Building a Spreadsheet Forecasting Model



What you’ll learn

  • The need for structure when building a spreadsheet model

  • The components of a well-structured spreadsheet forecasting or planning model, and why they are needed

  • The steps to build a productive and understandable spreadsheet model

  • How to build accessible, understandable and flexible spreadsheet models in any arena or situation

  • The confidence to adapt, adjust and experiment with spreadsheet models in a wide range of scenarios

  • The value of a spreadsheet business model for the running of their organisation

  • How to better business decisions using a business model


  • There are no pre-course requirements

Modern spreadsheets are very powerful tools and it is easy to build a forecasting or business model. The problem is that the formulae can quickly become very complex, and the structure of the model can get very unwieldy. The person who originally built the model may be able to navigate it well enough, but the people who have to use it, or want to study the outputs, may find it impenetrable.

What is needed is structure. A good spreadsheet model tells a story – it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The model needs to be easy to understand, so that non-experts can see how changes in variables affect the model and can take ownership of it. Equally importantly, if the person who built the model is unavailable, someone else can take over and “drive” it without too much difficulty.

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Building a Spreadsheet Forecasting Model will provide delegates with the skills they need to structure and develop a practical and effective spreadsheet forecasting or planning model.

The course will focus on building models for:

• Forecasting the likely, and possible, outcomes of business activity

• Reviewing the feasibility of proposed business ventures

• Planning the financial needs and performance of business projects

• Modelling the performance of the business as a whole through various business scenarios.

This course uses Microsoft Excel but advanced knowledge of Excel is not necessary. We keep the functions and formulae used as simple as possible.

Who this course is for:

  • Business managers
  • Finance specialists
  • Students of business management or finance
  • Business owners
  • Definitions Assumptions and Sources of Data


  • Exercise: Model Foundations


  • Building the Spreadsheet Model: Input Data


  • Building the Model: Intermediate Calculations


  • Building the Model: Core Model


  • Output Data and the Executive Summary


  • Exercise: Reviewing a Model


  • Building a Spreadsheet Model of your Business


  • Planning and Decision Making using the Business Model


  • Presenting the Outputs of your Spreadsheet Model


Process Improvement Specialist

I am a Follow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants specialising in process improvement. I have nearly 30 years experience in consultancy, facilitation and training. I have published numerous online courses on process improvement, performance measurement, KPIs, problem solving and more.

I live in Scotland with my wife, daughter and our Cocker Spaniel.

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