Excel remains one of the most, if not the most, powerful spreadsheet programs. The application is an industry-standard for finance professionals and is used widely across many different industries. It is safe to say that honing these skills can give you a competitive advantage over your peers and help you get the most out of Excel.
Why Take Excel Courses for Finance?
The finance industry has many different avenues and professions – though what unites these functions is using Excel in day-to-day work. This means that Excel is critical for anyone working in the industry. In particular, investment professionals rely heavily on Excel to build financial models. Corporate financial analysts use the program to build budgets, forecasts, and analysis. The finance industry is so Excel entrenched that it would be almost impossible to picture without it. Even outside of the finance profession, Excel is relied upon by marketing and sales professionals.
How To Choose the Best Excel for Finance Course
When reviewing the various products that provide Excel courses for finance it is important to choose the one based on your level of skills from novice to guru. Some Excel courses teach fundamentals on building formulas and advanced features, like SQL or datalinks. Others focus on specific financial applications, such as industry standards and best practices.
Once you have identified your overall need, then simply narrow down your options and allow you to focus on cost, industry applicability, and whether a course provides Continuing Education (CE) credits (that some professions require).
For most finance professionals, you are most likely seeking a deeper working knowledge of how to build financial models. Financial modeling is complex and often relies on heavy formulas and links to external data sets. Finance departments often use complex workbooks or dashboards and learning how to build these assets garners enormous and lasting value to anyone clocking up the training time.
Seven Of the Best Excel Courses for Finance
While there are many different Excel courses for finance available, we have narrowed it down to a list of the top seven based on core finance needs
1 – Udemy: Introduction to Financial Modeling for Beginners
This course is an ideal Excel course for those looking to begin building a knowledge base in financial modeling. It is designed to help those with little, to no, foundational experience with financial modeling. The course progresses from important concepts to building a financial model in Excel and covers some of the key financial modeling techniques.
2 – Macquarie University: Excel Skills for Business Specialization
On Coursera, and offered by Macquarie University, this is a more advanced offering aiming to help users become comfortable using Excel’s user interface – as well as inputting, manipulating, and formatting large data sets. The course teaches users how to automate tasks, create visualizations, and build dashboards.
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3 – Udemy: Real Estate Financial Modeling Bootcamp
Industry-specific, this it is one of the best Excel courses for learning how to model real estate investments and transactions. The course covers the fundamentals needed to be able to model a variety of real estate transactions and provides insight into some of the key metrics like IRR, Debt Coverage, Equity Multiple, and crucial returns.
4 – Coursera: Business and Financial Modeling Specialization by Wharton
Another course that is suitable for both beginners and intermediate Excel users. Launched by the Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, this financial modeling specialization course covers the basics of quantitative financial modeling and a variety of pertinent business topics and how to apply them in Excel.
5 – Udemy: Financing Modeling: Build a Complete DCF Valuation Model
One of the most widely used valuation techniques adopted by financial analysts is the discounted cash flow (DCF). Tackling this foundational topic of finance, this course helps users to develop a deep understanding of the concept and how to build DCF models. If you are looking to expand on your skills in Excel in a more relevant and applicable way, this is a perfect choice.
6 – CFI: Certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)
If you are looking to take your Excel skills from Academic to Elite, this Corporate Finance Institute runner is perfect. With over 24 courses, 100+ Excel and PowerPoint templates, and over 100 hours of video training this is one of the most comprehensive Excel courses for finance.
7 – Udemy: Financial Modeling for Startups and Small Businesses
This small-business-focused course provides a basic framework that helps small business owners wanting to deepen their understanding of critical business drivers. On the Excel front, it provides a clear path through Excel of understanding financial models and tightening them for decision-making.
The program covers key concepts in corporate finance and how to implement them using Excel. It provides a handy and clear guide on the best Excel functions for finance and basic Excel finance formulas. This is an ideal Excel course for business owners who might not necessarily have a strong background in finance.
Using DataRails, a Budgeting and Forecasting Solution
DataRails’ FP&A software replaces spreadsheets with real-time data and integrates fragmented workbooks and data sources into one centralized location. This allows users to work in the comfort of Microsoft Excel with the support of a much more sophisticated data management system at their disposal.
Every finance department knows how tedious building a budget and forecast can be. Integrating cash flow forecasts with real-time data and up-to-date budgets is a powerful tool that makes forecasting cash easier, more efficient, and shifts the focus to cash analytics.
Regardless of the budgeting approach your organization adopts, it requires big data to ensure accuracy, timely execution, and of course, monitoring.
DataRails is an enhanced data management tool that can help your FP&A team create and monitor cash flow against budgets faster and more accurately than ever before.