A second year MBA student wrote to me recently asking for help in developing his Excel skills for financial modeling. He said he had read the Excel posts on my blog but still could not get comfortable with how to translate financial issues (valuation, DCF, etc) into the logic of Excel. In the course of writing my reply I mentioned that he should look at other people's Excel models.
I have been using Excel or its predecessors for about 25 years, but I always take the opportunity to look at other people's models. Yes--some people's models are poor, but every once in a while I learn a new trick or see a logic presented that I can re-use. The less experienced you are, probably the more you can learn about Excel from just looking at a lot of models.
For the early Excel user one source of Excel models is here at Docstoc. Keep scrolling through the advertising and there are a lot of Excel examples to look at. Another site is Damodaran Online which has a wealth of finance spreadsheets by Professor Damodaran from the Stern Schoool at NYU. Great stuff!
If you are just interested to learn basic Excel, the best tutorial I have found is from the Fuqua Business School at Duke. Available here.
Picture Credit: Microsoft