edition of the book “Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling”.

If you have a copy of this book, you can download the supplementary files.