The Modeller's Miscellany - #40

Excel performance, ICAEW, and Smart

· Modellers Miscellany

The Modeller's Miscellany is a weekly bulletin of cool stuff for financial modellers.

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Excel Performance Improvements

The Excel innovation train is showing no signs of slowing down. Microsoft have released improvements which will speed up Real Time Data functions, and User Defined functions.

For Real Time Data functions, Microsoft has removed bottlenecks in the underlying memory and data structures and also made them “thread safe”. The result is a significant performance improvement on sheets with lots of RTD functions. A new User Defined Function cache has been introduced to speed up loading time for workbooks containing UDFs. Read more.

We are working on a systematic comparison of Excel speed and performance changes across recent versions and will share in a future Miscellany.

Spreadsheet errors continue to make headlines

From COVID-19 track and trace to the US elections, spreadsheet errors have been in the news lately. And now this one - a discounted cash flow spreadsheet error in a spreadsheet used to value Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity.

The spreadsheet double-counted some of SolarCity’s projected indebtedness. This led to Lazard valuing SolarCity’s equity between $14.75-$30.00 per share instead of $18.75-$37.75 per share. This resulted in SolarCity being discounted by $400M in the deal.

These repeated errors are leading to calls for the IT industry to be regulated.

ICAEW takes on sign convention

The ICAEW is continuing its "Introduction to Financial Modelling" blog series. These articles are unpacking the ICAEW's Financial Modelling Code and going into more details on each topic. The most recent addition is by Joanna Heyes at Grant Thornton on Clarity, Units and Sign convention.

Smart copy coming to Microsoft Edge

A new feature is coming to Microsoft Edge that will let you copy tabular data and groups of items into the Windows clipboard for easy pasting into other apps. This has been available as extensions to other browsers for some time. Read more.

And finally . . .

How many Excel users does it take to get the number formatting right in a cell?


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