How to Model Financial Projects Using VBA

Modeling financial projects is more than just crunching numbers and sorting pivot tables. It’s about seeing the big picture, understanding how variables will impact future performance, and identifying opportunities for more efficiency. To model financial projects efficiently and in a manner that makes sense takes practice and discipline. You must stay organized, keep your data clean, and be intentional about what you choose to track. The process should also be easy to follow if you ever need to go back and reference it again at a later date. A typical project lasts between 6 and 12 months with weekly check-ins on milestones or deliverables. They are usually broken down into key components such as Financial Statements, Cash Flow Analysis, Debt Repayment Schedule, Internal Rate of Return Analysis, Scenario Testing, Depreciation Schedules, Cost vs Value Analysis, Sensitivity Analysis, Checklists for Implementation of New Policies or Practices as well as a Business Plan/Goals/Strategies section.

The top 5 things you should be tracking in VBA

When you’re modeling financial projects with VBA, it’s important to keep track of the following items: - Financial Statements - This includes items like: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. - Data - Cleaning and merging data from various external sources is a great way to start. - Risk Management - Keep track of potential risks and their potential impact on the project. - Financial Metrics - KPIs like Savings, ROI, ICC, and NPV are important to track as well. - Deliverables - Track the completion date for each deliverable for the project. - Risks - Keep track of new risks and mitigation strategies.

Define Your Measures and KPI’s

There are three main areas to keep track of when modeling financial projects with VBA: Financial Metrics, Financial Statements, and Risk Management. Financial Metrics are numbers that help you track how your business is performing. The most common metrics are ROI, NPV, and ICC. You can also track metrics like cash on cash return, savings, or internal rate of return on investment. Financial Statements provide you with a snapshot of your financial health. These include items like an income statement and balance sheet. Risk Management is an important aspect of any business. You should be tracking potential risks and their potential impact on the project. Track new risks and mitigation strategies as well.

Constants and Variables

Constants and Variables are tools used to track the impact of change. They are typically used to track the effect of interest rates, tax rates, inflation, and other factors that can change over time. You can use a spreadsheet to track these variables and the impact they have on your model. Alternatively, you can use cell references in VBA to track variables in your model. For example, you would use a constant to track the mortgage rate in your model. You can then use variables to track the impact of changing interest rates.

Data Cleansing and Merging

Data cleansing and merging is a process that involves cleaning up the data you’ll use in your model and then combining data from various sources. By cleaning up your data, you’ll create a better model. This will make it easier to track and analyze your data. It’s also important to merge data from various sources. This will help you see how your model will interact with other parts of your organization. By merging data, you’ll be able to see how changes in one portion of your model will affect other areas. For example, you may want to track the savings from a new policy or practice. You can do this by merging data from an expense tracking sheet and other financial statements.

Cash Flow Analysis

Cash flow analysis will help you track when you’ll receive cash and when you’ll be making payments. You can then track your liquidity and use internal rate of return to see if the project is worth pursuing. You can also use cash flow analysis to help forecast future cash flows. This is helpful if you’re extending credit to a client or if you have a large purchase coming up. You’ll also need to track cash inflows and outflows if you use projections for the future. This will help you forecast your cash flow for the next few months or year.

Internal Rate of Return

The internal rate of return (IRR) is an important metric for financial projects. This will help you determine if your project is worthwhile. It will calculate the annual return of your project based on the cash flow numbers in your model. The formula for calculating IRR is: This will help determine if your project is worth pursuing. The higher the number, the better.

Debt Repayment Schedule

If you have a significant amount of debt, then you’ll want to track your debt repayment schedule. This will help you see what dates you’ll be making payments and track your progress. The Debt Repayment Schedule is also helpful when you’re negotiating a new loan. You can use the schedule to show the lender how you’ll be repaying the loan. You’ll want to track the principal amount, interest rate, and the remaining balance on each loan you have. This will help you see the progress you’ve made and keep you motivated.

Scenario Testing

Scenario testing will help you identify the impact of different variables on your model. This will help you see what-if scenarios and where you should focus your efforts. For example, you can test the impact of interest rates rising or a natural disaster in your area. You can also track what happens if you increase your savings or decrease your spending.

Organization is key

One of the most important parts of modeling financial projects with VBA is organization. You’ll want to stay organized in both your model and your data. You can do this by creating a folder system, naming your modules and procedures, and keeping your data clean and tidy. Make sure you save your file on a regular basis. This will ensure you don’t lose work and can easily track changes made to the model.

Conclusion

Financial modeling is a crucial part of business. It allows you to forecast your finances so you know what you’ll be earning and spending. You can use financial modeling in a variety of areas, including: - Financial Plan and Analysis - This includes items like the income statement, cash flow analysis, and the balance sheet. - Risk Management - Keep track of potential risks and their potential impact on the project. - Financial Metrics - KPIs like savings, ROI, ICC, and NPV are important to track as well. - Deliverables - Track the completion date for each deliverable for the project. Remember, the more organized you keep your data, the easier it will be to track and analyze it. With the right tools, you can model financial projects more efficiently, discover new opportunities, and make smarter decisions.

Related Course: Financial Modeling Skills Course