Top Banking Certification Courses

Spreadsheet Skills for Planning, Forecasting & Budgeting


Planning, Forecasting & Budgeting are 3 of the most important functions in business. Performed properly they can lead to exceptional success. Yet many people do not use the tools available to them to their best advantage. In this course we will leverage the power of Excel to demonstrate how to improve your forecasting, planning, and budgeting. By developing better spreadsheets & models, planning is more accurate, forecasting is more precise & budgeting is more attainable. And the time to develop these is dramatically reduced.

Forecasts, plans, and budgets may be improved through extensive what-if analysis to find key factors for management to monitor. Furthermore, these tools can be easily transferred into business plans which provide the guide to the overall performance of the firm.

Targeted Groups:

  • Financial Accounting Team Members
  • Cost and Management Accounting Staff
  • Finance Managers
  • Budget Managers
  • Commercial Managers
  • Capital Investment and Project Team Members
  • Employees who want to gain great knowledge to improve their career

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the various Excel tools available to perform planning, forecasting & budgeting
  • Perform sophisticated “what-if” scenarios to improve decision making
  • Know what Excel techniques to use in a given situation
  • Use the most advanced spreadsheet techniques
  • Know when to take a chance & when not to
  • Learn to use & expand a range of Excel models
  • Develop an improved understanding of how well prepared Excel models to help the corporate in today’s challenging world.
  • Understand the risks & rewards of various planning decisions
  • Calculate the impact of alternative inputs on critical outputs
  • Understand the cost/benefit of every decision
  • Enhance their knowledge with the use of the models in the case studies

Targeted Competencies:

  • Budgeting
  • Building models in Microsoft Excel
  • Forecasting
  • Evaluating proposals
  • Applying Microsoft Excel functions and tools
  • Assessing budgeting process

Course Content:

Unit 1: Introduction to Spreadsheets using Excel:

  • Worksheet fundamentals
  • Using the F4 key for Relative & Absolute cell references
  • Expose ALL formulas in a worksheet using the built-in function for faster review
  • Naming cells & ranges for quicker, more accurate work
  • Freeze panes, columns & rows for easier viewing while scrolling
  • Protecting cells & ranges to stabilize models
  • Function wizard benefits
  • Linking cells from various worksheets to reduce errors
  • Secret keyboard shortcuts

Unit 2: Proper Planning:

  • Introduction to planning
  • What-if analysis:
    • Scenario analysis techniques
    • Sensitivity analysis using spinners & scroll bars
  • Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)
  • Build out Data tables to see an entire range of options
  • 1-way Data tables
  • 2-way Data tables
  • Maximizing vs. optimizing techniques
  • Utilizing The Goal Seek command to calculate a reverse equation
  • Using Solver to calculate optimal product mix, distribution problems & capital budgeting

Unit 3: Fantastic Forecasting:

  • What is forecasting?
  • Qualitative techniques & their uses
  • Quantitative techniques & their uses
  • Smoothing techniques
  • Regression analysis
  • Time series analysis
  • Forecasting growth rates for verification
  • Internal (IGR)
  • Sustainable (SGR)
  • MIN and MAX functions
  • MEDIAN, MODE & AVERAGE functions
  • GEOMEAN to calculate Average Growth Rate (AGR)

Unit 4: Beyond Budgeting:

  • What is a budget?
  • How to build a simple budget
  • Build a Flexible Budget Model
  • Build out a complete budget
  • Operating budget elements
  • Financial budget elements
  • Linking them
  • What is the Variance Analysis report & why is it important to improve your budget
  • Calculating variance analysis to see what must be changed

Unit 5: Putting It Together – Building The Comprehensive Model:

  • Build your planning model
  • Build your forecasting model
  • Build your budgeting model
  • Link these together
  • Leverage optimization through capital structure
  • Bond buybacks

Top Banking Certification Courses
Spreadsheet Skills for Planning, Forecasting & Budgeting (BA)


Mercury dynamic schedule is constantly reviewed and updated to ensure that every category is being addressed at least once a month, if not once every week. Please check the training courses listed below and if you do not find the subject you are interested in, email us or give us a call and we will do our best to assist.