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The benefits of a "split role" approach to financial modelling

Posted by John Dimberline


We’ve been working with a client over the last few weeks recreating their in-house financial model, and this process has reinforced my views on the benefits of a ‘split role’ approach to financial modelling.

The problem in most cases, is that it’s just not realistic for staff to obtain and apply the required level of skill to building models, alongside their already full day-to-day workload. In the majority of cases their time would be better employed focussing on the business and not wrestling with the technicalities of spreadsheet modelling.

I think to many the prospect of bringing in an outsider to solve this problem can look equally problematic.  The key word we would use to allay their concerns, as simply as we can, is most definitely ‘collaboration’. 

Split role modelling absolutely necessitates efficient collaborative working - the experts in the business must seamlessly combine with the modellers, with each focussing on their strengths and avoiding their weaknesses. There is a clear loss from applying the ‘split’ but a greater gain from people who know how to deal with this interface and from being able to apply people to what they are trained to do.

We’ll be presenting and handing over our model very shortly to the client’s management team (which should be more of a refresher than a crash course because of the split role process).  This will present another opportunity to get client feedback on how a process that’s new to them has worked out, and this must be one of the critical metrics of success for the split role process.

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