Comprehensive Guide to Financial Functions in Excel

avcontentteam 27 Feb, 2024 • 11 min read

Professionals have come to depend on Excel for its versatile capabilities in various industries, and the financial sector is no exception. With many robust features and diverse operations, Excel provides an excellent platform for financial research, modeling, and calculations. This comprehensive guide aims to explore Excel’s powerful financial functions, shedding light on their significance and imparting efficient methods to leverage them for optimizing financial processes. Join us as we delve into the world of Excel’s financial capabilities and unlock their potential for enhanced financial analysis and decision-making. Whether you’re a seasoned financial analyst or just starting out, mastering Financial Functions in Excel can greatly enhance your productivity and effectiveness in handling financial data and tasks.

What is Excel for Finance?

Excel for Finance uses Microsoft Excel’s powerful capabilities for financial calculations, data analysis, and financial modeling. It provides finance professionals with a versatile toolset to handle financial tasks efficiently and effectively.

What are Financial Functions in Excel?

Financial functions in Excel are predefined formulas specifically that perform financial calculations. They enable finance professionals to analyze financial data, make investment decisions, calculate interest rates, determine payment schedules, and evaluate risk and return profiles. Excel offers a comprehensive suite of financial functions that can handle diverse financial scenarios.

Top 10 Financial Functions in Excel

  1. PV (Present Value)
  2. FV (Future Value)
  3. NPV (Net Present Value)
  4. IRR (Internal Rate of Return)
  5. PMT (Payment)
  6. RATE
  7. NPER (Number of Periods)
  8. PPMT (Principal Payment)
  9. IPMT (Interest Payment)
  10. MAX and MIN

PV (Present Value)

The PV function calculates the present value of an investment or a stream of cash flows, considering the discount rate and the period.

Formula
PV(rate, nper, pmt, [fv], [type])
  • Rate: The interest rate per period for the investment.
  • Nper: The total number of payment periods or cash flows. It indicates the duration of the investment or the number of periods over which the cash flows occur.
  • Pmt: The payment or cash flow amount that occurs in each period. It can be a constant value or an annuity (a series of equal payments).
  • [Fv]: Optional. The future value or the cash balance you want to attain at the end of the last period. If omitted, Excel assumes it to be zero.
  • [Type]: Optional. It specifies whether the payment occurs at the beginning (type = 1) or end (type = 0) of each period. If omitted, Excel assumes it to be 0 (end of the period).

FV (Future Value)

FV helps determine the future value of an investment or a series of payments, accounting for the interest rate and the number of periods.

Formula
FV(rate, nper, pmt, [pv], [type])
  • Rate: This stands for the interest rate per period for the investment. The investment grows or accumulates value at this rate.
  • Nper: This represents the total number of payment periods or the duration of the investment.
  • Pmt: This indicates the payment made at each period. Contributors regularly contribute this amount of money towards the investment.
  • [pv]: (Optional) This argument indicates the present value or the initial investment amount. If provided, it represents the value of the investment at the start, before considering any payments or interest. If omitted, assume it is zero.
  • [type]: (Optional) This specifies the timing of the payments within each period. If omitted, assume it is 0, indicating that payments are made at the end of each period. If set to 1, payments are made at the beginning of each period.

NPV (Net Present Value)

NPV measures the net present value of an investment by discounting the cash inflows and outflows at a specified rate.

Formula
NPV(rate, value1, [value2], ...)
  • Rate: This argument signifies the discount rate or the required rate of return for the investment. It denotes the interest rate used to discount future cash flows back to their present value. For instance, if you use a rate of 10%, it implies that you will discount each future cash flow by 10% per period.
  • Value1, value2, …: These arguments represent the cash flows that occur at different periods. These numbers might be either positive or negative. Value1 reflects the cash flow at period 1, whereas Value 2 and so forth represent the cash flow at subsequent periods. The NPV function needs the cash flows to be in sequential order and take place on a regular basis (e.g., annually, monthly, quarterly) in order to function properly.
  • Example: The formula given below can calculate the project’s net present value for an investment that will receive $5,000, $3,000, and $2,000 over the course of three years at a 10% discount = NPV(0.10, 5000, 3000, 2000.

IRR (Internal Rate of Return)

When the present value of cash inflows and outflows are equal, the internal rate of return, or IRR, is calculated.

Formula 
IRR(values, [guess])
  • Values: The range of cash flows or values for which you want to calculate the internal rate of return is represented by this input, which is necessary. These cash flows must have at least one positive and one negative cash flow and can be either positive or negative. The values must represent a series of cash flows through time in consecutive order.
  • [guess]: This is an optional argument that represents your guess or estimation for the internal rate of return. If you omit this argument, Excel will use 0.1 (10%) as the default guess. Providing a guess can help the function converge faster, especially if there are multiple potential rates of return.
  • Example: To calculate the internal rate of return for a three-year investment plan with cash inflows of $2,000, $3,000, and $5,000, use the formula = IRR(-2000, 3000, 5000)

PMT (Payment)

PMT calculates the periodic payment required to repay a loan or an investment, considering the interest rate, the number of periods, and the principal amount.

Formula
PMT(rate, nper, pv, [fv], [type])
  • Rate: This represents the interest rate per period for the loan or investment. It should be divided by the number of periods per year if necessary.
  • Nper: This denotes the total number of payment periods for the loan or investment. It is usually expressed in months or years, depending on the frequency of payments.
  • Pv: This stands for the present value, which is the principal amount or the initial investment. It represents the total amount borrowed or invested at the beginning.
  • [Fv]: This argument is optional. It represents the future value or the desired balance after the last payment is made. If omitted, it is assumed to be 0 (zero).
  • [Type]: This argument is also optional. The type parameter indicates whether the payment is due at the start (type=1) or end (type=0) of each period. If left blank, the payment at the end of the month is taken to be zero.
  • Example: We can use the following formula to determine the monthly payment for a $50,000 loan with a 5% interest rate, a 10-year term, and a $50,000 balance: = PMT(0.0512, 1012, 50000).

RATE

RATE helps determine the interest rate per period for a loan or investment based on the number of periods and the payment amount.

Formula
RATE(nper, pmt, pv, [fv], [type], [guess])
  • Nper: This represents the total number of payment periods for the investment or loan. It is the total duration of the investment or the loan term.
  • Pmt: This is the payment for each period which remains constant throughout the investment or loan term. It includes both the principal and interest portions of the payment.
  • Pv: This is the present value, which represents the initial investment or loan amount. It is the amount of money you have now or the amount borrowed.
  • [fv] (optional): This denotes the future value, which represents the desired or expected value of the investment at the end of the investment period. If omitted, Excel assumes it to be 0.
  • [type] (optional): This specifies whether the payments are made at the beginning or end of the period. If omitted, Excel assumes it to be 0, representing payments made at the end of the period.
  • [guess] (optional): This is an optional guess for the interest rate. Excel uses it as a starting point for the calculation. If omitted, Excel assumes it to be 0.05 (5%).

NPER (Number of Periods)

NPER calculates the periods required to repay a loan or investment, considering the interest rate, the payment amount, and the principal.

Formula
NPER(rate, pmt, pv, [fv], [type])
  • Rate: The interest rate per period. It represents the rate of return on the investment or the cost of borrowing money.
  • PMT: The fixed payment made each period. It can be a positive value representing regular deposits or negative value representing regular withdrawals.
  • PV: The present value or the initial investment amount. It is the current value of the investment or loan.
  • [FV]: (Optional) The future value or the desired end value. If omitted, Excel assumes the future value to be zero.
  • [Type]: (Optional) The timing of the payment. Either 0 or 1 are possible. The payment is made at the end of the period if the value is 0. If option 1 is chosen, the payment is made at the start of the period. By default, it is 0 if omitted.

PPMT (Principal Payment)

PPMT calculates the principal portion of a loan or investment payment for a specific period.

Formula 
PPMT(rate, per, nper, pv, [fv], [type])
  • Rate: This is the interest rate per period. It represents the interest rate for each period of the loan or investment.
  • Per: This is the period for which you want to calculate the payment. It specifies the period number for which you want to find the principal payment.
  • Nper: This is the total number of payment periods. It represents the total number of periods for the loan or investment.
  • Pv: This is the present value or the principal amount of the loan or investment. It represents the initial amount of money invested or borrowed.
  • [fv] (optional): This is the future value or the desired future amount of the investment or loan. It is an optional argument and is typically set to 0. If omitted, Excel assumes the future value is 0.
  • [type] (optional): This is the form of payment. Whether the payment is due at the start of the period or the end is specified. It is an optional argument and is typically set to 0 for payments due at the end of the period. If omitted, Excel assumes the payment is due at the end of the period.

IPMT (Interest Payment)

IPMT calculates the interest portion of a loan or investment payment for a specific period.

Formula
IPMT(rate, per, nper, pv, [fv], [type])
  • Rate: This represents the interest rate per period.
  • per: The time frame for which you want to compute the interest payment is shown here. It can be any positive integer between 1 and nper, representing the time period.
  • nper: This is the total number of payment periods over the life of the loan or investment. It indicates the length of the loan or investment in periods.
  • pv: This is the present value, which is the initial principal amount or the amount of the investment. It’s the starting value of the loan or investment.
  • [fv] (optional): This is the future value, which represents the desired future balance after the last payment has been made. It’s typically omitted, assuming a value of 0 if not provided.
  • [type] (optional): If the payment is due at the start of the period or the end, it can be specified using this optional input. It is considered to be 0 or the end of the period if omitted.
  • Example: The interest payment for the sixth period shall be calculated using the following method for a loan with a principal amount of $40,000, an interest rate of 7%, and a term of three years = IPMT(0.0712, 6, 312, 40000).

MAX and MIN

MAX and MIN functions identify the maximum and minimum values from a given range of numbers, respectively.

Formula
MAX(number1, [number2], ...)
  • Number1: This is the first number or cell reference that you want to compare.
  • [number2]: This argument is optional. You can include additional numbers or cell references separated by commas to compare against the first number. You can have up to 255 number arguments in total.
  • Example: Consider the scenario in which you need to determine the highest value within a range of values in cells A1 to A10. The formula to determine the maximum is = MAX(A1:A10).

Also Read: VLOOKUP in Excel: Formula, How to Use, Examples & More

Tips for Using Financial Functions Effectively

  • Understand the Function’s Syntax: Each financial function in Excel has a specific syntax. Understanding the necessary inputs and the appropriate order to supply them is essential.
  • Utilize Help Resources: Excel provides extensive help documentation and resources for each financial function. Access these resources to understand each function’s purpose, usage, and examples.
  • Use Cell References: Instead of inputting values directly into a function, consider using cell references. This allows for easy modification and updating of values without altering the financial formulas in excel.
  • Combine Functions: Excel allows the combining of multiple financial functions to perform complex calculations. Utilize this capability to create advanced financial models and automate repetitive tasks.
  • Perform Sensitivity Analysis: Change the input values to observe the impact on the output. Sensitivity analysis helps assess the sensitivity of financial models to various inputs, enabling better decision-making.

Common Financial Calculations in Excel

How to Calculate Interest Rates?

The RATE function in Excel allows one to determine interest rates. This function requires the following inputs: the number of periods, the payment sum, the current value, the future value (if desired), and the payment type.

How to Calculate Payments and Amortization?

You can use Excel’s PMT function to compute payments and amortization schedules. The present value, future value, number of periods, interest rate, and payment type are all required for this function. Both the present value and future value are optional. 

How to Analyze Investment Returns?

To examine investment returns, you can utilize Excel’s NPV (Net Present Value) and IRR (Internal Rate of Return) functions. The NPV function considers the discount rate while calculating the net present value of cash flows. You can determine the internal rate of return (IRR) when cash inflows and outflows have identical present values.

How to Evaluate Risk and Return?

You can evaluate risk and return in Excel using various statistical functions such as AVERAGE, STDEV, and CORREL. AVERAGE calculates the average return, STDEV determines the standard deviation of returns, and CORREL calculates the correlation between two returns.
Example: You can perform the following calculations if cells A1 to A12 contain a range of monthly returns.

=AVERAGE(A1:A12)
=STDEV(A1:A12)

These equations will, respectively, output the average return and the standard deviation of returns.

Advanced Financial Analysis in Excel

How to Create Financial Models?

To create financial models in Excel, you can use various features such as formulas, functions, data tables, and goal seek. Financial models involve projecting financial statements, performing scenario analysis, and making predictions.

For example, you can develop a financial model to project income, expenses, and cash flows based on various presumptions and factors.

How to Perform Scenario Analysis?

You can use data tables and scenario managers to perform scenario analysis in Excel. Data tables allow you to analyze the impact of changing multiple variables on financial outcomes. Scenario Manager enables you to create and compare multiple scenarios with different assumptions.

For example, you can create a data table to analyze the effects of different interest rates and sales volumes on profitability.

How to Conduct Sensitivity Analysis?

To conduct sensitivity analysis in Excel, you can change input values and observe the resulting output changes. By utilizing data tables, goal seeks, or custom scenarios, you can assess the sensitivity of financial models to variations in key variables. 

For example, you may experiment with changing the discount rate in a discounted cash flow (DCF) model to see how it affects the net present value.

Conclusion

Excel provides a robust platform for finance professionals to tackle a myriad of tasks, from basic calculations to intricate financial modeling. With its array of tools, including powerful financial functions, Excel facilitates the analysis of data and the creation of comprehensive financial models. These features, encompassing a wide range of financial functions, empower users to conduct complex financial analysis with ease. By mastering the utilization of these financial functions in Excel, finance professionals can boost productivity, streamline operations, and make well-informed decisions to drive their organizations forward.

This was all about finance function in excel. Want to explore other functions of excel? Check out our free course on Introduction to Microsoft Excel .

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What are the 7 financial functions?

A. The seven financial functions in Excel are PV (Present Value), FV (Future Value), NPV (Net Present Value), IRR (Internal Rate of Return), PMT (Payment), RATE, and NPER (Number of Periods). These functions are specifically perform various financial calculations and analyses.

Q2. What are 5 Excel functions?

Excel offers a wide range of functions for various purposes. Here are five common Excel functions:

1. SUM: Calculates the sum of a range of cells.
2. AVERAGE: Calculates the average of a range of cells.
3. IF: Performs conditional calculations based on a specified condition.
4. VLOOKUP: It searches for a value in a table’s first column and then returns a value from a different column that corresponds.
5. COUNT: It tracks how many cells in a given range contain numbers.

Q3. What is the financial function in Excel introduction?

A. The functions refers to a category of predefined financial formulas in excel specifically designed for financial calculations and analysis. These features aid financial experts in carrying out operations, including calculating interest rates, figuring out payments and amortization schedules, assessing investment returns, and examining risk and return profiles. The financial functions in Excel offer an effective toolkit for financial modeling, decision-making, and data analysis.

Q4. Does Excel have a function category called “financial”?

A. No, “financial” is not a specific function category in Excel. However, Excel offers a variety of financial functions commonly used in finance-related calculations. You can find these functions in different categories, such as “Financial,” “Math & Trig,” and “Statistical.” Excel groups the financial functions based on their purpose and relevance to financial calculations, making them readily available for finance professionals.

avcontentteam 27 Feb 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit,

Responses From Readers

Recommended for you
  • [tta_listen_btn class="listen"]