Here, you can learn some best practices for financial modeling. Irrespective of the reason, you need to know that the financial model plays a crucial role.

Above all, financial modeling is the primary skill that is inevitable for everyone who looks forward to building a career in finance.

Additionally, it is vital for people who plan to do business and also for people under sales or marketing.

Financial modeling is quite handy when it comes to bidding for projects or understanding payback. 

When it comes to making a financial decision, you need to understand what are your income and expenses. 

Based on this, you can make an effective decision for sure. Under stock market analysis, experts consider the past performance of the company. 

As the company projects the income, expenses, and revenue of the firm, we decide if we want to buy or sell the stock. 

About Financial Modeling

You need to know that financial modeling is the process of making a summary of the firm’s expenses and earnings. 

Financial ModelingAdditionally, you need to do it in the spreadsheet form, which you can use it to determine the future decision’s impact. For almost all company executives, a financial model has a plethora of uses. 

Often financial analysts use it to analyze and learn how the stock of the company performs and its effect on future events or executive decisions. 

In simple terms, you can say a financial model is a tool. It is available in spreadsheet software, including MS Excel, to forecast the performance of the business. 

Typically the forecast depends upon historical performance, future assumptions, balance sheet preparation, cash flow statement, etc. 

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    Basics of Financial Modeling

    The financial model basically represents in the several numbers of the operations of the company in the past, present, and future.

    The main agenda of these models is to help in the decision-making process.  

    The executives of the company use these tools to understand the costs and assume of the prospects of a new project. 

    They also use them to learn or take the impact of events on the stock of the company from internal elements to external elements.

    It can include a change in the business strategy model or comparison among companies in the same industry. 

    You can also use this model to test different scenarios, make decisions on budgets, and calculate the cost of potential projects. Based on this, the company can then go ahead with resource allocation. 

    Example on Financial Modeling

    Some of the best financial models are most likely to come with some assumptions. For instance, sales growth is one of the most commonly forecasted item lines.

    You can say sales growth is all about the increase in development in comparison with other characters. Additionally, you need to know only two elements of sales growth. 

    For the last year’s sales, the financial modeler needs one cell and one cell for the current year’s sale. 

    Objectives of having a Financial Model

    Before you learn about the technicalities and different models here, you need to understand why it is essential to have a financial model. 

    No doubt, the majority of companies undergo budgeting or financial planning, but there are some reasons behind it:

    Economically Viable Business

    You must build an economically viable business. It is mainly because by understanding the business plan and model, with the assumptions and visions, you can understand some things.

    Above all, you get an idea of whether you are capable of running a sustainable business or no.

    Additionally, when you create various versions, you are most prepared for the future if things don’t go as per your plans.

    When you answer your questions in the worst case scenario, you can understand the impact of the cash flow, funding, and profitability.

    Fundraising Process

    Additionally, you need a financial model as a part of the fundraising process. Typically financers ask about the financial plan when you ask them to raise funds.

    Be it a VC or a subsidy provider, the economic model is essential. Some investors also need more details, but high-level data is a must when it comes to model building.

    Information to Shareholders

    A financial model is a must to give out information to shareholders. This forecast will tell if you are meeting benchmarks are no and how are you doing as a company.

    Where can you apply the Financial Models?

    Here are some of the roles where you can apply financial models –

    Investment Banking – For fundamental analysts, financial modeling is one of the essential tools. When it comes to valuation for M&A, investment bankers most likely use.

    Additionally, equity analysts also use the same in valuing stocks and come up with recommendations to buy or sell.

    Credit Rating – When it comes to projecting future revenue and costs financial model comes in handy for bankers and credit analysts.

    It also helps them make sound judgments. Above all, they can then decide if they can extend loans or what must be the credit rating for the company.

    Corporate finance– The companies mostly use financial modeling to evaluate their finances. 

    Different approaches to Financial Modeling

    When it comes to creating a financial model, it is not an issue as such because you can access a plethora of templates. It can surely make your work easy. 

    Additionally, even if you get stuck, you don’t need to worry as you can indeed find someone around you who is tech-savvy. Some of the standard methods are:

    Top-down Forecasting

    Under this method, you start working from a macro approach to a microsystem. Here at the starting point, the analysts take up the industry estimates and then narrowed towards to the goals. 

    The main agenda of this method is to help you in defining a forecast based on the share of the market. Basically, people use the TAM SAM SOM model here which grabs the market size at different levels. 

    Depending on the sales target, you can calculate the costs which you need to deliver the service or product. Within a reasonable time frame, you can also assume profitability. 

    Above all, you need to know that your expenses must not be more than your income. It is mainly essential to attain a positive EBITDA. 

    Bottom-up Forecasting

    The only drawback of this is that it might seduce people optimistically, especially in the sales niche. By taking a random percentage, business people calculate SOM. 

    You can say a small share of a market might not be significant. Thus, it can be useful if you want to complement it with a top-down approach. 

    It doesn’t depend much on the external elements. With this approach, you can easily calculate the costs, expenses, incomes,  and investments. 


    Irrespective of what approach you are using, it is essential for you to sustain your numbers with assumptions. 

    It will help you get into a discussion with investors as they are keen on knowing the numbers of your company. You can say beliefs are anything that can give validation to your number. 

    You can use the same to make a data room where you can collect all the pieces of evidence.

    Who can build Financial Models?

    There are a plethora of professionals who make financial models. Some of the most common types of career types include investment banking, corporate development, and investment banking. 

    When you practice, you can quickly learn about financial models. To become an expert takes a lot of experience and, of course, practice. 

    Additionally, to understand more, you can establish a solid base understanding. 

    Tips to build a Financial Model

    You need to know that the financial model is an iterative process. Firstly you need to remove some of the sections before you get to a put where you can integrate them all together. 

    Past Performance and Assumptions

    Almost all the financial models start with the historical results of the company. All you need to is pull three years of financial statements and begin building the financial information.

    Then put it all into excel. Lastly, you need to reverse all the engineer assumptions for the previous period. You can calculate things such as gross margins, fixed cost, etc. 

    Income Statement

    Along with the assumptions, you can calculate the income statement with revenue, gross profit, expenses, and COGS.

    It will help you in calculating the EBITDA. Before calculating the depreciation and amortization, you need to wait for a while.

    Balance Sheet

    After the income statement, you need to start filing your balance sheet by calculating the accounts receivable and stock. Post that, you can begin with accounts payable.

    Build the Supporting Schedules

    The schedule is mainly for capital assets, including plant and equipment. From the historical period, you can also calculate the debt schedule.

    Increase the debts and reduce the repayments. Complete the income statement and balance sheet.

    Here, you need to complete the sheet by providing the closing balance from last year, net income, and capital raise. You also need to deduct the dividends.

    Create the Cash Flow Statement

    With the reconciliation method, you can create the cash flow statement. You can use it for capital expenditure.

    Conduct the DCF Analysis

    After you complete the 3 statement model, you can calculate the free cash flow and get a valuation of the business. 

    Integrate Sensitivity Analysis and Scenarios

    The main agenda of the analysis is to check how much changes in assumptions will impact the company. It is quite useful when it comes to assessing the risk.

    Create Charts and Graphs

    One of the best ways to show the financial model results is through charts and graphs. It is because the executives are quite busy to have an eye for details.

    Audit the Model

    Your work doesn’t get over when you complete the model. You need to begin stress testing to understand if the model is up to the mark or no. Additionally, you can also use the auditing tools.

    Most common Financial Models

    Here are most common Financial Modeling in place –

    Three Statement Model

    It is one of the most common financial models. Three statements under this statement are linked under excel with formulas.

    The main agenda of the model is to connect all the accounts. Above all, it is essential to unite all three financial statements as it needs a strong foundation.

    Discounted Cash Flow Model

    The model is based on a 3 statement model to value the company based on net present value.

    It takes cash flows from the model, and if necessary, it makes some changes. You can use this model in equity research also.

    Merger Model

    It is a relatively advanced model that you can use to determine the pro forma of the merger and acquisition.

    You can use this model under a single tab for each company. Complexity levels tend to vary greatly. Basically, the model is widely used in corporate development.

    Initial Public Offering or IPO

    In excel majority of the investment bankers build their model to get an estimate of their business before going in public. The models include taking into account the company analysis. 

    Leveraged Buyout Model

    Typically, the leveraged buyout model ideally needs modeling for complex debt schedules. Additionally, these models are not standard besides private equity or investment banking.

    Budget Model

    You can use this model to finance for experts in financial planning and analysis.

    These models are mainly based on quarterly or monthly figures, and they tend to focus primarily on the income statement.

    Financial Modeling – Conclusion

    If you are planning to start your company, then you need to know that financial modeling plays a crucial role. 

    In simple terms, you can say financial modeling is all about representing numbers of almost all elements in the operations of the company. 

    You can use these economic models to get an estimated value of the company or to compare businesses in the industry. Different models tend to produce different results. 

    It is because any model is useful as inputs and assumptions. Hence you can use other models as per your need. 

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