Seminar Overview

A financial modeling seminar for professionals who wish to raise their financial modeling skills to a superior level and prepare for the Advanced Financial Modeler Certification (AFM) certification exam. This certification is the level 1 of the Financial Modeling Institute’s qualification scheme (official link).

The seminar will cover how to build models accurately and efficiently through a series of best practice modeling rules and learn how to stress-test the assumptions used, to check accuracy of work in an efficient manner and to provide appropriate documentation.

The ability to simply manipulate spreadsheets is important but yet insufficient. Being able to incorporate all “what if” scenarios and stress test any proposal to its limits is a valuable and required skill to for today’s financial analyst. Working financial models improves the reliability and quality of financial decision-making.

Once you are done with this seminar you will know how to model the three major financial statements (balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement) based on industry best practices and FMI’s Body of Knowledge (official download link). During this workshop you are going to develop a full scale model and learn how to model all respective items. In addition, through the hands-on training approach you will learn how to perform sensitivity analysis, build alternative scenarios and tackle issues like inflation, escalation, corkscrews, error checking etc.

A highly practical training seminar that will allow you to:

  • UNDERSTAND essential steps in designing simple, yet powerful financial models and cope with well-known model complexities by applying best practice modeling principles and techniques
  • Improve financial model efficiency by using Excel shortcuts and Understand the sensitivity of key drivers through dynamic Scenario Analysis
  • LEARN to measure, interpret and forecast company performance using Excel modeling
  • APPLY core and advanced spreadsheet functions and techniques in order to construct effective models
  • LEARN the details of developing a full-scale model to integrate the three major financial statements (balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement) based on the FAST Modeling Standard
  • Model business operations (including revenue, costs, taxation and inflation / indexation / escalation);
By applying industry best practice modeling principles, participants will improve their financial models’ design, style and structure. Participants will learn how to integrate all financial statements to produce a correctly balanced Balance Sheet, avoiding any circularity.


Day 1
Explore and Practice the core Financial Modeling Design and Construction techniques
  • Introduction and Overview of the Seminar
  • Effective Model Design & Construction Best practices overview – FMI Body of Knowledge
  • Separating Inputs, Calculations and Outputs – Key modeling tips & steps
  • Why it is important to document model assumptions?
  • Which function or formula is most appropriate in alternative modeling situations?
  • Review of the most commonly-used Excel functions in financial modeling
  • Setting up the core financial statements
  • Links between financial statements
  • Preparing an Integrated three-way financial model
Day 2
  • Smart Techniques for quick and efficient modeling - Use of keyboard shortcuts
  • Modeling and presenting the cash flow statement
  • Derivation of Major Financial Ratios: Profitability, Efficiency, Liquidity and Debt ratios
  • Modeling scenarios - what’s the best way to run scenarios?
  • Building a model framework that will accommodate multiple scenarios
  • Instant scenario switching with drop down boxes
  • Sensitivity Analysis & Optimization techniques
  • Stress testing and Auditing the Model
  • Reporting and Managing Results/Outputs
  • Best Practices for Output presentation

Indicative Exercise: Plan, design and build a financial model, including P&L statement, Cash Flow including scenario analysis. Create a best, base and worst case scenario on your model. Select from a drop-down box and watch the results change. Build your own flexible report including a dynamic chart.

Free Takeaway

Participants will receive worksheets and templates that will allow them to review the models discussed during the Seminar and adjust them to their own day-to-day needs.


This hands-on workshop is designed for junior to senior business and finance students and professionals as well as general managers who need to use financial models to measure business performance, identify risk and perform sensitivity analyses, including:

Directors, GMs, VPs, Senior Managers, Managers, with responsibility in the following functional areas:

  • Business & Financial Analysts
  • Investment & Corporate Bankers
  • CFOs & Finance Managers
  • Risk Managers and Portfolio Managers
  • Financial Controllers and Accountants
  • MBA’s and Business Undergraduates
  • Anyone seeking to improve their financial and valuation modeling skill set
  • Industry Consultants
  • Project Managers and Risk Analysts
  • Corporate Finance and Business Development Professionals
  • Finance & Accounting staff
  • Heads of Business Units & Business Planners


Attending this hands-on seminar should form the final stage of your preparation for AFM certification exam.  Candidates are expected to devote between 25 and 100 hours to preparation in total and attendees should already be familiar with the FMI Body of Knowledge prior to attending this course.

Participants should bring their own laptop, ideally one they are accustomed to using, with a Microsoft Windows operating system and Microsoft Excel 2010 or 2013 installed and have a basic understanding of MS Excel (e.g. syntax of IF statement, purpose of $s for anchoring cell references).

This seminar presumes knowledge of financial accounting (at least 1 semester or equivalent).

The Mac version of Excel is dramatically different and it is not advised to use it during the seminar.


Attending this seminar will enhance your financial modeling skills by learning the latest methods and tools to create solid financial models, following industry best practices. It is specifically designed for anyone that plans to sit for the Level 1 AFM Certification from the Financial Modeling Institute (FMI).  There will, of course, still be benefits received from our course without actually completing the exam, however we highly recommend you sit for the AFM exam in order keep up with fellow colleagues, potentially competitive candidates for job interviews or to enable you to change careers which are now more heavily focused on financial modeling.

This certification exam is held twice a year and will be a proof of your financial modeling skills. It would be a valuable opportunity to capitalize on the trainer’s well rounded experience and in-depth knowledge on the topic. In fact, the case studies will leave you with hands-on experience that will yield immediate benefits to your daily work. 

The FMI certification exams are held twice per year (every April & October) in various cities across the world and you must independently register for this exam directly with the Financial Modeling Institute. It is not a requirement before undertaking this course that you are registered for, or sit this exam. This course will prepare you for the FMI exam but your attendance will in no way guarantee your exam results.