Mastering Financial Modelling: A practitioner's guide to applied corporate finance (Market Editions)

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9780273643104: Mastering Financial Modelling: A practitioner's guide to applied corporate finance (Market Editions)

Mastering Financial Modelling is a practical book and disk combination that will help finance professionals and business students alike to become more proficient in building Microsoft Excel models and applying corporate finance concepts.

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About the Author:

Alastair Day has worked in the finance industry for 20 years in treasury and marketing functions. He worked originally for the NFC, negotiating funding and administering leases, and switched to marketing finance upon the privatization of NFC in 1980. During the 1980s he was a director of a leasing company whose rapid growth was based on programmes in the IT, print and machine tool industries. The directors sold the company to a PLC at the end of the decade. In 1990 he established Systematic Finance as a consultancy and financial lessor concentrating on the computer and communications industries.

Alastair has a degree in Economics and German from London University, an MBA from the Open University Business School, and is an associate lecturer in corporate finance with the OUBS. Other publications include books such as The Financial Director's Guide to Purchasing Leasing published by the Financial Times Prentice Hall and a range of software products. In addition, he develops and presents public and in-house courses on a range of topics including financial modelling, leasing, credit and cash flow analysis, and other corporate finance topics.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Introduction—Who Needs This Book?

I was introduced to Microsoft Excel about 15 years ago when a client asked me to prepare a lease versus purchase analysis to prove that leasing was indeed more beneficial than purchasing. I spent much of the following weekend developing a Basic program to provide an after-tax net present value for both options. The client produced his own Lotus 1-2-3 model and while we both derived similar answers, the development time for the spreadsheet was only a couple of hours.

After this experience, I began to use Lotus 1-2-3 to review funding alternatives, lease pricing and portfolio cash flows. As spreadsheets have become more powerful, I have increased the scope of models and improved my own approach and design, which has had benefits in development time and accuracy. It is this personal approach which is outlined in this book and disk combination.

The success of spreadsheets, especially since the introduction of Office 95, means that most managers have Microsoft Excel as part of their desktop. Yet few receive specific training in modelling procedures just as few business schools teach Excel as a core part of their curriculum. Managers achieve a certain standard, but this means that many spreadsheet models are:

  • incomprehensible except to the author
  • contain serious structural errors
  • not able to be audited without a great deal of effort
  • not maintainable or flexible enough to be developed further
  • failing in their key objectives

The simplicity of Excel means that models can be written 'on the fly' with no thought to any of the above problems. Excel is a sophisticated tool and I would argue that it should be a core skill for managers to produce clear maintainable applications and be proficient in spreadsheet design. There is much management writing about 'empowering individuals' and providing them with 'decision tools' and Excel can assist in providing solutions.

This is what I call 'Applied Financial Excel,' which brings together:

  • financial skills
  • modelling
  • design methodology

This book will provide managers with an approach not covered in corporate finance textbooks or Excel manuals. The objective here is to write a practical book to help users, rather than yet another book on financial mathematics or Excel functions. The first part of the book discusses design methodology and features for improving model design. The second part of the book provides templates for solving particular corporate finance problems and includes briefly the underlying theory. As added bonus, the book contains a CD containing all the software introduced in the book. The book is aimed at groups with differing levels of responsibility:

  • CFOs and finance directors
  • financial controllers
  • analysts
  • accountants
  • corporate finance personnel
  • treasury managers
  • risk managers
  • middle office staff
  • general managers
  • personnel in banks, corporates and government who make complex decisions and who could benefit from a modelling approach
  • academics, business and MBA students

How to Use This Book

  • Install the Excel application templates using the simple SETUP command. The files are named by subject and referenced in each chapter.
  • Work through each of the chapters and the examples.
  • Use the book, spreadsheets and templates as a reference guide. There is a complete list of titles together with their relevant chapters in Appendix Three.
  • Apply the design methodology to all your models and applications.
  • Practise and improve your efficiency and competence with Excel.

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