Creating financial modeling templates in Excel can be a great way to set yourself up for successful budgeting and forecasting. There are a number of benefits to having financial templates readily available and accessible in Excel, such as improved accuracy in financial calculations, streamlined processes, and the array of custom formatting and report options.

The creation of financial modeling templates in Excel can be useful for a variety of individuals and organizations. Accountants, financial analysts, business owners and corporate finance practitioners should create financial modeling templates in Excel to make their financial processes more efficient, effective and organized.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating financial modeling templates in Excel can be a great way to set yourself up for successful budgeting and forecasting
  • Benefits of having financial templates include improved accuracy in financial calculations and streamlined processes
  • Accountants, financial analysts, business owners and corporate finance practitioners should create financial modeling templates in Excel
  • Discover the array of custom formatting and report options available

Advance Excel Features

Excel allows users to work with advance features to add more value to the financial modeling templates. This section highlights the three advance features that are most beneficial to financial modeling: Conditional Formatting, Keyboard Shortcuts, and Formulas.

Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting allows users to apply format changes in a cell or a range associated with particular conditions. The formatting application applies to underlying data, hence it changes based on the value that the user types. Excel allows users to also highlight and differentiate between values with colors and patterns. Financial models take advantage of such dynamic changes and allow users to easily spot errors, manage data, and organize information.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts assist users to quickly access and execute commands without having to navigate through menus and sub-menus. Excel has made it easy for users to quickly move around the financial modeling process with the help of keyboard shortcuts. Advanced users rely on this feature to save time and manage resources.


Formulas provide a key way to present, analyze and interact with various elements of financial models. Complexity of a financial model is greatly dependent on the variety of formulas and their application. Excel provides users with the right set of built-in formulas allowing the user to quickly solve complicated equations. Some of the more popular formulas used in financial models includes – Sum, Average, If, Count, Date and Time calculations, Array formulas, and VLOOKUP.

Building Financial Models

Building financial models in Excel involves creating templates to track the performance of a business. While features and complexity of financial models vary between organizations, there are common components which include the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. To build a functioning financial model, a person needs to pull data from various sources, analyze them, create formulas and ultimately develop a workable model.

Profit and Loss Statement

The profit and loss statement (commonly referred to as the P&L) is a key component of financial modeling. It is used to assess the profitability of the business during a given time period. The P&L is made up of various line items such as revenue, cost of goods sold, operating expenses, and taxes. All these components are put together to calculate the bottom line net income.

Balance Sheet

The balance sheet showcases the financial performance of a business in terms of assets, liabilities and equity. It provides insight into a company's debt levels, equity levels and overall financial health. The balance sheet can be used to evaluate the cash position of a business and the underlying liquidity of assets. The three key components of a balance sheet are the assets, liabilities and owner's equity.

Cash Flow Statement

The cash flow statement provides details on the movement of cash in and out of the business. There are three components to the cash flow statement—cash flow from operations, cash flow from investing and cash flow from financing. Cash flow from operations shows cash in and out due to the core activities of the business, while cash flow from investing depicts the spending and earnings related to investing activities. Finally, cash flow from financing shows the cash movements due to debt payments and equity transactions.

Understanding What-if Analysis

What-if analysis is an important part of financial modeling due to its ability to provide insight to the probable effects of a certain decision. This makes it possible to evaluate possible outcomes before changes are implemented and help determine which action should be taken. Fortunately, Excel includes a number of features for developing what-if models, including the Scenario Manager and Data Tables.

Using the Scenario Manager

The Scenario Manager allows the use to create and save multiple scenarios with different variable values for a given model. The Scenario Manager includes a series of input boxes for entering the values for each input variable, as well as the ability to add descriptive names to scenarios. This can greatly benefit financial modeling since multiple scenarios can be quickly compared and evaluated.

Applying Data Tables

Data Tables are another powerful tool available to financial modelers in Excel. A Data Table allows the user to develop a model where a single variable can be changed over a range of different values to simulate multiple scenarios. The resulting values of each calculation can then be easily viewed in the Data Table. Data Tables also have the ability to be printed out so the results can easily be shared with others.

Using either the Scenario Manager or a Data Table can allow financial modelers to quickly and accurately perform a what-if analysis. By being informed of the possible consequences in advance, decisions can be made with greater confidence and accuracy.

Types of Financial Models

Financial models are used to analyze various aspects of a business, including risk, investment, and budgetary analysis. Here, we review three types of financial models.

Risk Analysis

Risk analysis financial models are used to identify and calculate the risk of investment decisions. This type of modeling involves determining the financial impact of certain decisions and understanding how they could affect the future of the organization. Risk analysis models help companies to determine the likelihood of certain events occurring, so they can make decisions with the greatest rewards and least risks.

Investment Analysis

Investment analysis financial models are used to predict the return on investments. These models assess the potential performance of investments and determine how much return investors can expect to earn. They are used to conduct due diligence before investing and to identify potential opportunities for investments.

Budgetary Analysis

Budgetary analysis financial models are used to assess the company's budget. This type of modeling is used to understand the current and projected financial picture of the organization, such as cash flow and profitability. These models include review of the income statements, balance sheets, and other financial statements. The models also track expenses, compare actual performance to planned performance, and forecast the financial future of a company.

Automating Processes

Creating financial models in Excel can be a time-consuming process and requires manual effort such as copy and paste or copy values. Automating the process can save you time and effort while reducing the possibility of errors. This can be achieved through the use of Macros in Excel.

Introduction to Macros

Macros are small programs written in the programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). They are used to automate common tasks such as formatting, copying & pasting, running calculations or creating charts. Excel comes pre-loaded with several inbuilt macros, but you can also create your own macros or download macro files from the internet.

Benefits of Automation

Using Macros can lead to several benefits such as improved accuracy, faster completion of tasks, and consistency of data manipulation. It can greatly reduce the time required to complete repetitive tasks and can help to eliminate human errors. Additionally, automation can allow you to set up a workflow that follows the same steps each time, making it easier to replicate the process. Here are some of the key benefits of automating tasks in Excel:

  • Reduced time spent on manual manipulation
  • Improved accuracy and consistency
  • Increased productivity
  • Ease of replication
  • Increased efficiency in data management


Financial modeling templates are a powerful tool for analyzing complex data. Excel is a great platform for creating these templates, allowing users to build and customize them to their specific needs. The benefits of having these models in place include an increased understanding of the data, better decision-making, and faster productivity. By following these steps, you can create financial modeling templates in Excel quickly and efficiently.

Gaining More Insight into Financial Modeling in Excel

Excel is a versatile tool and can be used to create model templates. Through understanding the data, creating an appropriate design, setting up various formulas and understanding the principles of best practices, financial model templates can be created efficiently and accurately.

Creating Financial Modeling Templates Easily and Efficiently

Creating financial modeling templates in Excel can be done easily by following simple steps. After deciding on the data to use and determining the goals of the model, users can establish a template design, add necessary formulas, and test it before putting the model into practice. Excel also offers plenty of resources and tools to help users get the best results out of their models.

Overall, financial modeling templates are essential for analyzing complex data. Excel provides a great platform for creating these models and offers various tools to help users achieve the best results. By following these steps, users can create powerful financial models quickly and efficiently.

Excel financial model

  • 5-Year Financial Projection
  • 40+ Charts & Metrics
  • DCF & Multiple Valuation
  • Free Email Support