Olympia Émilie February 13, 2021 Spreadsheet
The first consideration is how clear and accurate the Excel formulas are. The keys here are easy accessibility and logical flow of the formulas. That means they should be either directly coded in the spreadsheet cells or written in an accessible VBA module, open to the user to view and change. Both of these approaches provide the ability to audit and test the formulas without requiring complex actions on the end user‘s part.
Accounting software is used by accountants to enter many complex financial transactions into the financial books of account and is almost invariably based upon double entry bookkeeping principles. A major advantage to those companies and the finance staff is the extent to which financial information contained in the database can be queried for financial control purposes. An accountant needs to not only ensure the financial records are accurate but also retrieve any part of the accounting records to answer accounting questions on the accounts, provide a legal basis for the transactions and report the financial statements at regular periodic intervals.
Also, how long is your investment horizon? Is it really that important to you to project out to 30 years or is 3‐5 years sufficient along with a terminal value that represents the expected NPV beyond 5 years? Usually this latter approach works best and looks the most credible to potential investors. There are numerous ways to calculate terminal value including multiples, current market values projected forward, and round guesstimates. Obviously these decisions are affected by your personal preference and the type of investment for which you‘re calculating present value.
The second component of a good real estate investment spreadsheet is a long cash flow projection period. Property investments are typically very long term ‐‐ from 10 to 20 years on average. In particular, if you are buying real property for long term portfolio holdings, it makes sense to have at least 10 years of monthly or quarterly data, and even up to 30 years. This ensures you capture the entire future cash flows, and enables a much more accurate determination of net present value, internal rate of return, and capitalization factors.
Finally, when applying discount factors, where do you intend to get your discount numbers? For a company with existing debt and equity capital you can calculate WACC and use that. For a startup company you need to figure out a risk‐adjusted cost of capital that makes sense. Usually this is not just a risk‐free rate which only the largest companies in the world have access to. It‘s probably something higher.
Producing an income and expenditure statement using single entry bookkeeping is little more than making two lists of financial transactions. Those lists being one of sales income received from sales invoices or receipts issued to customers and the other of purchase expenditure being from purchase invoices received from suppliers. To record sales income it would not normally be sufficient to simply add up the total of the invoices as such a summation does not leave an audit trail of the items which have been included. A written list of sales invoices does provide an audit trail.