Conversation with Danielle
In our newest series we are going to be interviewing experts and professionals from within their respective fields within the worlds of Finance and Accounting. Our second interview comes from Danielle Fairhurst at Plum Solutions. Danielle is widely regarded as an Excel expert and has spent her career as a modeling consultant. Let's jump in!
Trevor: Hi Danielle, thanks again for speaking with us! Let's start off with some background about yourself and your career.
Danielle: I’m a financial modelling specialist. I started out in Investment Banking and worked as a financial modeller ever since! I’ve written a few books on financial modelling (Using Excel for Business and Financial Modelling, and Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies). Through my business, I train people on how to build financial models, and work as a modelling consultant.
Trevor: What is it specifically that interests you about Excel?
Danielle: I could not live without Excel! It’s probably one of the most commonly-used pieces of software in the world, and yet not that many people know how to use it to its fullest extent. I’m a Microsoft MVP which means we get to hear about new features coming out and I get very excited about the improvements in Excel!
Trevor: What are some of the biggest mistakes you see people make in their financial models?
Danielle: I think a lack of organisational standardisation makes it difficult for modellers to take over from eachother, and can lead to errors slipping through.
Trevor: For people looking to build their first financial model, where do you recommend they start?
Danielle: My book “Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies” of course!
Trevor: Great choice! You are well known throughout the Excel community and have helped build a large community through your Women's in Financial Modeling Group. Could you talk a little bit more about the group, what you do, and why you created it.
Danielle: The aim of the group is to support and encourage women to become more involved in the financial modelling industry, either through competing in championship events or gaining a qualification.
We get together via zoom regularly to discuss various topics related to financial modelling
Here's some more info about why I decided to set up the group. If you identify as female and build financial models in Excel for your work, or you're interested in getting into the financial modelling space then we'd love to have you. You can join here.
Trevor: Ok final question - favorite Excel function?
Danielle: That would be like asking me to name a favourite child :) I am a bit fan of some of the new dynamic array functions like SEQUENCE and UNIQUE. They’ve only been out a short time but I am not sure how I ever lived without them!
Thanks for joining us Danielle! Look forward to seeing more from your community!