Checking the timeline of our model

It's important to sort out the timeline early in the model build process as it can be painful to change it later.

Download the reference start file:

To obtain the worked example file to accompany this chapter buy the financial modelling handbook.

The Aurelius Power case study mentions some key dates. Before we get into modelling anything, it's helpful to ensure that we have correctly set up our timeline.

Ensure that your timeline is set up early in the model build process. It’s much easier to do when there are a small number of sheets. Changing it later, especially if you have to add or remove columns from the timeline, can be painful.

Key timing assumptions from the case study:

  • The acquisition will occur on the Comercial Operations Date, which is planned for March 31st 2021. This will be the base date for our valuation.
  • The operations period of the Project will be 25 years.
  • The Project will make quarterly debt repayments. The schedule of debt payments is one of the factors that will drive our choice of model periodicity.

We'll want to ensure that we have the following set up in our model:

  1. A quarterly timeline running from at least March 31st 2021, for 25 years. It's helpful to have a few periods before and after the start and end of the planned forecast period.
  2. An acquisition date flag, set to March 31st 2021
  3. Start and end of operations period flags.
  4. Aggregation of our quarterly timeline into an annual timeline. It's often more helpful for users to see annual financial statements.

Our start model has these elements already set up.


Sign in or become a Financial Modelling Handbook member to join the conversation.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.

Subscribe to Financial Modelling Handbook

Don’t miss out on the latest financial modelling guides. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only guides.