Corporate Financial Modelling: Building Forecasts and Cash Flows

by Alastair Day
access120 days access
cpd hours4 CPD hours

This course will enable you to:

  • Understand the different forecasting methods available to you in Excel and apply them to your own data
  • Use ratio analysis to produce a forecast
  • Generate expectations of future performance and provide forecasted statements and cash flows
  • Create a flexible model which can be used to review different scenarios, and where inputs can be quickly changed, and results quickly accessed

Financial modelling is key to every business. Financial models can inform budgeting, forecasting, investment analysis, cash flows, loan sizing, valuation the list is endless. If your financial models aren't right, your business is going to make bad decisions.

Using a real life Excel example, this course takes you through a process where you can learn how to develop forecasts and perform financial analysis. It leads you through a series of steps required to create your own model.

Corporate Financial Modelling: Building Forecasts and Cash Flows is the second CPD course in a three-part series. Starting with, Corporate Financial Modelling: Setting up Financial Models, which set out a methodology for building models in Excel. This course helps you take a simple historic spreadsheet model and develop it by adding a financial forecast and using other forecasting techniques.


  • What are the forecasting basics?
  • What causes forecasting errors?
  • What types of charts should we use?
  • How do we review forecasts?
  • How can we appraise accuracy?
  • How do we analyse data in Excel?

Forecasting methods

  • How can we identify patterns?
  • What is the simple percentage plus method?
  • How do we use compound annual growth rate?
  • How are trends useful?
  • What is smoothing?
  • How do we look at seasons?
  • How do we use regression?
  • What is the inflation problem?


  • What factors can affect cash flow?
  • What are the core ratios?
  • What are the profitability ratios?
  • What ratios measure operating efficiency?
  • What ratios can help with financial structure?
  • Is growth sustainable?
  • What are the market ratios?
  • What error functions and units should be considered?
  • What checks are required?

Forecast drivers

  • What assumptions can we make?
  • How do we generate the income statement?
  • How are balance sheet assets generated?
  • What about balance sheet liabilities?
  • Why are the workings sheets important?
  • How do we deal with divisions?

Accounting statements

  • What is the structure of the balance sheet?
  • How do we model the income statement?
  • How do we model the balance sheet?
  • What are the mechanics of cash flow?
  • What are the cash flow ratios?
  • Can we avoid common mistakes?
  • How should we deal with iteration?
  • What further checks are needed?

Alastair has worked in the finance industry for more than thirty years and has extensive experience of financial modelling, finance and leasing. Alastair was previously a director of a start-up structured finance company, which grew rapidly and was subsequently sold to a public company.

Later, Alastair established Systematic Finance as an independent consultancy to concentrate on assignments in structured finance, leasing and financial model development.

Past projects have included investment analysis, debt restructuring, valuation, aircraft leasing, power and project finance models prepared for a variety of clients. In addition, Alastair designs and delivers courses covering financial modelling, credit analysis and equipment leasing.

He is the author of standard modelling textbooks such as Mastering Financial Modelling, Mastering Risk Modelling, Mastering Cash Flow and Valuation Modelling and Mastering Financial Mathematics in Excel, together with a number of technical leasing and credit books.

Alastair has a degree in German and Economics from London University and an MBA. He has held positions as an associate lecturer at the OUBS and the ifs University College (Chartered Institute of Bankers).

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ACCA partner with to provide high quality CPD for members. As an ACCA member, you are required to complete at least 40 relevant units of CPD each year, where one unit is equal to one hour. 21 units must be verifiable; the other 19 can be non-verifiable.

Verifiable CPD
Your course counts as verifiable CPD, if you can answer "yes" to these questions:

  1. Was the learning activity relevant to your career?
  2. Can you explain how you will apply the learning in the workplace?

You select courses that meet these criteria, and as you complete each course you get a CPD certificate so you can provide ACCA with the evidence that you undertook the learning activity.