Business Case Primer by Al Kemp

By Al Kemp

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This excerpt features some best practice elements 43 44 Chapter 2 | Financial Modeling Best Practices Case Study: Financial Model Gone Awry In this case study, the brief is as follows: “Deliver a simple financial model that will provide a cash forecast over a period of two years. ” This is quite typical of the information that would be provided for a financial model. Note that as the brief is loose, there is no guidance as to the format or size of the model, nor does it indicate how the output (the cash forecast) should be laid out.

Focused training in the use of modeling tools that include Excel is one way to help achieve internal control. For instance, long-term learning plans that incorporate spreadsheet training will help ensure that users are up-to-date with the latest version of the spreadsheet in use. Lack of Planning If the policies and procedures to mitigate spreadsheet risks are inadequate, errors will become more common and lack of consistency will be a major contributor toward errors not being handled. Therefore, the style, content, and accountability for spreadsheets should be documented in the organization’s policies and procedures or in the spreadsheet used.

In this figure, the monthly outputs are below the calculations Figure 2-22d. In this figure, the annual outputs follow the monthly, but are in single columns The inputs are placed at the top of the worksheet, followed by the calculations and then the cash flows. It’s important to follow a set rule of how the model will show inputs, calculations, and outputs. Some modelers prefer to have the outputs at the top. 47 48 Chapter 2 | Financial Modeling Best Practices It should be immediately clear from looking at this sequence of figures that there are some differences between the two models, and some are quite glaring.

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