Building multi-linguistic functionality into your financial model can deliver numerous benefits to model stakeholders. One financial model, instead of numerous financial models by language, will improve the corporate governance credentials of the model. It will offer a more uniform, credible and consistent financial model – no matter what the language of its executive reports are.
Avoids manual financial model reworks
It will avoid the need to manually rework a model for different linguistic model stakeholders. Not only will this eliminate unnecessary model development time, it will avoid potential model errors and irregularities between your source French financial model and its English equivalent.
For example, both language versions of the model will undertake error checks across the same areas of the model – as per the following.
More user-friendly and customised
It will improve full stakeholder buy-in with the financial model, as the model can seamlessly flex for different model users based on specified language. It will give model users a more customised and personalised model experience. This is particularly true for a model that reports on a technical aspect of business such as insurance products.
Seamless model functionality
A single drop-down box will translate back and forth between multiple languages in the financial model. This will avoid the unnecessary and time-consuming task of translating a financial model at the last minute, just when you need to deliver a report to an important prospective client in another language.
Conditional formatting improves the financial model sophistication
As per the following, conditional formatting can be applied to guarantee all calculated outputs in the financial model, will instantly flex depending on the language selected. A great example would be the need to prompt the model user to input a training cost value per hour, rather than per day or per week. The conditional formatting will achieve this added financial modelling sophistication to account for a differing language specified.
Avoid worksheet duplication
It is wise to avoid the need to build separate worksheets for a different language. There a few reasons why.
It will bloat and expand the file size of the financial model, because file size is something that should always be kept to a minimum. Worksheet duplication increases model development and operation/model management time, and increases model risk of errors; i.e. the English assumptions worksheet has updated for accounting depreciation method, however this has not been reflected in the French version of the same model assumptions.
Thirdly, it increases the model’s development complexity; one could wrongly reference the English assumptions worksheet into the French calculation, output and dashboard worksheets
Restrict the translations to one worksheet
Like other aspects of best-practice financial modelling. Try to limit the language translations to one worksheet, where all wording and terminology is translated in separate lookup tables. The model developer can merely reference the respective table into the financial model. This will improve the model’s useability and ensure seamless updates of the lookup tables; if there needs to be revisions to translated terminology at a later date.
Achieving financial model translation
Building a multi-language financial model will improve its added value to model stakeholders.
There are a few key items to consider during model development, if it is to improve user-friendliness and stakeholder buy-in; the model needs to flex and seamlessly convert between languages. Conditional formatting of output cells will greatly enhance its cosmetic appeal and value to users.
Finally it is vital to avoid the temptation to build separate worksheets by language, because this will unnecessarily bloat the workbook. Instead simply restrict all translations to one worksheet.