#Excel Posts

The Toptal Finance Blog is a hub for in-depth studies and analysis on all facets of finance, ranging from innovative strategies on raising capital to detailed coverage of new finance trends and technologies.
Ellen Su
Exploring Excel's Get & Transform Functionality

Hidden in Excel and Power BI is a powerful data analysis pack named Get and Transform (previously known as Power Query). It is an ETL pack for cleaning and sorting raw data from a range of input sources, such as CSV and text files. This tutorial demonstrates how Get & Transform can help the data analyst both save time and uncover more insight.

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Erik Warren
How to Build a Budget that Lasts the Full Year

Budgeting can be a drawn-out process, yet oftentimes once the year starts and results diverge, they become forgotten. Instead of budgeting just with qualitative methods, managers should combine them with quantitative tools. Comparing regressed historic trends with future expectations can be more accurate and ultimately ensure the budget survives the year.

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Stefan Thelin
Forecaster’s Toolbox: How to Perform Monte Carlo Simulations

One of the most important and challenging aspects of forecasting is handling the uncertainty inherent in examining the future. Every CEO, CFO, board member, investor, or investment committee member brings their own experience and approach to financial projections and uncertainty, influenced by different incentives. Oftentimes, comparing actual outcomes against projections underscores the need to explicitly recognize uncertainty.

Monte Carlo simulations are an extremely effective tool for handling risks and probabilities, used for everything from constructing DCF valuations, valuing call options in M&A, and discussing risks with lenders to seeking financing and guiding the allocation of VC funding for startups. This article provides a step-by-step tutorial on using Monte Carlo simulations in practice.

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David Turney
Estimating WACC for Private Company Valuation: A Tutorial

The discount rate is a critical input in any discounted cash flow valuation analysis. How does an analyst estimate a reasonable discount rate for a private company that has no publicly traded debt or equity?

This article focuses on best practices for estimation of the WACC in the context of a private company valuation. The discussion begins with an overview of the WACC, background on the components of the WACC, methods to estimate the WACC components for private companies, and an example of how to apply this framework to estimate a privately-held building materials company.

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Marty Mooney
Why Every Business Should Build Weekly Cash Flow Forecasts

When most finance professionals hear the term “13 week cash Forecast,” they view it as a burden—one more task to appease an overbearing lender. It doesn’t help that it seems less exciting than analyzing an investment or acquisition. Therefore, people often only prioritize these forecasts in distressed situations, when it is too late to take corrective actions.

However, in this article, Toptal Finance Expert Marty Mooney argues that weekly cash forecasts are crucial for all businesses, irrespective of size, health, or sector. It also provides a simple tutorial for efficiently building such analyses.

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Ellen Su
Power Pivot for Excel Tutorial: Top Use Cases and Examples

With the arrival and growing ubiquity of big data, Excel, as a data-mining and processing tool has been pushed to its limits—reflected in its dated 1,048,576 row hard limit and the application’s processing speed slowing to a crawl. As of 2010, Microsoft released a Power Pivot function that transformed the scope and usefulness of Excel where the extraction, combination, and analysis of large datasets are concerned.

Using live cases, Finance Expert Ellen Su explores in detail how to master Power Pivot and explores its hidden advantages as a big data tool.

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