This course covers spreadsheet skills. During the course you will:
Spreadsheets provide many functions, tools and features that can be used in finance. This course describes those functions, tools and features, illustrates how they work and shows how they can be used in a variety of practical finance settings. Some of the functions are powerful but often underutilized, and other financial functions are sometimes misunderstood or misinterpreted: Special emphasis is given to those functions.
A well-designed spreadsheet can pay significant dividends: The course shows how good design skills together with a mastery of spreadsheet functions leads to efficient, user-friendly, maintainable, robust, responsive and error-free financial spreadsheets.
This course's intended audience is spreadsheet users in finance who wish to understand and apply the important functions, features, tools and techniques that spreadsheets provide.
This is an intermediate through to advanced level course.
The course comprises one day. An optional second day follows this course and on day that further spreadsheet skills are covered.
You will need spreadsheet skills at an intermediate level. You should be able to use formulae, and understand how cells are referenced (e.g. $A1:$B5).
The course has a “hands-on” format. Each participant works with a laptop for the major part of the course on practical financial spreadsheet topics.
Following is an overview of this course's content.
This section reviews the most useful spreadsheet functions, tools and features and gives examples of their applications. These are covered:
This section explains the mathematics underlying spreadsheet financial functions. The benefits of knowing the underlying mathematics include: 1) Being able to solve problems from “first principles” if the problems are too complex to be solved by inbuilt financial functions. 2) Ensuring that functions are used correctly (e.g. that inputs are of the form that Excel “expects”). The following functions are covered:
Spreadsheets provide features to make it easy for users to enter inputs and to lessen the chance that incorrect or inappropriate values are inputted. The following are covered:
As with any area of expertise, it is essential that the principles of financial modelling and model design are understood in order to use these models for more advanced decision-making. The following are covered:
There are many applications and types of financial models. This section involves applying the principles of model design to constructing models. Models and applications covered include:
Some types of financial problems are too complex to solve in a single step. This section describes the mathematics behind iteration and explores the different ways that such problems can be solved iteratively. These are the methods covered: