Commitment to Best Practice

We believe any model should comply with best modelling principles

This is why we joined Good Spreadsheet Principles' recognition scheme of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

The purpose of these Principles is to help reduce the amount of time wasted, and the number of errors caused, by businesses (including accountancy practices) as a consequence of the way they and their employees use spreadsheets. We could not agree more.

So far, FinRobot’s Core Set of Models is one of the two products that have achieved recognition by ICAEW. The recognition gives us the right to feature ICAEW logo next to the product recognised as being compliant. You can read more about the Twenty Principles and the recognition procedure below.


  1. Determine what role spreadsheets play in your business, and plan your spreadsheet standards and processes accordingly.

  2. Adopt a standard for your organisation and stick to it.

  3. Ensure that everyone involved in the creation or use of spreadsheets has an appropriate level of knowledge and competence.

  4. Work collaboratively, share ownership, peer review.

  5. Before starting, satisfy yourself that a spreadsheet is the appropriate tool for the job.

  6. Identify the audience. If a spreadsheet is intended to be understood and used by others, the design should facilitate this.

  7. Include an ‘About’ or ‘Welcome’ sheet to document the spreadsheet.

  8. Design for longevity.

  9. Focus on the required outputs.

  10. Separate and clearly identify inputs, workings and outputs.

  11. Be consistent in structure.

  12. Be consistent in the use of formulae.

  13. Keep formulae short and simple.

  14. Never embed in a formula anything that might change or need to be changed.

  15. Perform a calculation once and then refer back to that calculation.

  16. Avoid using advanced features where simpler features could achieve the same result.

  17. Have a system of backup and version control, which should be applied consistently within an organisation.

  18. Rigorously test the workbook.

  19. Build in checks, controls and alerts from the outset and during the course of spreadsheet design.

  20. Protect parts of the workbook that are not supposed to be changed by users.

Download full 20 Principles in pdf from here


ICAEW Recognition Scheme for products which accord with the 20 Principles as administered by ICAEW is a two stage process:

  1. During first stage Suppliers are asked to provide a detailed assessment of the Product to demonstrate how the Product complies with the Principles

  2. During second and final stage Evaluator(s) appointed by ICAEW review the Product and Supplier’s assessment to establish whether the Product complies with the Principles

  3. A copy of FinRobot’s detailed assessment can be downloaded from here



* The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has recognised FinRobot’s Base Model, TopLine Model, Case Builder Model and Manufacturing Model (FinRobot’s Standard Models) as being compliant with ICAEW's Twenty Principles for Good Spreadsheet Practice. Users should be aware that the Standard Models do not cover all aspects of good spreadsheet practice and therefore should ensure that they follow the best practice appropriate to their specific circumstances when relying upon spreadsheets, as ICAEW will not be liable for any damages whatsoever incurred by any person, occasioned by reliance on the models or any related products or services, howsoever caused.