Resources on training/ coaching for Excel Financial modelling

coaching Excel for consultants
New answer on Feb 03, 2023
3 Answers
Anonymous A asked on Feb 02, 2023

Hi there, 

I would like to get training or 1:1 coaching to build a financial model/ business case like a MBB consultant would do. Especially I would like to understand how to build a model from scratch, e.g., let's say for a new business, how to think about the value drivers, assumptions, setup of the excel, etc. 

Does anyone has a good recommendation on resources/ websites or is a coach interested and available for some lessons?

Until now, I have only found financial modelling like you would do in IB..




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updated an answer on Feb 07, 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience

Hi Grace,

It's great that you are showing initiative and enthusiasm to improve your capabilities!

First off, a couple of contextual questions for you that will help me and other coaches to give you a better response:

  1. What is your current situation and motivation - i.e. are you already in MBB and looking to learn how to model for an ongoing case; are you still interviewing and picking up this skill in anticipation of the future need for it etc?
  2. What is your current level of familiarity with excel?

Now a couple of general points on modelling on the job in consulting:

  1. You are right that most modelling courses are IB focused
  2. There are very few (if any at all) consulting focused model courses, because the needs of a consulting ‘business model’ can really vary very widely 
  3. While a good model is of course important and will help the case and your workstream, the reality is that consultants are not the best modellers per se, and we are often hired more for other core skills
    • There is a running joke with some of my banking/investment clients that they always pull their hair out after looking at our consultant's models (because they are not as good as those the bankers make)
    • The best modellers are often those with previous banking/transaction experience prior to consulting, but these profiles are the minority not the majority
    • Sometimes a scrappy model still gets the job done (though not elegantly) and for practicality, it works

In terms of improving modelling skills, I would break down modelling into 2 components:

  1. Formatting, Layout, & Structure (Technical)
    • This is everything to do with how the model should be formatted in order to make information clear; best practices on how the model is structured (in terms of sheets) in order to let readers easily understand the model
    • You could also include learning the best/optimal formulas here (e.g. index match match or xlookup vs trying a vlookup)
  2. Logic and Quantitative/Qualitative Reasoning (Thinking)
    • This is the crucial and critical part that drives the answer, and is the real value add that a MBB consultant brings to a model
    • Here, you are expected to structure the calculations logically, think critically about drivers and assumptions

So what are your options and the implications?

  1. If you do an online course focused on IB financial modelling
    • I would suggest focusing only on “Financial Statement” modelling. DCF is extremely rare, and i have not seen LBO models during my 8 years of consulting
    • Even then, on the multiple cases I worked, we/client often outsourced a full 3-statement model to Big4 or a transaction company
    • Getting trained in IB financial statement modelling will teach you to the ‘gold’ standard of modelling, and prepare you in the rare event you need to do a full 3 statement model
    • However, you may not get fully drilled in the ‘thinking’ portion of modelling
  2. If you hire a coach, as you suggested
    • I or other coaches could help you, but whoever you choose to work should be someone who has done a lot of modelling and/or supervised multiple models
    • Strategy cases do have models, and definitely people in the PE practices would have done tons of models and projections
    • One thing that consulting coaches here can definitely help you with is to train and develop the ‘thinking’ portion of modelling, which IMO is the most value add a consultant can bring to a model

Happy to chat if you have more questions. Hope this helps!



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Content Creator
replied on Feb 03, 2023
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi Grace,

It's great that you're looking at building up this skillset - it's very important/useful!

Most coaches will be able to support you in this (you'll need to message them to find out). Some other options include:

Courses on websites like Coursera, Udemy, or LinkedIn Learning: You can find a variety of courses related to financial modeling and business case development on these websites.

My old Stern MBA professor Damodaran also offers a free modeling/valuation class

MBB-specific resources: Some consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG offer training programs for their employees. You can also look for books, videos, and other resources related to their specific methodologies.

Industry-specific resources: There are also resources specific to different industries that can provide insight on how to build financial models in that context.

Practical experience: The best way to improve is by doing. Try to get involved in projects that require financial modeling and business case development and use that as an opportunity to practice and refine your skills. Try to “create” scenarios and do them yourself

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 03, 2023
Ex-Bain and interviewer for 7+ years | >95% success rate | mentor and coach for 6+ years

Hi Grace,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • If you're interested in learning financial modeling, there are many resources available, including online courses (e.g., Corporate Finance Institute) and dedicated coaching sessions (feel free to contact me directly).
  • Still, please keep in mind that financial modeling is not a daily task in strategy consulting, and it is mainly limited to business case evaluations. Full-fledged financial modeling is used primarily in investment banking and private equity.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.



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Benjamin gave the best answer


Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience
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