A 3 way financial model is a key tool used in business financial planning and analysis. It is designed to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive financial picture of the company, by forecasting the financial performance of all three of its main components: Income, Expenditure, and Balance Sheet. This type of financial model enables a business to accurately and quickly identify potential financial issues and opportunities, and to create strategies to achieve key goals.

The benefits of creating a 3 way financial model are vast and include the ability to:

  • Assess the company’s current financial situation and develop long-term strategies.
  • Identify potential risks and opportunities.
  • Estimate the business’s future performance.
  • Perform efficient cash flow, budgeting, and forecasting.

Key Takeaways

  • A 3 way financial model provides stakeholders with a comprehensive financial picture of the company.
  • The model enables businesses to identify potential risks & opportunities and develop strategies to achieve their goals.
  • It can be used to assess the company’s current financial situation, forecast their future performance and optimize cash flow.

Setting the Foundations

Developing a financial model to suit your own unique needs requires a basic understanding of your assumptions, revenues, liabilities, expenses, and financial objectives. It’s essential to establish a strong foundation to ensure a successful three way model.

Establishing your Initial Assumptions

The first step when designing a 3 way financial model is to identify and establish the assumptions you will be basing your predictions and estimations on. These assumptions should be thoroughly researched and refined as they are a fundamental part of the model. They often include factors such as a company's profitability, market size and growth, currency exchange rates, cost of capital, inflation and interest rates, etc. It is important to be realistic and conservative in your projections, and bear in mind that these assumptions may need to be revised as the model evolves.

Assessing Your Revenues/Datasets

The next step is to assess the revenues, or datasets, that will factor into the model. This includes sources such as annual or quarterly sales, income and expenses, personnel, capital expenditures, and debt. It is essential to identify the datasets and their individual components, as this will allow for the incorporation of their values into the model. These values are then used to calculate and project your financial position into the future.

Understanding Your Liabilities, Expenses and Financial Goals

Finally, you must understand your liabilities, expenses, and overall financial objectives, in order to ensure they are being taken into consideration while designing a 3 way financial model. This includes income taxes, lender and purchaser debt requirements, salaries, dividends, operating expenses, and cost of capital. Additionally, identifying the timeline and cash flow requirements of the model is essential, as it will be necessary to project the financial outcomes of various scenarios.

  • Establishing your initial assumptions.
  • Assessing your revenues/datasets.
  • Understanding your liabilities, expenses and financial goals.

Calculating Your Model

Once you have determined the basic components of your financial model, it is time to calculate your model. This involves figuring out your overall goals, calculating profitability and losses, comparing the impact of long-term and short-term investments, and mapping your financial performance.

Determining Overall Goals

The first step in calculating your financial model is to determine your overall goals. This includes identifying the type of return on investment (ROI) you are expecting and what your risk tolerance is. This will help you decide on the best financial model for your situation. You should also define other goals, such as minimizing taxes or increasing assets, so you know how these fit into the overall plan.

Calculating Profitability & Losses

Once you have identified your overall goals, it is time to start calculating your profitability and losses. This involves forecasting your income, expenses and revenues over a certain period of time. You should also consider any potential risks that may affect your business, such as economic downturns, competition or legislative changes. By calculating these factors, you can gain a better understanding of your financial situation and make informed decisions about the future of your project.

Comparing the Impact of Long-Term and Short-Term Investments

When designing your financial model, you should also compare the impact of investing in long-term and short-term investments. Long-term investments, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, generally have the potential to increase returns over time. On the other hand, short-term investments, such as certificates of deposits, often have lower yields but can provide a steady flow of income in the short term.

Mapping Your Financial Performance

The final step in calculating your financial model is to map out your performance over time. This involves plotting out your financial goals and measuring how you are tracking toward them. It is important to track and review your performance frequently to make sure you are meeting your goals and to spot potential problems before they become major issues.

By following these steps, you can design and calculate a 3 way financial model that will meet your needs and help you reach your financial goals. With careful planning and mapping, you will be able to create a successful plan for your future.

4. Accounting Principles

Designing a 3 Way Financial Model to Suit Your Needs is a complex and often daunting task, but understanding key accounting principles is essential for any realistic and successful outcomes. Accounting principles form the foundation to any financial model, and with this solid footing, your model can achieve long-term accuracy and reliability.

a. Documentation & Record Keeping

Documentation is essential when designing a 3 Way Financial Model. Ensure that the beginning and completing balance sheets, ledgers, and other records are of the highest quality and consistency. Records should also be kept up-to-date. This forms the basis for accurate and reliable outcomes for the model.

b. Understanding Accounting Principles

To accurately design a 3-way financial model, a strong understanding of accounting principles is required. There are generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that need to be adhered to when modelling financial information. It is important to maintain an organized approach to information gathering and analysis when creating the model.

c. Designing Effective Financial Statements

An effective financial statement will help to ensure accuracy and reliability within the 3 Way Financial Model. Consider factors such as the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement when designing the model. These statements should include line items clearly identifying and describing the kind of data being entered. Additionally, the financial model should also include assumptions which set out forecasts and estimations.

Financing Principles

Building a 3-Way Financial Model requires accessing different sources of financing to determine the elements of the associated monetary financial flows. There are various options to consider in terms of financing principles and how it can best suit an individual’s unique needs.

Understanding Other Sources of Financing

The goal in financing is to get money to cover the cost of immediate and future needs. Potential sources of financing range from personal investments to government grants, venture capital investments, and loans. Financing also includes all factors related to credit such as debt, assets, income and expenses.

Aside from these primary sources, there are also other derivative sources which can be more beneficial, depending on a person’s specific needs. These include:

  • Public resources such as grants or bonds
  • Equity or debt instruments such as stocks, bonds or notes
  • Private equity or debt financing from venture capitalists, angel investors or family members
  • Private lending such as payday loans or personal loans
  • Real estate transactions such as mortgages or other equity investments

Calculating Potential Funding Sources

In order to determine potential funding sources and the associated costs, individuals need to identify their cash needs and the best financing method. This can involve assessing factors such as:

  • Project finance: Assessing the available equity, debt and investments which can cover the cost of the project costs.
  • Financing vehicles: Assessing the available sources of finance, whether they be grant-based, venture capital-based, debt financing-based or equity-based. It is also important to consider the associated costs such as interest rates and fees.
  • Debt ratios: this involves examining the ratio between the amount of debt held to the amount of equity held, as well as analysing other liabilities such as income taxes. This can help to determine the affordability of financing and the cost of debt taken on.
  • Cash flow: Cash flow is a key element in assessing the ability to service debt and equity obligations. It is important to assess the ability to pay debts and costs over the course of the loan.

Risk Tolerance of Banks or Investors

The risk tolerance of any banks or investors involved in the loan is also an important consideration, as these investors wish to ensure their money is safe and they can expect some kind of return. Investors look at the creditworthiness of the individual borrowing, as well as their reputation with other lenders. They also assess the potential risks associated with each financial product, such as whether there is an option to repay the loan in full before the end of term. In addition, they assess the architecture and structure of the project.

6. Planning Ahead

Designing a financial model is just one component of successful financial planning. To make the most of a 3-way model that fits your unique needs and maximize its potential, you'll also need to be strategic in your forecasting, understand the impact of different scenarios, and have an exit strategy.

a. Scenario Analysis & Stress Testing

When using your financial model, it's important to have a plan in place — not just for the current year, but for any potential scenarios that could arise. Identifying what-if scenarios and performing stress tests allows you to anticipate your financial future and plan for any unlikely but possible contingencies.

You can incorporate different scenarios into your 3-way financial model for a more accurate view of your future. Stress testing these scenarios will help you to adapt your financial plan and make decisions accordingly.

b. Forecasting & Preparing for Future Challenges

Having accurate and reliable data is key for creating a financial model that fits your needs and is regularly updated. Performing financial forecasting, gathering up-to-date economic and market data, and creating comprehensive projections can provide you with a detailed, realistic picture of your future finances.

The more reliable, consistent data you have to work with, the more accurate your financial model will be. That accuracy can help you prepare for future financial challenges and opportunities — such as large investments or changes in regulations.

c. Establishing An Exit Strategy

Having an exit strategy is a crucial element of successful financial planning, and can be one of the most important factors when using a 3-way financial model. Whether you are looking to liquidate assets, invest in a new venture, or just increase your financial security, having a clear understanding of your goals and how you plan to achieve them is essential.

Creating an exit strategy ahead of time will help ensure you are ready to take the necessary steps to reach that goal. As part of your 3-way financial model, consider setting a timeline and milestones that will help you track your progress and measure your success.


Financial modeling is an invaluable tool in predicting and managing the financial performance of a business. By designing a 3 way financial model, you can ensure that you are taking into account all of the necessary inputs for accurate predictions, such as revenues, expenses, investments, taxes, and more. Implementing a 3 way financial model can help you plan for the future, identify areas of risk, and better anticipate potential outcomes.

Summarizing the Benefits of Financial Modeling

Creating a three way financial model offers a number of advantages to an organization. By developing a financial model tailored to your needs, you can:

  • Determine the accuracy of current financial projections
  • Identify areas of potential risk or opportunity
  • Simulate scenarios and compare potential outcomes
  • Gain insight into the overall financial health of the business
  • Make educated decisions about future financial planning

Conclusion & Potential Outcomes

In conclusion, designing a three-way financial model is a great way to ensure that you are utilizing the most accurate and detailed data-driven forecasting methods. Developing a model specific to your business needs is the first step towards setting more reliable goals, mitigating risk, and ensuring the long-term success of an organization.

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