“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process,
you don’t know what you’re doing”
W. Edwards Deming

Inserting your financial model databook, within your financial model

Written by Hedieh Kianyfard

Sometimes financial models are accompanied by another document called “The Databook” or “manual for using the Financial model”. I don’t like to call it a manual, as I agree with Elon Musk in that any product that needs a manual to work is broken!

To me, the purpose of the Databook is to provide the key technical, financing and project assumptions and give an overview of the cash flow projections and the main results of the financial model.

Usually the busy investment officers appreciate this document and use it to quickly extract information from it and use it with the project documents. Although I really like the idea of having a databook, personally I can’t handle updating it every time that I am circulating a different version of the financial model. So, I decided to include the databook within my models and link it to the model input sheet and Dashboard.

I would like to know what you think about the idea of having a databook along with the financial model and what you think are the important topics that should be included in the databook?

You can find a sample Databook sheet in the Excel file. Click here to download.

Below are the content headings of atypical financial model databook.

1. Model overview

1.1. Colour-codes
1.2. Worksheets description
1.3. Macros
1.4. Financial model flow diagram
1.5. Periodicity

2. Project overview

3. Key assumptions

3.1. Project schedule
3.2. Construction cost assumptions
3.3. Financing assumptions
3.4. Operating assumptions

3.4.1. Technical Assumptions
3.4.2. Revenue Assumptions
3.4.3. Operating Cost Assumptions
3.4.4. Major Maintenance Assumptions
3.4.5. Working Capital Assumptions
3.4.6. Tax Assumptions
3.4.7. Dividend policy

4. Output results

4.1. Sources & Uses
4.2. Key Ratios and Returns
4.3. Sensitivity summary results

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