Hire the top 3% of freelance financial modeling consultants.

Toptal is a marketplace for top financial modeling consultants. Top companies and start-ups hire financial modeling consultants from Toptal for their mission critical projects.

We've been blown away by the level of talent we've been able to hire through Toptal.

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Our Exclusive Network of Financial Modeling Consultants

Keith Fernandez

Financial Modeling Consultant

A Harvard graduate pursuing his MBA at Wharton, Keith has executed numerous debt, equity, and M&A transactions and investments for global Fortune 500 corpor...ations while working at leading Wall Street investment banks (Merrill Lynch) and private equity firms (KKR). He's an award-winning entrepreneur who enjoys freelancing to help advise clients on complex capital raising, M&A, corporate finance, and venture capital projects and transactions. 

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Andrew Aziz

Financial Modeling Consultant

On Wall Street, Andrew evaluated and recommended purchasing the bonds of a ~$14 billion oil and gas producer, generating a 30%+ return in less than one year.... Overall, he has invested in 4 companies generating ROIs of 20%+ on average and has worked as a research analyst at J.P. Morgan and Moody's. He hopes to use his hedge fund experience analyzing different types of businesses and securities to help executives be more successful in their efforts. 

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Jordan T. Mezoff

Financial Modeling Consultant

Jordan is a driven senior finance professional with extensive experience developing dynamic financial models for M&A transactions, growth strategy evaluatio...n, P&L forecasting, pricing, etc. He's also leveraged his leadership experience to execute several M&A and commercial deals as well as business process optimization and cost savings initiatives. Jordan now freelances to enjoy productive and exciting work alongside the freedom of freelancing. 

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Pablo A. Macias

Financial Modeling Consultant

A Harvard graduate, Pablo has developed financial models that resulted in the launch of four new digital and software business lines at Flex. He's also crea...ted M&A models for acquisitions in multiple industries: spanning financial services, industrials, and tech. Originally from Spain, Pablo moved to Silicon Valley to help develop growth strategies through M&A and new ventures, and he joined Toptal to help clients with their growth initiatives. 

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Alexandros Siormpas

Financial Modeling Consultant

Alexandros is a highly motivated and committed business professional with exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills. His international MBA and analy...tical roles in tier 1 firms (Samsung, Philips, eBay) have equipped him with superior business and commercial acumen. Now he freelances in order to contribute his expertise in engaging projects related to pricing, profitability, and financial planning. 

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Darek Plonka

Financial Modeling Consultant

Darek managed the raise of $1.8 billion through public debt securities and was in charge of investor relations for the fastest growing mobile network operat...or in Europe. Freelancing gives him the opportunity to help young companies in a variety of industries. Darek has extensive experience executing value creation strategies, which gives him a deep understanding of implementation challenges and a robust change management toolbox. 

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Michael Olafusi

Financial Modeling Consultant

Michael is an independent financial consultant with particular expertise in VBA, dashboards and modeling. He has worked with three of the largest telecommun...ications companies in Africa and built a dynamic portfolio model for a Canadian investment firm. He is a certified Advanced Financial Modeler (AFM) and one of the 125 official Microsoft Excel MVPs in the world. 

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Mark Zubov, CFA

Financial Modeling Consultant

Mark is an investment industry professional who has worked on $1.5 billion in buy-side and sell-side deals across M&A, equity, and debt capital markets. He'...s worked with major MNCs and Silicon Valley startups in the consumer, energy, tech, media, and life sciences sectors. As a freelancer, Mark enjoys sharing his passion for entrepreneurship with companies across the world—helping them with financial modeling, fundraising, and strategic planning. 

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Charles Strout

Financial Modeling Consultant

A chartered financial analyst and Columbia/London Business School MBA, Charlie founded a consulting firm specializing in providing strategic and financial a...nalysis. He also currently leads strategic initiatives at FreeWheel Media. Recently, Charlie’s work has included conducting equity research and valuing non-traditional data sets. He joined Toptal to help clients to leverage financial and strategic analysis to improve business results. 

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Ethan Bohbot

Financial Modeling Consultant

Ethan is an investment banking and hedge fund analyst turned entrepreneur. Drawing from experiences executing $5 billion+ in M&A transactions at Lazard and... Blackstone as well as sourcing and evaluating long/short equity investments at a $1.5 billion hedge fund, he’s developed a strong foundation in financial modeling, M&A analysis, and equity research—skills that he enjoys leveraging as a freelancer to help a wider variety of clients. 

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Hire Financial Modeling Consultants Seamlessly with Toptal

1
Talk to One of Our Industry Experts
A Toptal director of finance will work you to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics.
2
Work With Hand-Selected Talent
Within days, we'll introduce you to the right financial modeling consultant for your project. Average time to match is under 24 hours.
3
The Right Fit, Guaranteed
Work with your new financial modeling consultant for a trial period (pay only if satisfied), ensuring they're the right fit before starting the engagement.

FAQs

  • How are Toptal financial modeling consultants different?

    At Toptal, we thoroughly screen our financial modeling consultants to ensure we only supply experts of the highest caliber. Of the more than 100,000 people who apply to join the Toptal network each year, we accept fewer than 3%. You'll work with finance experts (never generalized recruiters or HR reps) to understand your goals, technical needs, and team dynamics. The end result: expertly-matched talent from our network, hand-selected to fit your business needs.

  • What is the no-risk trial period for financial modeling consultants?

    We make sure that each engagement between you and your financial modeling consultant begins with a trial period of up to two weeks. This means that you have time to confirm the engagement will be successful. If you're completely satisfied with the results, we'll bill you for the time and continue the engagement for as long as you'd like. If you're not completely satisfied, you won't be billed. From there, we can either part ways, or we can provide you with another expert who may be a better fit and with whom we will begin a second, no-risk trial.

  • How fast can I hire financial modeling consultants through Toptal?

    Depending on availability and how fast you can progress, you could start your no-risk trial with a financial modeling consultant within 48 hours of signing up. Most of our engagements start within 2 weeks of discussing your project with us.

Tap Into World-Class Talent

  • Trusted Experts Only

    Trusted Experts Only

    All of our talent are seasoned experts who ramp up quickly, readily contribute as core team members, and work with you to minimize onboarding time.

  • The Right Fit

    The Right Fit

    We have a knack for matching you with the right fit. Start working with your new hire on a no-risk trial period, paying only if satisfied.

  • Scale as Needed

    Scale as Needed

    Hire in under 2 weeks and scale your team up or down as needed, no strings attached.

  • Seamless Hiring

    Seamless Hiring

    We handle all aspects of billing, payments, and NDA’s. Let us take care of the overhead while you focus on building great products.

  • Flexible Engagements

    Flexible Engagements

    Choose the engagement type that suits your needs — hourly, part-time, or full-time — with the ability to change anytime.

  • Expert Talent Matching

    Expert Talent Matching

    Focus on your project and enjoy support from your dedicated account executive and expert talent matcher.

How to Hire a Great Financial Modeling Consultant

Financial modeling has advanced tremendously over the last two decades, evolving into a true science. Nobel Prizes have been awarded on the back of financial modeling and research, including the 2013 Prize in Economics to Eugene F. Fama, Lars Peter Hansen, and Robert J. Shiller “for their empirical analysis of asset prices”. Multibillion-dollar hedge funds have been set up around specific financial models, such as David Li’s Gaussian Copula function or the notorious Black Scholes model, all of which spurned a wave of new investment vehicles looking to leverage the models’ determination of price movements in different asset classes.

Whilst these are clear examples of extremely advanced financial models, the overall point remains clear: financial modeling plays a fundamental role in modern day financial and business decisions.

Finding top financial modelers is no easy task. The ability to assess financial modeling skills comes with practice. This guide is aimed at helping you source such talent effectively by putting candidates through their diverse paces.

Organized modeler, organized model

The bread and butter of a good financial model is that it be well-structured, clean, and easy to follow. After all, these models are usually shown to or referenced by other members of an organization. If financial models are sprawling instead of streamlined, they will largely be useless. A CFO cannot be spending precious time to understand a document as opposed to focusing on its outputs and takeaways.

Reflecting this, good financial modelers will tend to be structured, organized people, who enjoy making well-constructed and easy to grasp models. A love of minutiae, such as Excel formatting, is likely to reveal a top-notch financial modeler, who takes pride in what they craft.

A good first step, therefore, is to use a simple modeling exercise. This is not aimed at determining their financial skills or their intrinsic Excel knowledge, but mainly their propensity to create clean-looking models that are orderly and coherent.

An appropriate simple modeling exercise could be the following:

Q: Company X has been approached by a local boutique investment bank with an opportunity to purchase a smaller competitor in an adjacent market. The CFO has asked you to create a financial model with an upside case, base case, and downside scenario to assess the growth prospects and risks of the company.

The following guidelines on a financial model’s structure will rapidly identify good financial modelers, no matter the financials:

  • Inputs: A model must clearly show where the inputs are. This is particularly important for questions of portability. As the model is handed over to colleagues, they must be able to determine where the inputs are, in case they need to perform a sensitivity analysis on the key inputs, for example.
  • Number of tabs: Financial models require interaction between many different sections (P&L, Balance Sheet, etc.). The right build will be structured so as to lead users naturally between various financial statements, sheets containing operating models, sheets that model returns, sheets that model particular functions such as capital expenditure, and more.
  • Output tabs: Financial modeling almost always involves reaching an output or conclusion. In the scenario depicted above, the CFO is looking to understand what the prospects of the company are, meaning the outcome would concern growth and profitability projections Whatever the purpose of the model, good modelers will make sure that the outputs or the conclusions are clearly laid out.
  • Key to financial terms used: It is unwise to assume every person looking at a model is fully financially literate. Capex and ROIC are common enough abbreviations, but if a model mentions NCAVPS, a key explaining that this means Net Current Asset Value Per Share can be a blessing.

Excel still rules the roost

While Excel may have a reputation as the aging veteran of financial modeling tools, there is a good reason for its staying power. The breadth of options it provides allows a financial modeler to dominate any inputs needed. There are hundreds of relevant Excel formulas, with a good financial modeler needing to be familiar with a multitude of these to achieve any particular result needed.

The best formulas have two advantages:

  • They achieve a particular result in a lightweight way, without encumbering the model too much so that the file remains fairly light and easy to load.
  • They can be understood and modified by others and the formula must continue to work when other parts of the model are altered. This is particularly relevant when formulas are combined to achieve a particular result.

Q: Company Y is updating its business model ahead of a Series A round of fundraising. However, its first attempt at financial modeling in Excel was not done proficiently, resulting in a very heavy model, which is unclear to use and takes a long time to recalculate. Please update, improve and simplify it.

Examples of how a modeler should be making models more lightweight are as follows:

  • Non-volatile formulas. Certain types of formulas in Excel are considered “volatile” as they get recalculated every time a change is made. This makes an Excel sheet much slower. A good modeler will identify these and change them to non-volatile types. A specific example would be changing OFFSET formulas to INDEX formulas.
  • Pivot tables: A common reason for slow Excel sheets is large amounts of data. If summary tables or output tabs are made using formulas referencing large amounts of data, the model will slow down significantly. A good way to avoid this is through the use of pivot tables.
  • Tables can hold data: Tables are a good way to store data due to their more dynamic nature. If data is added or removed, the table still works, which allows for easier referencing in formulas (for instance, by referencing a table column as opposed to the exact array of cells).
  • Macros: Macros allow for a host of added functionality. Whilst many models will not need a macro, a candidate who understands how to create and use focused macros can clearly provide more advanced Excel functionality when the time comes.

A real data sleuth

“An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts - for support rather than illumination.”
—Andrew Lang

Financial modelers will often be tasked with producing models in the absence of much guidance or data. When faced with this situation, experienced modelers will know which type of information they need to source, where to find it, and most importantly, how to filter out data which is irrelevant to their exercise. In other words, strong modelers should be able to construct their own scenarios and guidance to produce the results they have been asked to produce.

A good way to test a candidate’s ability in this regard could be as follows:

Q: The CEO of a Fortune 500 company is considering a takeover bid for a major competitor. He has asked you to perform a valuation analysis of the takeover candidate, through a financial model, while applying the right methodology.

A financial modeling expert must be familiar with the main methods of company valuation. But more importantly, for this exercise, they should be familiar with the sources of data one would use in order to perform a company valuation. The candidate would first need to model some estimates of the company’s performance going forward.

Forward financials can be estimated by analyzing historical figures and predicting future performance, learning about overall market dynamics and using the forward estimates of comparable companies.

A good financial modeler would be expected to investigate in the following way:

  • Request specific historical company information.
  • Analyze historical performance and ask questions to understand numbers driving factors behind the company’s performance.
  • Become familiar with market the company operates in: competitors, products, market share, etc.
  • Seek information on comparable companies, such as private industry reports (Pitchbook, Thomson One, Capital IQ, Bloomberg). For American companies, the SEC provides original filings of the companies’ financials, while the likes of Google Finance and Yahoo Finance can be used to look into publicly listed companies.
  • Look for external analysis (analyst research reports, media articles), so as to build an understanding of company’s reputation and overall industry drivers.

The above exercise is not to have the candidate perform a valuation analysis but to hear from how they would go about sourcing the information needed to build their model and provide the analysis.

Step back and see the bigger picture

Despite the above, an extremely common pitfall in financial modeling is the inability to take a step back and see the bigger picture. It is all too easy to get bogged down in the details of a model and forget that a model is supposed to simulate a real world situation. seeing the bigger picture. Top financial modelers need to constantly be asking themselves the following questions:

  • Do the numbers I am showing make sense?
  • Is the outcome of my model feasible?
  • How do my numbers compare to real-life comparables?

If financial models are meant to guide senior executives in their decision-making, the modelers must anticipate what the executives need and the questions they expect the model to answer. If done well, this answers the need for structure, no superfluous data being included, and avoids time loss right due to unreasonable outcomes in the financial model.

It is worth testing a candidate’s thought process at this stage.

Q: A CFO is considering investing in a new production facility, and has been soliciting bank proposals for financing. His bankers have sent him a model of what sort of financing structure they could provide as well as their forecasts on the investment’s performance. The CFO has asked you to analyze the numbers and draw some conclusions and recommendations.

In performing the analysis, a top financial modeler would be expected to do the following in order to immediately understand the structure of the model:

  • Understand where the key inputs are (pertaining to operational projections as well as to the financing structure).
  • Define key outputs/metrics CFO is looking for to make a decision. Here, the most appropriate metric is likely to be an analysis of the Net Present Value (NPV) of the projected investment. Strong modelers would be familiar with the concept behind NPV but should also ask what key metrics the decision will be based on to include them prominently in the model.
  • How the model ties everything together. Once the key inputs and outputs have been determined, the modeler should figure out how the model uses the inputs to create the desired outputs. In this case, the two key parts of the model will be the operational projections of the investment and the financing structure being proposed by the bank.

Once this is established, a stress testing process should be carried out to put the model through its paces.

  • Providing for variables - Once the model structure is defined, the modeler should see how key outputs change with a given change in the inputs. This also allows for forecasts to cover more extreme scenarios.
  • Trying different financing structures - In this example, the modeler can see how different financing structures might influence the outcome. For instance, a comparison of how debt and equity instruments affect the desired outputs provides the CFO with some good perspective.
  • Test operational assumptions - The model can only work if the assumptions within it make sense. Wildly optimistic assumptions on the cash flows of the investment would produce skewed results and help no one. A good modeler is likely to question these assumptions until they are satisfied.

To summarize, a good modeler cannot focus only on the model and its complexities. Putting themselves in the shoes of the decision-maker allows them to understand what drives these decisions and make the model reflect that.

Pride and joy in their work

As a final note, it has become very clear that the best modelers tend to really enjoy modeling. Like an architect approaching the completion of a building, they will tend to see it as an art. They will enjoy discussing modeling tips and tricks with their coworkers. And they will spend time on their own learning about new skills.

When assessing a candidate, they should be allowed to wax lyrical, to share their favorite model or speak of their proudest creation, revealing from where their pride comes from or how its complex parts were put together. An interviewer should leave this process to flow organically, allowing themselves to be given the grand tour of a financial modeler’s portfolio. The pride and fulfillment they derive from their work is a clear benchmark of how they will approach future challenges set before them.

Financial modeling is a mission-critical task for many companies. Having strong financial modelers on the team can make a CFO’s life far easier, streamline decision-making and often help gain an edge over one’s competitors. As such, hiring expertise talent in this area is fundamental. Nevertheless, judging a candidate’s ability to model is not easy. Much like a model itself, the interview process cannot be static but ebb and flow to test out the various pointers laid out in this guide. Dive in.

Top Financial Modeling Consultants are in high demand.

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