Financial Plan Templates – Editor’s Choice

These are Excel spreadsheets suitable for financial planning purposes and mostly contain cash flow projections as well as projected financial statements. Financial plan templates are often used for a 5-year business plan. They also serve as a basis for a Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Valuation or an Investment Analysis.

With the right spreadsheet template, financial planning becomes easier as you can obtain full visibility on how your business plan will impact your future financial statements and cash flow generation for your business. Below, a select choice of suitable financial plan templates is provided. These are financial plan templates which were carefully selected and greatly recommended for you to use for business planning, valuation, or investment analysis. Our financial plan templates are used by many users from all over the world from countries such the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Japan, and many more who are in need of know-how and templates.

Planning, Designing, and Customizing your Financial Plans

Planning and designing your very own financial model can be the most difficult and tedious part. Especially for those who are not familiar at all with financial modeling or those whose skills are more on the technical and numerical side. A good financial plan bases on a solid financial model. There are many things that one needs to realize to build a clear, coherent, and logically structure financial model. But this usually takes a lot of studying, trial and error, experience, and know-how to be even able to create a well-planned and well-designed model. Therefore, to help alleviate the stress of creating the model from scratch, we decided to provide these financial model templates which we poured all our knowledge and experience in financial modeling.

To help you get a gist of what your model needs to achieve, here are some of the following:

  1. Identify the problem that the financial model needs to solve. Basically, before you even begin the model-building process, you need to identify the problem which the model will help you get an insight and solution. Carefully select a financial plan template designed to assist you with a business case close to what you actually need to achieve.
  2. Design how the problem’s answer will be presented. Though you might want to just get it over with and start with crunching the numbers, you need to keep in mind that a financial plan is best presented as a dynamic financial model, well structured, easy to read, and able for the user to obtain a quick understanding. Another thing is, for business cases, there are many key financial ratios which are important elements in a model such as the NPV, IRR, Payback Period, etc. Hence, before you could dive straight in, visualize the end in mind. Flesh out the outputs in a systematic way where the model makes sense and not complicated at all. Don’t worry about it being simple. The simpler the model is, the easier it is to read for readers with little technical know-how.
  3. Gather data to put in the model. Just like what they say, a financial model is only as good as the inputs or source data in it. Most of the time, a financial modeler’s tasks are often collecting, analyzing, extrapolating, and even manipulating the data which are then fed in the model. Thus, one can’t really guarantee the preciseness and reliability of the results due to subjectivity. However, this doesn’t mean that the model is not helpful nor reliable in any way. As long as one uses realistic data, then the model will be a great tool as a reference to make a helpful economic decision.
  4. Document the limitations of the model. Though it’s not completely definite, the figures shown in the model are basically a construct that reflects the reality. Remember, it is not reality but only a projection of what it could be. Meaning, financial models are models and not miracle makers. In any case, it is best to be transparent with what the model is capable of and what the assumptions are used to reflect the resulting scenarios. Therefore, users will be informed to not completely put blind faith in the outcome but rather, use the model as a guide on what to do to reach their goals.
  5. Consider the layout, design, and structure of the model according to the audience/users. One of the most important things to consider when building a model is determining how you can convey the message according to an audience/user’s level. Either for professional modelers, occasional modelers, and non-modelers, a model’s layout, design, and structure will be different. Hence, proper consideration is needed when building the model.

The guidelines above are not limited to modelers but also for users too to better understand what a financial model needs to achieve. A financial plan template offers only a starting point but important is to know how to best use adjust the template in a financial model adjusted to your specific business case. This way, your financial plan template will offer the most value to you.