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Crafting the best Excel models Logo cgma

  Liam Bastick |   Free |   Jun 2018 |   FM magazine

Those creating complicated spreadsheets often forget that the end user tends to see only the final summary. As a result the user may not understand the process and fails to spot errors. This article looks at the best practice models and suggests that they have four key attributes namely, consistency, robustness, flexibility and transparency. It provides an example showing how each can be achieved.

Topics covered:
  • Management accounting: Technical: Management reporting & analysis: Management reporting, Foundational
  • Management accounting: Technical: Accounting information systems: Information systems environment, Intermediate

5 Comments/Reflections

Bekithemba Hwalima

Bekithemba Hwalima May 2019

The article advises that financial models should be built to best practice standards, with four key attributes. Consistency, Robustness, Flexibility and Transparency. Time spent on better planning and designing the model layout will lead to fewer mistakes and more efficiency in the long run.
Jody Orme

Jody Orme Feb 2019

Great article. Important for accountants that are primarily involved in modelling for decision making.
A Makshood

A Makshood Dec 2018

The article is very precise in presenting summerised report. further the attributes CRFT would enhance the best report submission for decision makers.

consistancy enhances structure, minimise error messages in the excel reports, transparance of links and workings are give users confidence on the workings and thereby effective decision making.

After reading this article able to involve four attributes of CRFT in preparing and submitting excel report to decision making.
Timothy Stokes

Timothy Stokes Nov 2018

  1. well thought out article that touches on many key points across all organisations I have worked in.
  2. simple steps can be taken to standardise the formats/layouts of reports that enable finance users to create useful and timely reporting that serve the needs of the business users.
  3. implementation of embedded hyperlinks in a table of contents page is a really useful idea that I can realistically see benefitting the reports that I quite often produce.
Excel still shouldn't be the primary reporting tool of any large organisations.  with the sheer volume of BI tools that are available that can directly interface with Accounting Software it is a wonder that anyone still uses excel for anything other that adhoc analysis.

What competency did you develop?I got a better understanding of the important factors to concentrate on when building financial models.

M W Sep 2018

What competency did you develop?I got a better understanding of the important factors to concentrate on when building financial models What can you do now that you couldn’t do before? I got a better framework of points I have to concentrate on when building the excel modelDid you meet your objectives? Yes If not, what else do you need to do?Nothing, together with my course on financial modeliing I have much more informayion and better framework to build my own finance model What will be the wider impact for your team, your organization, and your own career?We are busy with a big project we my financial model can make a big impact on the descision the team make in the future.