Excel Modeller teaches the knowledge, skills and techniques used within Big 4 modelling teams to approach the development of any Excel-based model. These skills are in big demand but low supply and are critical to decision-making at the highest levels of any company.
The course is based around widely accepted best practice modelling techniques that are generic – meaning they can be applied to any model – and so benefits anyone with a need to develop a variety of models such as long-range forecast models, budget files, cost allocation models, business cases, or simply a spreadsheet spanning several worksheets.
• Determine what a model is and key best practice modelling rules and principles.
• Distinguish a structured approach to model specification, design and build using the Model Development Framework.
• Calculate and then link up components of a long-range planning model from start to finish using advanced modelling techniques and approaches.
• Identify how to reduce risk in your model by installing a rigorous system of checks.
• Differentiate techniques to identify, and avoid, errors in your models.
• Identify how to support senior decision-makers with Discounted Cash Flow analysis, sensitivity analysis (Data Tables), scenario modelling and back-solving assumptions (Goal Seek).
• Determine how to increase the transparency and usability of your model with version control, data validation, appropriate formatting and documentation such as user guides.
• Learning is put into practice with an ongoing task of developing a model as you progress through the below topics. The model aims to demonstrate all of the learning and techniques but without getting overly complex, giving the participant a solid base to build on.
Design & Development
• What a model is, why we model and examples of financial, operational and strategic models.
• The Model Development Framework and why it’s needed.
• Top 10 fundamental principles of best practice modelling.
• Scope and/or Specification of the model and techniques to design it before build.
• Deep knowledge around Excel dependency trees and calculation chains to avoid or resolve slow, lagging models.
• Must knows – recap of most useful functions in modelling, keyboard shortcuts and tools to aid modelling.
Building the Model
• How to create and use the Timeline and why it’s fundamental to the model and design.
• Utilising flags and counters to make your model more functional, efficient and transparent.
• Time period summaries and the flow of data in the model.
• Using dummy figures in model development.
• Creating and using calculation blocks.
• Formula construction, best practices and dos & don’ts.
• Corkscrew calculations to model opening and closing balances.
• The benefits of Helper Cells and when to use them.
• Approaches to designing, building and linking inputs, calculations and outputs.
• Building and linking checks throughout the model.
Review & Use
• Overview of tools and techniques to test or review the model.
• Common modelling errors and how to identify them.
• Overview of methods to document the model.
• Tracking changes to the model with Version Control.
• Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis and investment appraisal – NPV, IRR, Payback.
• Utilising Goal Seek to back-solve an input in order to return a defined result.
• Sensitising the model with Data Tables and when to avoid their use.
• Building scenarios into the model.
What isn’t covered
The following subjects are not covered in the course: VBA/macros, graphs and charts, creation of specific types of models e.g. Project Finance models, M&A models, 3-way integrated models (Balance Sheet and Cash Flow integrated). This course is general modelling theory that can be applied to all models, as opposed to a detailed guide of how to build one specific type of model.
Who Should Attend
This course has been designed for Accounting & Finance professionals, analysts, consultants, strategists and those with a modelling requirement, aiming to learn or improve their knowledge of best practice techniques.
This audience will often have a requirement to build a range of different models in their work – whether it’s a long-range forecast model, a business case, a budget model or simply a spreadsheet spanning several worksheets. This course teaches techniques and approaches relevant to them all!
Fields of Study
Computer Software & Applications
Intermediate or Advanced Excel skills with some experience of building formulae and creating sets of calculations.
Business Learning Institute
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