• Mason Devereux-Smith

Titan's of the Finance Industry

The Deloitte financial modelling workshop boasted a huge attendance by the Curtin Wall Street Club membership of 45 heads. We were fortunate enough to be privy to the tactical analysis and composition of an excel document that demonstrated how to quantitatively solve a business problem. As expected former Curtin Wall Street executive Sean Yoong took the stage and began presenting. Alongside him was Maddy another prestigious member of the Deloitte financial modelling team.

We were given a quick re-cap on the definition of financial modelling. Which for the record is “the use of qualitative or quantitative data to facilitate informed decision making to address complex business solution”. This problem-solving system is dependent upon; data quality, project management, stakeholder engagement, business complexity.

Beyond this, they have a five-step system for de-constructing a problem.

Step 1: Approach

Step 2: Determine

Step 3: Develop

Step 4: Agree

Step 5: Analyse

Once the Deloitte team have established an answer to an ambiguous business problem they proceed to justify that result with the appropriate numbers. This is where Excel comes into play. The cursor hovered over the desktop and a double-click shifted our focus to the Excel spreadsheet on the monitor.

Sean explained further about the system to which made Excel financial modelling a more extensive approach and minimised the chance of error. This strategy is listed below:

1. Start from the end

2. Keep it simple

3. Separate your work

4. Be consistent

5. Learn the shortcuts

Both Sean and Maddy went through these steps with the Excel spreadsheet in front of us. It was very practical to see how a financial titan put together their findings. Everything you could need was displayed, coloured and prepared on the sheet (Op Ex, Cap Ex, Cash Flow). It was easily seen how an expert could manipulate the figures and demonstrate various real-world examples. Sean decided to demonstrate a hypothetical model of a natural resource company.

Towards the end of the seminar, you could clearly see the membership were curious about further opportunities to demonstrate their existing or potential skills in financial modelling. As Sean stated, "You can learn financial modelling best on a case to case basis within the specific industry". This is clear because every client in the financial services sector is going to have different needs to which must be satisfied. A final word of advice from the Deloitte professionals was to "learn on campus to stay ahead of the learning curve presented in the job market otherwise.". It was a very well run event, praise cannot go without mentioning the whole of the Curtin Wall Street Committee, for making the day as great as it was.

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