Liam Bastick is the Director of Corality Melbourne and has spent the last few months working with CPA Australia to facilitate workshops and prepare presentations. He will be back on the road in October presenting at the CPA Congress in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania.
Liam, what is your connection to CPA?
Amongst other things I’m a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA), which makes me an affiliated member of CPA. I write monthly articles for CIMA on Excel, and this combined with undertaking previous training and presentation sessions for other accounting bodies and institutions (including ICAA and ICAEW) meant I was a good fit for their workshops and conferences.
How does your CPA affiliation assist you in financial modelling work with Corality?
In most financial modelling assignments there is an element of accounting knowledge required. It might be technical (e.g. hedging foreign exchange rate risk, building consolidated financial statements), environmental (valuing Renewable Energy Certificates or Carbon Credits) or advisory (e.g. reviewing capital structures, understanding key business drivers, etc.). Having an accounting qualification gives you an edge and having resources such as CPA, CIMA, ICAA and ICAEW to fall back on can mitigate the risk for our assignments, helping my Corality colleagues and clients alike. It also enhances your personal and business networks.
What topics will you be presenting?
Topics will include discussing various cash flow management tools, considering financial modelling risks, using key driver analysis, developing more effective forecasting techniques, presenting various Excel tips and tricks, and highlighting best practice financial modelling.
We hear that Al Gore and Steve Wozniak will be at the CPA Congress too. What would be your financial modelling tips for them?
For Al Gore, I’d suggest that global warming parameters and assumptions go on a separate global inputs worksheet (keep them away from calculations and outputs). For Steve Wozniak, I’d recommend he doesn’t try and building complicated Excel files on Mac’s native operating system
What could Accountants in general improve regarding modelling using Excel?
Excel is such a double-edged sword. It is very easy for people to understand and hence use, but I can’t stress enough that being disciplined in modelling pays long-term dividends. Keep it simple: be consistent, transparent, flexible and robust.