Base Model: 1. Introduction
FinRobot is an automatic assembler of financial Models in Microsoft Excel. It allows you to set online parameters for your project or business and download a financial Model with working formulae and input fields in Microsoft Excel.
When ordering your Model online, sensitive financial data about your business does not need to be inputted, if you prefer not to. Your Model will be delivered with dummy operating and financial data, which can be replaced with your own inputs off-line as needed.
Your Model can be further modified off-line. Unlike the black box solutions, the code and type of formulae are intentionally simple and transparent.
Currently, FinRobot provides six customisable templates or models called 'Base Model', 'Case Builder Model', ‘TopLine Model’, 'Manufacturing', ‘Quick IRR Model’ and ‘Quick RE Development Model’. This Manual describes the functionality of the Base Model. To read more about our other Models please refer to their respective manuals (available on-line and as a download in pdf).
An initial understanding of the Model’s layout and templates can be achieved by viewing screenshots of the Model from the Models’ section of our site. Note that yellow fields are data input fields which can be re-populated with data off-line without any risk of unintentionally altering the functionality or structure of the Model.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has recognised FinRobot’s Base Model as being compliant with ICAEW’s Twenty Principles for good spreadsheet practice. 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.
In compliance with Principle 20 of the Principles, all worksheets of the Model are locked except for designated data input fields. If you need to change working areas of the Model you can unlock any tab by going to the Review menu at the top of Excel and clicking on ‘unprotect sheet’ button. Default password is finrobot, but you may wish to substitute a password of your own choice in place of the default. We recommend the Model is locked again after any planned changes to avoid accidental overwrites by end users.
Please ensure you make a back-up after downloading your Model.
* Users should be aware that the Base Model does 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.
Our Models have been successfully tested for Microsoft Office Excel 2007-2010. If your installation of Microsoft Office is different, you may wish to use free Microsoft Office converters. However, we do not guarantee that the Model will retain all of its functionality and graphical representations if opened in a different version of Microsoft Office. We recently tested our Models for Excel 2013 and found no immediate compatibility issues.
FinRobot's Base Model allows to:
- Set your own calendar for forecast periods: years, quarters, or months;
- Rename key items of the balance sheet, current and investment expenses, and debt instruments depending on the specific nature of your project or business;
- Set initial operating and financial positions of the existing business using the opening (initial) balance sheet;
- Simulate dynamics of revenues and direct expenses by up to five product categories with individual cost profiles;
- Simulate and choose types of overhead expenses;
- Select type of drivers for direct expenses and overheads items as variable or fixed;
- Set the schedule of capital investments by varying parameters of up to five classes of fixed assets, each with its own amortisation profile;
- Vary the number of debt instruments, simulate up to five sources of debt financing, with individual rates and amortization profiles;
- Calculate income tax taking into loss carry forward and manual adjustments;
- Set parameters and calculate working capital requirements;
- Simulate three reporting forms: balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and cash flow statement;
- Calculate NPV and IRR for business or a project.
The Base Model provides additional flexibilities and built-in functionality. Please read more below.