The Challenges of Modeling using Excel

Excel is the most widely used financial modeling tool, with an incredibly rich set of functionality and flexibility.  However, the reality of how it is used also makes it one of the most risky tools in use. 

Common Reality

  • Uncertain that hidden issues will appear at the last moment, delaying critical reports and tarnishing your team’s reputation
  • Lack of consistency across your team's models leaves you exposed when someone leaves
  • Some of the models are so fragile, there are sections no one dares to touch
  • Junior members of the team, doing the bulk of the work, may not be as Excel proficient as they confidently present

The Gap

A wide gap exists between Excel's potential and its actual use.

This gap is costly:

  • In time lost
  • In unnecessary stress as analysts strive to meet key deadlines
  • In credibility and monetary losses (sometimes substantial) due to undetected errors in their spreadsheets (see …).

Now with Sarbanes-Oxley, not only is this gap costly, it is becoming a liability.

Ryan Excel Consulting was conceived to help firms close that gap.  By harnessing the full power of Excel we help you raise the effectiveness of your team, and achieve shorter development times, fewer errors, and better control, security, and predictability.

Reasons for the Gap

The gap between actual and potential Excel modeling is due to many factors:

  • Most users are self-taught and learn on the fly in the midst of critical deadlines
  • With the fast pace of most financial departments, users rarely find the time to explore Excel, and end up using the same inefficient techniques they have always used
  • Even when users are aware of Excel features that would improve their modeling, there is no easy way to quickly get up to speed – Excel's help gets less helpful with every release and there is too much on the web to sift through
  • Excel's flexibility is a double-edged sword – an infinitely flexible modeling tool is easy to use poorly, resulting in complex and hard to read models with undetected errors
  • Excel’s breadth of functionality is truly overwhelming, and most users rarely get competent with more than the basics
  • Some of Excel's features specifically reduce errors and development time, but these features are unknown, or untried, by most users.
  • Excel training courses attempt to cover too much material and use simplistic examples – this leaves users with little practical knowledge to apply to their own unique work situations
  • Little time is spent on modeling best practices either at Excel courses or in work environments

Our goal is to narrow that gap by helping your team harness the full power of spreadsheets to deliver models with less effort, errors and risk.


"What a relief ... our model and the old model popped out the exact same output numbers!  Wonderful :)  It looks great. And I'm getting used to all the different macro buttons now, and they work really well. The automatic printing is such a time and hassle saver! ."

Lara Di Gregorio
Account Manager
Royal LePage