What Is Financial Modeling: A Complete Beginners Guide In 2021

Financial modeling

Financial modeling is a way to gauge the performance of the company. Depending on what parameters you want to evaluate the company’s performance, you can either use the yearly revenue or the successful projects the company has handled.

A financial model is the collection of complex processes. Hence, it takes more than a month to complete. If you can perform the financial modeling in a step manner, you can break the complex process into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces can be handled quite easily.


What Is Financial Modeling?

A finance model is simply a tool built on spreadsheet software to predict the company’s financial performance in the future. The prediction depends on the company’s historical performance. The past finance statement is used to foresee assumptions about the future.

A finance model has many uses for the company executives, the uses the finance model to take business decisions. In addition, the financial analyst of the companies uses this model to see how the company’s stock is going to perform on the stock market.

Basics Of Financial Modeling

Financing modeling is the representation of the company’s performance in the form of numbers. It is an important aspect that decides the direction of the company. This model is used as a decision-making tool.

Financial analysts use the financial model to evaluate the company’s stock price. In addition to that, a finance model of a company is used to compare your company with its peers.

Furthermore, the financial model can be used for strategic planning, calculate the cost of projects and allocate corporate resources accordingly.

Best Practices For Financial Modeling

There are many ways in which financial modeling can be created. Listed below are the most practical tools to create financial modeling.

1. Excel Tips & Tricks

The best way to create a financial model is by taking help from excel. This is how you can use excel to create Financial modeling.

  • Limit or eliminate the use of the mouse.
  • Use blue fort for hard codes.
  • Keep the formulas simple and break complex calculations.
  • Ensure that you excel in the features of formulas.
  • Use CHOOSE to build scenarios.

2. Model Layout & Design

It is critical to structure the model logically so that it becomes easy to understand. By doing so, you can create the whole financial model on one single excel sheet. You can use the following to add as main sections.

  • Income statement.
  • Balance sheet.
  • Supporting schedules.
  • Valuation.
  • Sensitivity analysis.
  • Cash flow statement.

3. Formatting

While you are formatting your financial model, it is important to distinguish the input and output. This ensures that whoever goes through the financial modeling grasp the main content with just one look.

This can only be done with the formatting procedure. You can use different colors to mark the inputs and outputs. Doing so will visually divide the inputs and outputs.

What Are The Steps For Building A Financial Model?

The financial model is an iterative process, which means some processes repeat themselves in one complete life cycle. You have to work separately with different sections of the model and then finally be able to tie them together.

Listed below are the enumerated steps that can be used to create a Financial Model.

Step 1: Historical Results

Every financial model starts with a company’s historical data and its past revenue. You begin putting the foundation of the financial model by pulling the company’s three years of financial statement.

You put the numbers on the sheets, reverse engineer the numbers, and calculate the revenue, gross margin, fixed cost, variable costs, and inventory days. Now you can use these column sections to fill the future assumption.

Step 2: Start With The Income Statement

Now that the forecast assumption sheet is in place, you start calculating the top income, gross profit, operating expenses, and revenue for the future. 

Step 3: Go To The Balance Sheet

With the top of the income in place, you can start filling out the balance sheet. Begin the process by calculating the amount receivable and inventory. Next, fill the accounts payable, which is the function of the AP days.

Step 4: Build A Support Schedules

Before you can complete the income statement, create a schedule for the capital assets like PP&E (Property, plant & equipment). The PP&E schedule will be pulled from the historical period. Now add capital expenditure and subtract depreciation. The debt schedule will also be pulled from the historical data. Here the interest will be based on the average debt balance.

Step 5: Complete The Balance Sheet

The information that you get from the supporting schedule completes the income statement and the balance sheet. Now come on the income statement, link depreciation with the PP&E. From there, you can calculate the pre-tax earnings, taxes, and net income.

Step 6: Build The Cash Flow Statement

With the income statement and balance sheet are completed, you can build the cash flow statement. Start with the net income, add back depreciation; now adjust the changes with the non-cash working capital.

Step 7: Perform The DSF Analysis

Now that the three statement model is completed, it is time to calculate the free cash flow to perform the business analysis. The free cash flow if the business is given back to the first cost of the capital.

Step 8: Add Sensitive Analysis

Once the DSF analysis valuation is complete, it is time for the sensitive analysis. The purpose of this analysis is to measure the underlying changes that might come with the financial modeling predictions. This is the phase where the business risks are assessed.

Step 9: Build Charts & Graphs

Clear communication with the model is really important. Use demographics like graphs or pie charts to visually represent the numbers. Most executives do not have the time to go through the numbers to completely understand the model. However, having graphs and charts make things easier.

Step 10: Audit The Model

When the model is completed, your work is not complete. You still need to run an audit over the financial modeling. If you want, you can audit the model from scratch or simply use auditing tools.

More About Financial Modeling

We hope that this guide has been helpful and you were able to get the things you were looking for. If there is anything you want to ask regarding the guide, you can get to us via the contact us page.

Read Also:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here