FinancialModeling: Schedule Department of Finance at the University of Illinois
I Logo link to the College of Business I Logo link to the University of Illinois
Title Bar link to the Department of Finance  


Rules of Best Practise

[Rules of Best Practise]

These are the rules of best practise in Financial Modeling. If you are just beginning to learn spreadsheet modeling you could do a lot worse that start right here. Each rule has a powerpoint presentation to provide background.


  1. Never enter the same information more than once. [Rule #1]
  2. Never use a fixed value formula [Rule #2]
  3. Color Code [Rule #3]
  4. Manage sheets [Rule #4]
  5. Manage Rows and Columns
  6. Format for ease of use
  7. Embed repeated steps
  8. Show key interim results
  9. Use simple straightforward Naming Conventions
  10. Communicate Labels
  11. Build a model using known numbers & analyze numbers using a known model
  12. Use self-audit procedures
  13. Always test the model
  14. No Black Box Models
  15. Professional save to submit
  16. Place charts properly in the model
  17. Format charts to fit the model
  18. Use some judgment when it comes to axis labels
  19. Set calculation parameters so that the model opens properly
  20. You cannot model what you do not understand © Copyright 2007 Department of Finance, University of Illinois