Hanriette Enola February 4, 2021 Spreadsheet
Part of the fundamental financial analysis of any company, investment security, or business project entails the computation of cash flows. This is typically done in a cash flow template Excel spreadsheet which is pre‐built for the purpose. The reason for this is that this type of template is not a simple calculator you build on the fly with little effort. It requires a lot of thinking, organizing the spreadsheets and formulas, and some planning about how to model cash in and cash out for each potential investment. In other words, there is no cookie cutter approach because each potential investment has different profit and loss drivers.
Finding your way around and identifying the various elements of your spreadsheet document will help you navigate around it more easily and use it more effectively. Most elements are the same for all spreadsheet programs but they look quite complicated. But once you understand how they work and how to find your way around them, they are easy to use. To understand from the start you have to know it is a grid of cells. The columns are like the columns in a ledger. You can use them to make lists of figures and perform calculations. Each column is identified by a letter of the alphabet and each row by a number.
Second, remember that whatever can be measured can be managed. Develop a system wherein just a few look at some numbers can tell you the health of your operations. But this also depends on the soundness of the system. If someone can just fill in numbers they can induce you to think in ways that may not be desirable given the fact that you have to manage the operations.
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.
To know if a household budget spreadsheet software is user‐friendly, try several programs online and see which ones are easy enough to use by people with basic budgeting and computer skills. The layout of the spreadsheet should not only be easy to understand, but also be able to present all the necessary information in a glance. It should contain just the right number of graphics and details to avoid confusion for its user.
I like using spreadsheets for monetary goals because of the functions I can use. If you are working towards a savings goal, using a word processor or writing them out will require constant updating. With a spreadsheet, you can simple add in how much more you‘ve saved, and if you had the right formulas set up, it will do it all for you. First, set up a different sheet for your long term goals and your short term goals. You can have long term goals and then break them up into short term goals as well as have separate goals. Make the sheet look appealing with bold headers and colors. If you don‘t know how to use excel or other spreadsheet programs, you really only need the basics. Search the net to find out how to get started with spreadsheets.