Financial Modeling: Uses, Types and How To Make One

How do you build a financial model? (10 Step Guide)
  1. Historical results and assumptions. …
  2. Start the income statement. …
  3. Start the balance sheet. …
  4. Build the supporting schedules. …
  5. Complete the income statement and balance sheet. …
  6. Build the cash flow statement. …
  7. Perform the DCF analysis. …
  8. Add sensitivity analysis and scenarios.

How to Build a Basic Financial Model in Excel

Why make a financial model?

Financial models are useful in decision making and problem solving. Problems may be easier to comprehend if numbers are represented by a financial model in a graph or chart. Financial models aid experts in financial prediction, scenario testing, and problem solving.

Some decisions that financial models can assist with include:

What is a financial model?

A mathematical representation of a financial situation is called a financial model. They stand in for a project, investment, financial asset, portfolio, or economic performance. Graphs and charts are frequently used in financial models to display data and finances. These models are frequently used by experts in fields related to finance, such as investment banking, financial planning, financial analysis, commercial banking, or corporate development. Accountants, equity research analysts, investment bankers, and corporate development analysts are a few specific professions that use financial models on a daily basis.

Benefits of financial models

The following are the two main advantages of developing financial models for your company:

Provides deeper understanding of the business

Financial models give experts a clearer understanding of the financial side of business. They make it possible for people to comprehend how a business is run, which clarifies any adjustments a company owner might need to make to make the business better.

Identifies where to add funds

Business professionals use financial models to determine which areas of the company to invest more money in. Financial modeling helps you better understand the business’s finances so you can identify which department might require more funding. For instance, if you complete a financial model and find that your cash flow was higher than you initially estimated, you can invest the additional funds in a part of the company where money may be short.

Types of financial models

Depending on their requirements and project deadlines, professionals employ a variety of financial models. While some models require more time to complete than others, they all generally have similar outlines. Here are different types of financial models:

How to make a financial model

Because of its versatility, financial professionals frequently use Microsoft Excel to create financial models. To assist you in creating a financial model, follow these steps:

1. Look for historical results

Making forecast assumptions, which are essentially assumptions to forecast the future finances of a business, is the first step in developing a financial model.

First, gather financial data for a company spanning three years and enter it into Excel. Then, determine assumptions by calculating crucial elements like gross margins, fixed costs, revenue growth rate, and inventory days for the historical period you just entered. Complete this step by adding the remaining assumptions to your model.

2. Generate the income statement

After that, use revenue, gross profit, cost of goods sold, and operating expenses to calculate the company’s income statement, which will display the company’s earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation. Once you’ve entered the data, Excel should help with the calculations.

3. Fill out the balance sheet

You can begin entering information into the balance sheet once you have your income statement. Calculate the accounts payable, inventory, and accounts receivable, then enter the information into the Excel balance sheet.

4. Build the property, plant and equipment schedule

You’ll make a schedule of the company’s capital assets, including property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), interest, and debt, to complete the income statement and balance sheet. This schedule gathers information from the three-year historical period, adjusting for depreciation and adding capital costs.

5. Create the cash flow statement

The next step is building a cash flow statement. The amount of money coming in and going out of a business is known as cash flow, so it’s crucial to include this step in your financial model to get an accurate picture of the company’s finances.

Include cash used by the organization for daily operations, investing activities, and financing activities when creating a cash flow statement. The balance sheet and the finished financial model are connected by completing the cash flow statement.

Tips for making a financial model

Use the following advice to create a precise financial model:

Use Excel shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts that save time and effort can be enabled in Excel. For jobs in the finance and accounting sector, they provide editing, formatting, data, and navigation shortcuts that correspond to mathematical and financial concepts. You can complete your financial models more quickly and more productively by using Excel shortcuts.

Proofread your numbers

After finishing your financial model, it’s crucial to check your numbers several times to make sure they’re accurate. As large and intricate numerical data sets are frequently used in financial models, try to develop the habit of double-checking your calculations to ensure that your conclusions and forecasts are accurate.

Present your work

People who may not be familiar with economic concepts can easily understand the general financial situation of a company by using financial models. Presenting your work to company employees can give them fresh financial perspective on the company and give you a chance to showcase your diligence.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What are 6 types of financial models?

Understanding Each Type of Financial Model
  • #1 Three Statement Model. …
  • #2 Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Model. …
  • #3 Merger Model (M&A) …
  • #4 Initial Public Offering (IPO) Model. …
  • #5 Leveraged Buyout (LBO) Model. …
  • #6 Sum of the Parts Model. …
  • #7 Consolidation Model. …
  • #8 Budget Model.

How do you build a strong financial model?

One of the most sought-after but poorly understood skills in financial analysis is financial modeling. Financial modeling aims to combine accounting, finance, and business metrics in order to produce an abstract Excel representation of a company that projects its future performance.

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