When I have been presenting courses in the past for Terrapinn (project finance modelling) and Navigator Project Finance (financial modelling) is has not been uncommon to have 1-2 model auditors from ‘the competition’ participating. This is not strange in any way as it is quite important for any financial model auditor to have a good understanding of why financial models have been constructed in a certain way.
The feedback has constantly been something like ‘well, it certainly was useful however it doesn’t cover everything I need in my role as a financial model auditor’. The obvious question to ask would be ‘are there courses that caters especially for model auditors’? There are certain topics that financial model auditors are interested in which I don’t think are covered in any one training course offered in the market (please let me know if I am mistaken here!).
Suggested agenda for a tailored course for financial model auditors
- Time-line of a model audit
- Discussion around suitable Scope of Works for a financial model audit
- Reliance standards (professional indemnity insurance, partnership structures, ‘agreed upon procedures’)
- Model audit (spreadsheet investigation) tools – benefits and differences (OAK, Spreadsheet detective, Spreadsheet professional etc)
- Efficient communication with the team performing the Tax and Accounting review
- Common audit processes (cell-by-cell, analytical review, model design etc)
- Pragmatic documentation standards
- Techniques to break down complex formulae (and tools for that (like BPM Traverse and similar)
- How to communicate issues with circularities to clients
- How to assist a client in preparing a model for audit (cleaning up, restructuring, documentation, commenting macros, etc)
Should Corality launch a ‘financial model audit’ course?
We have been discussing internally converting our internal model audit training program for new joiners into a public course, but so far haven’t done much about it. It would be interesting to know if anyone else has done this already or if the sector, which is dominated by ultra-traditional accounting firms, is protecting the intellectual property and are reluctant to sharing knowledge and procedures with the competition. I don’t really believe in protecting intellectual property to build sustainable advantage so maybe this is a good idea for us to pursue?