FAQ Model Specifics and Limitations

The FinRobot model has no special operating system requirements. Most important is the version of MS Office Excel in which you run the model. The model was tested in MS Office Excel versions 2007-2010. Using a free converter available Microsoft, the model may also work in earlier or later versions, but FinRobot cannot guarantee that its performance and appearance will match the original model. We recently tested our Models for Excel 2013 and found no immediate compatibility issues.

Some of the most common problems you might encounter when running FinRobot in earlier Excel versions are: formatting degradation or errors, failure in displaying graphic elements and functioning of hyperlinks in the 'Navigation' tab. Formulae should work properly in any version but may fail in some rare circumstances.

You can currently choose between English and Russian localisations for the Base and Case Builder Models. It does not matter which language your Microsoft Excel is localised to. The formulae and date formats will convert automatically to the language installed on  your computer. However, description of line items and headers will remain in the language you originally selected at the assembly stage. 

We recommend that you gross up your wages costs for any national insurance charges before feeding into the model. Likewise, your capital investments can be grossed up for stamp duties or import charges, if relevant. If you have specific levies unique to your business environment they can be modelled as separate cost elements. E.g. % of revenue in your overheads or COGS for mining rights, etc. If your business operates under a simplified tax scheme, it is recommended to set corporate rate tax to zero and to model your tax charge as a cost item based on the rules of your scheme.

The Base and Case Builder Models are built on assumption that the modelled business has no significant time lags between paying for and completing investments. Such assumption would not work well for one-off capital intensive projects such as real estate developments. As a quick fix we recommend manually shifting cash flows via 'other' items of working capital. Alternatively, we recently published a free add-on called CapEx Advances designed to handle multi period advances to equipment vendors. The add-on is available for download from our add-ons catalogue (requires registration).

VAT regime is complex and does not standardise well in financial modelling. For most forecasting purposes VAT flow is irrelevant as a pass through tax. Simply make sure that you enter your sale prices and input costs exclusive of VAT.

However, if your business circumstances are such that VAT paid to suppliers is less than VAT paid on sales and you have material delays in getting refunds from the tax authorities, it is possible to manually adjust cash flows via other items of your working capital schedule or other assets and liabilities in the long term section of your balance sheet. If the assumption is that the refunds are instant or almost instant then the model again works correctly as is.

For rare situation where overpaid VAT is accumulated as an asset on the balance sheet you will need a more complex VAT calculation module. We are planning to release a separate version of the model with such capability in the future. Meanwhile, we recommend that users adjust cash flow through other assets and liabilities.

If a portion of your expenses or revenue is not included in the taxable base, then there are two ways to account for this.

Firstly, use line 'Manual adjustment of income tax' in the 'Funding & Tax' tab. There you can book revenue or expense excluded from your taxable turnover calculation to adjust your taxable position in any forecast period. Note that to disallow any cost element from your tax calculation you need to book it as a negative.

Alternatively, apply an effective income tax rate as opposed to your statutory tax rate to get a proxy for your tax liability. The disadvantage of this method is that it provides no insight as to which items in your revenues and costs cause effective tax rate to differ from your statutory tax rate. The underlying source of the difference may go away over time but the model tax calculator will not adjust accordingly. 

The FinRobot model has no special pre-formatting for printing as we do not know in advance what format you wish your model to be printed on (for example, on A3/A4 or letter). Likewise, you may wish to print out only several key forecast periods or hide/unhide certain rows with secondary information. The model does not have any hidden rows or merged cells, so should give maximum flexibility for producing desired outputs.