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Financial Modeling Definition and What It’s Used For

File Photo: Financial Modeling
File Photo: Financial Modeling File Photo: Financial Modeling

What does financial modeling mean?

Financial modeling involves producing a company’s cost and revenue spreadsheet to determine the impact of a future event or action.

Executives utilize financial models in numerous ways. Financial analysts typically use this to predict how future events or executive choices affect a company’s stock performance.

Understanding Financial Models

Financial modeling quantifies a company’s past, current, and future activities. These models are for decision-making. Company leaders may use them to predict new project expenses and revenues.

From internal elements like a strategy or business model shift to external factors like economic policy or regulation, financial analysts utilize them to explain or predict stock price changes.

Financial models measure business valuation and compare it to industry peers. Strategic planning uses them to test scenarios, determine project costs, set budgets, and allocate company resources.

Examples of financial models include discounted cash flow analysis, sensitivity analysis, and in-depth evaluation.

Actual Example

The most excellent financial models include fundamental assumptions. One typically predicted line item is sales growth. Sales growth is the rise (or decrease) in gross sales over the preceding quarter. Financial models only need these two inputs to calculate sales growth.

The financial modeler constructs cell A for last year’s sales and cell B for this year’s sales. Cell C divides the difference between cells A and B by cell A—the recipe for growth. Formula Cell C is hard-coded in the model. Users can edit input cells A and B.

The model estimates a revenue increase if an action or event occurs in this scenario.

This is only one real-world financial modeling example. A stock analyst seeks development. Modeling every element that impacts growth is possible.

Additionally, company comparisons are crucial for stock purchases. An investor chooses between industry competitors using many models.

What is financial modeling’s purpose?

People within and outside firms use financial models for decision-making and analysis. A firm may construct an economic model to raise financing, grow organically, sell or divest business divisions, allocate resources, budget, predict, or value a business.

What should a financial model include?

Assumptions and drivers, income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, supporting schedules, valuations, sensitivity analysis, charts, and graphs make a sound, understandable model.

Which businesses use financial modeling?

Many professionals use financial modeling. Here are several examples: Financial models are used in sales and trading, equities research, commercial and investment banking, public accounting, private equity, portfolio management, and research.

How Are Financial Models Validated?

Failures in financial modeling can be costly. An economic model may be given to an outside party to verify its data. Financial institutions, project promoters, firms seeking money, and equity houses may request model validation to ensure accurate calculations and dependable outcomes.


  • Financial modeling quantifies a company’s activities.
  • Financial models measure business valuations and compare firms to sector peers.
  • Some models provide different outcomes. Models are only as good as their inputs and assumptions.



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