Mentoring

This service is provided to past students of our courses, particularly the Financial Analysis Certificate and the Financial Analysis VBA Certificate, to aid them in developing the skills taught in the courses through assisting them in a real development project for their employer.  Applied to any internal development project this can be an exceptionally good investment in training and ensure a well-designed solution.

What's On Offer?

Our mentoring services allows our past students to “borrow” our experience and expertise in designing an Excel-based application, financial model, performance report or dashboard, yet leaves the bulk of the development effort in their hands. The outcome is therefore one in which the student or client organisation have greater ownership of the developed Excel workbooks or VBA code than if it was developed for them, whilst reducing the risk inherent in an inexperienced modeller, analyst or developer undertaking the development.

It still might be necessary if the project is too challenging or, the organisation is short of time or resources for it to be done as an outside development, but if the student has the time and aptitude, and all they need is some guidance, this service can provide considerable benefit at a minimal cost to enable the student to take those next steps in developing their skills, and gives the client input and insight into the process.

This service is only open to past students, as they share a common understanding as to approach and terminology and have access to the materials provided as part of their training. As a general rule, we limit the assistance under this service to those knowledge areas covered in the courses attended. The following table provides an outline of how this manifests itself.

Assistance Offered By Course Completed

Financial Analysis Certificate
Financial Analysis Certificate by Distance Learning

  • advice on Excel model layout and design;
  • assistance with implementing embedded controls but not for macro integration other than the simplest macro;
  • design of sensitivity solutions;
  • advice on report design and integration; and
  • guidance on documentation.

Financial Analysis VBA Certificate
Financial Analysis Systems Certificate

  • assistance with analysis and design of VBA project;
  • assistance with more complex programming tasks;
  • assistance in debugging and identifying errors;
  • guidance on effective model layout and formatting to facilitate coding;
  • guidance on testing and documentation; and
  • advice on deployment and version control.

How It Works

Although obviously each project is different, the process generally involves an initial meeting or teleconference of one to two hours in which the project is discussed and analysed, with some initial input from us as to how best to proceed, the general layout and identification of key risks in the proposed design or development methodology.

At this meeting any other requirements as to further meetings which might be required will be identified, but usually there is generally no more than one anticipated before the final “sign-off” and review process, and many projects can proceed without any more than the starting and finishing meetings.

During the development, the student is able to contact us by phone or email to resolve technical issues, problems with formulas or code and to seek clarification on the steps involved. These services, if they require only the usual kind of quick support email or phone call are not charged for and are encompassed in the fee for the service. Should the problems be greater than those that can be handled in this manner, or should there be scope creep, ad hoc review meetings may need to be called at the agreed rate to help the student get the project back on the rails.

In rare cases, what will become apparent is that due to scope creep, the project has moved out of the capability for the student or organisation to cope with it. In this case, we can take over the development on a normal contracting basis, but the client will have had the advantage of prototyping and scoping their project with the result of reducing the overall development cost.

Our experience is that in almost all cases, the student is able to be guided to a satisfactory solution without this kind of intervention.

Finally a review session is arranged when the project is near to completion to give advice as to what needs to be tidied up, clarified and documented. Also, plans for future developments which may be undertaken with or without mentoring can be made at this time.

Engaging in Mentoring Program

If you are a past student and wish to investigate the availability and appropriateness of this service to you, please contact us to discuss your particular project and we can give an indication as to what will be required, how much it will cost and arrange an interview to commence the process.

Much of the information to be exchanged may be confidential. You may review our confidentiality policy which sets out our undertakings as to how confidential information will be treated. You can use these links to download standard Non-Disclosure Agreement in Word format, Non-Disclosure Agreement in PDF format or you can provide us with your own organisation's agreement for review and execution.

If you would like to speak to us about providing these services, please fill-out the Consulting Enquiry form and we will arrange an appointment to discuss your project either face-to-face or via a teleconference.