Author Archives: Mike Shallcross

The Cell Inspector function

Version 5.0 is the first full version of Rainbow to include the Cell Inspector, an interactive function which displays the precedents and dependents of the currently selected cell, and also provides a best-guess description of the meaning of each cell. It will take you to each precedent or dependent (double-click on the relevant line) so… Continue Reading

The value of quality

Many studies over the past ten years have shown that up to 90% of models contain significant errors. Generally these errors go undetected, but there have been some well-publicised cases where they have resulted in financial loss and embarrassment. For example, an employee at a US investment fund omitted the minus sign on a figure… Continue Reading

Key quality principles

The hallmark of a good model is that it is clearly laid out and easy to understand, so minimising the possibility of errors such as that mentioned above. Some key steps to achieving this are: Design, then develop, then test Separate the inputs from the calculations Use only one formula per row Avoid balancing figures… Continue Reading

Modelling issues

There are many issues that can present a challenge in modelling. Discussion of these can be found at some of the websites listed on our Links page, and there are also many books covering spreadsheet software packages, although these tend to focus on technical points rather than quality and business issues. Some of the most… Continue Reading


Mike worked at KPMG from 1982 until 1999, initially as a tax specialist and then as a financial modelling consultant. From 1996 to 1999 he was a Principal Consultant responsible for developing KPMG’s London-based financial modelling service. During this time he wrote a Financial Modelling Handbook which set out the standards for KPMG’s financial modelling… Continue Reading

Spreadsheet models

Following are examples of some spreadsheet models developed by Mike over the course of his career: Trading terms evaluation Pricing decision support Transport franchise bid Power generation industry Debt restructuring Payroll and tax grossing-up Lease evaluation and rental adjustment Management accounting and consolidation Continue Reading

Other projects

Mike has also been responsible for a wide variety of other modelling and decision support work: Planning and valuation model Corporate restructuring model Investment appraisal workshop Rail transport model (in PC Express) Executive information system (in Holos) Multi-dimensional planning model (in Holos and C) Continue Reading

Qualifications and interests

Mike’s degrees and qualifications include: DMOD (1999) – Diploma in Management and Organisation Development, Henley Management College FCMC (1998) – Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants MIAP (1985) – Member of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers ATII (1984) – Member of the Institute of Taxation ACA (1982) – Member of the Institute of… Continue Reading

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