Best Free Financial Modeling Resources & Tutorials

Discover how to master financial modeling using free resources and professional courses. This guide helps you decide the best route for your career and interests and even provides information on salaries in this field.

Key Insights

  • Financial modeling is a crucial tool for estimating business performance and future outcomes. It is typically created using Excel spreadsheets and helps in making key financial decisions.
  • There are numerous applications of financial modeling across industries. It is used for a range of financial analysis tasks such as budgeting, business valuation, comparing performance, and estimating financial metrics for new projects.
  • Several free resources are available for those keen to learn financial modeling. These include LinkedIn Learning’s Financial Modeling Foundations, Financial Analysis for Business Decisions on FutureLearn, and Introduction to Financial Modeling on Udemy.
  • Noble Desktop’s Learn Financial Modeling blog offers over 100 articles about various financial modeling concepts. They also provide hands-on training courses on financial modeling.
  • Noble Desktop offers a comprehensive Financial Analyst Training Program which covers core and advanced Excel skills, providing learners with instruction on pertinent corporate and financial concepts.
  • Microsoft Excel, a common platform for creating financial models, requires a Microsoft 365 subscription starting at $6/month per user.

Many professionals are eager to learn financial modeling but hesitate because of the perceived up-front costs. Working with Microsoft Excel to create financial models requires a Microsoft 365 subscription, which starts at $6/user/month. However, a surprising number of free resources are available to help beginners get the hang of financial modeling.

Read on to learn more about the different types of free resources and tutorials available to help you learn financial modeling. 

What is Financial Modeling?

Financial modeling is the process of evaluating a company’s past performance to predict the likelihood of various financial outcomes. Those who create financial models rely on financial forecasts to do so. The assumptions in a forecast are played out using the organization’s financial statements to predict how various statements may look in the future. Since these models are based on financial statements, they are typically generated monthly, quarterly, or yearly. It’s common for financial models to be constructed using manual data entry in an Excel spreadsheet. 

Financial modeling is a valuable tool for estimating how a business or a specific project will perform based on relevant factors, as well as risk assumptions and growth, then evaluating their impact. This process helps to present a concise understanding of the variables used to make financial forecasts. Those who create financial models either build them from scratch or work with existing models, making changes based on newer data that’s become available since its creation. Because financial situations are complex and can change quickly and rapidly, financial modeling helps to create a detailed understanding of the different components.

Read more about what financial modeling is and why you should learn it

What Can You Do with Financial Modeling?

Without well-executed financial modeling, any business operation would be analogous to a ship floating aimlessly in the sea with no navigation system. Although one could use gut instinct to steer the ship in the correct direction, there would be no guarantee that this course would be accurate. The more sound a financial model is, the less unnecessary risk a business will likely encounter. And the less likely it will be to drift aimlessly. 

Financial modeling has numerous applications across industries. Strong financial models are the backbone of many businesses and are a critical component to help them continue to grow and mitigate risk. Financial models provide a way to perform a detailed analysis of all possible financial outcomes of a business decision. These models seek to avoid loss as well as increase profits.

Financial modeling is a powerful tool for a range of financial analysis tasks. It can help an organization budget for the future and analyze the company’s performance against goals and targets. It also can be used for business valuation. Financial models allow individuals to compare one company’s performance against its competitors. It is often used to analyze financial statements, ratios, and capital structure, as well as to estimate financial metrics for new projects. Not only are these models imperative for solving problems, but they are used to make decisions about future outcomes. Some of the many decisions financial models can help with are estimating a company’s projected growth, organizing its budget, choosing investments, deciding between acquisition or merger, and deciding which projects should be prioritized.

Free Financial Modeling Resources

Free resources are available from top educational providers for those who want to learn financial modeling but don’t want to invest in an expensive course of study. The following are some options to consider:

  • LinkedIn Learning’s Financial Modeling Foundations is offered for free as part of a free trial of LinkedIn Learning. This three-hour course provides instruction on beginner and intermediate-level financial modeling concepts. Participants receive instruction on what questions they should ask when creating a financial model, the three financial statements used to create financial models, and how to use advanced modeling concepts to create data visualizations in Excel. More than 200,000 students have taken this course.
  • Financial Analysis for Business Decisions: How to Use Tableau and Financial Modelling is available on FutureLearn’s educational website. This provider offers a rotating course list, many of which are available for free. This course takes most people four weeks to complete if you work four hours per week, and the first seven days are available for free.
  • Udemy’s Introduction to Financial Modeling is a good option for beginner-friendly instruction. This free, one-hour course provides instructions on using Excel to create a basic financial model. Participants work with financial data spanning two years to make a fully integrated financial model and balance sheet.
  • Future Learn’s Understanding Financial Statements is a free course that helps students learn how to perform budgeting and financial planning. This course takes approximately two weeks to finish for those who spend two hours per week on lessons. Students learn how to interpret cash flow statements, income statements, and statements of financial position. An overview of the different branches of accounting is also provided. Extra benefits are available, such as a certificate of achievement, for an additional fee of $74.
  • Another excellent free resource for content on various financial modeling concepts is Noble Desktop’s Learn Financial Modeling blog. This resource provides over 100 articles about financial modeling topics like foreign exchange, stock models, and stock indexes, among others. In addition, if you’re interested in learning more about FinTech, Noble offers free FinTech resources and tutorials as well. 

Learn Financial Modeling with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop offers several excellent learning options for those interested in studying financial modeling. Noble’s Financial Modeling Bootcamp covers the basics of accounting, finance, and corporate valuation. Those enrolled in this hands-on class work with Excel to create a discounted cash flow model. Students who don’t have a background in accounting or finance will be sent a short guide on terminology before class starts. All participants should have intermediate Excel proficiency as a prerequisite.

Noble’s Financial Analyst Training Program provides learners with instruction on pertinent corporate and financial concepts and how to create a full valuation model. This intensive program teaches core Excel skills, like how to work with PivotTables and shortcuts, as well as advanced Excel techniques, including cash flow projection tools and Goal Seek. All students will create an integrated, three-statement financial model based on current financial data.

Noble also offers financial modeling training courses in-person and live online. Those interested in learning more about how to use Excel for modeling can attend the Excel Bootcamp. In addition, FinTech courses such as Python for Data Science Bootcamp, Algorithmic Trading With Python, and FinTech Bootcamp are also available. Noble’s FinTech Bootcamp provides hands-on training from expert instructors in creating machine learning models, using programming languages like SQL and Python to analyze financial data, and working with various types of data, such as integers, strings, and floats. One-on-one mentoring and the option of a free course retake is included for all participants. 

Key Insights

  • Financial modeling is a process that applies accounting, business, and financial measurements to generate an abstract representation of how an organization is doing financially and how it can be expected to perform in the future.
  • In addition to in-person and live online coursework, which generally requires a fee, various free online resources are also available to help individuals learn financial modeling, such as YouTube channels, online tutorials, and pre-recorded classes.
  • For those interested in learning to create financial models, you will likely be working with Microsoft Excel. Purchasing Excel is largely affordable; Microsoft 365 subscriptions start at $6/month per user.
  • Noble Desktop offers several in-person and live online classes if you're interested in studying financial modeling.

How to Learn Financial Modeling

Master financial modeling with hands-on training. Financial modeling is a technique for predicting the financial performance of a business or other type of institution over time using real-world data.

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