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If every small business owner took our courses, they would...

be able to evaluate strategic directions for their company.
plan and quantify operational decisions.
approach growth initiatives with confidence.
properly guide their company during downturns.

You don't need to be a finance expert to understand your numbers.

Easy & Accessible

No complicated formulas - we walk you through financial concepts intuitively.

Make Better Decisions

Expanding, hiring, acquiring - don’t rely solely on your gut. Run the numbers.

Excel Made Simple

There are 400+ formulas, but you only need to know a handful. We’ll show you.

Who needs this?

Small Business Owners Entrepreneurs Consultants Aspiring Founders

… or anyone who wants to start making sound business decisions backed by numbers.

  • Use clean, robust Excel spreadsheets designed by Wall Street professionals
  • Seamlessly build on top of this base knowledge using your specific business case
  • Pave the path of your business with greater confidence

Course Sections

Finance 101

It all starts here: the basic concepts that are the backbone of any financial analysis.

Get acclimated with risk / return trade-offs, the time value of money, cost of capital, Gordon growth model and basic valuation theories.

Excel Fundamentals for the Finance Professional

You may not consider yourself a “finance professional,” but you are one. Your business has finances, and you’re responsible for them. Excel, of course, is our tool of choice.

Even if you’ve never touched Excel before, this half-day course will get you up to speed or shake off any rust.

Financial Overview and Valuation

Build a quick financial summary of a company using recent results. This will get you comfortable structuring and building an analysis in Excel.

Then, perform a few valuations (including a real company case study) using industry-standard techniques and concepts.

Private Company Modeling

Modeling out a private firm requires special considerations that aren’t applicable to big, public corporations. Future projections, employee compensation, standard business expenses, and so on - it’s tricky!

Here, you’ll know the various ins and outs of modeling your business’ structure and key line items.

M&A Earnout Modeling

When private firms get sold, they often come with an earnout arrangement.

This will get you started on how to think about (and actually model) various earnout scenarios, making all the calculations and metrics a breeze.

Training Methodology

Our approach is to teach you how to fish, rather than give you a fish.

We don't give a one-way lecture where you memorize every cell and formula.

We nudge you toward uncovering answers on your own by leading with the right questions.

The end result? Longer-term knowledge retention that will last an entire career.

I believe three things set WST apart: the instructors who are at the top of their fields, the emphasis on advanced Excel techniques, and the quality of the templates …
You'll finish this program ready to make confident business decisions, backed by numbers.
  • Know how to crunch your numbers quickly and accurately
  • Clearly visualize your company’s performance and needs
  • Plot out various hypothetical cases and set up your business for success
This is knowledge that every small business owner needs.

Get Started

Our Self-Study platform lets you learn at your own pace via instructor-led videos.

Jump start your financial analysis skills today!

All prices are in USD and denote six (6) months of access. Terms apply.

Detailed Curriculum

Excel for Entrepreneurs

Learn the basic finance concepts that are the backbone of any financial analysis. An understanding of these basic core tools is absolutely critical to mastering any Wall Street analysis. Topics covered include risk / return trade-offs, time value of money, cost of capital, Gordon growth model and basic valuation theories.

Moving beyond the accounting and 10K analysis, this course provides an introduction to the major concepts in finance that many people take for granted. Understanding financial modeling, valuation, and the capital markets in general would be difficult without a full grasp of these fundamental concepts.

Finance 101
  • Risk / Return: Calculating returns and measuring risk, benefits of diversification (systematic and unsystematic risk, total risk, market risk and firm-specific risk), security market line, capital asset pricing model, beta
  • Time Value of Money: present and future values, net present value, internal rate of return, compounding, discounting, uneven cash flow streams, simple vs. effective rates, periodic rates, CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rates)
  • Basic Valuation Theories: value of any asset, dividend discount model (theory only!), Gordon growth model, growing perpetuity
  • Cost of Capital: sources of capital, component costs, weighted average cost of capital
  • Desire to learn finance terminology, general business smarts and common sense
Video Length / Estimated Total Course Time

1.5 hours / 2 hours

This course focuses on how learning the fundamental building blocks of Excel so you can begin to take advantage and leverage all of Excel’s true capabilities. In order to efficiently build models and crunch large data dumps in Excel, one must master the basics before the advanced content. Learn relevant financial formulas, proper navigation, formatting of files and worksheets, creating calculations in cells, and linking between worksheets/tabs. Functions and tools covered in this course include: mathematical, financial, logic, date/time formulas; data manipulation; anchoring; data tables; and building a capstone model. Emphasis will be on using shortcut keys, simplifying steps, and manipulating data. You will leave with techniques you can use immediately, allowing you to work faster and with less effort.

  • Mathematical functions: SUM, MAX, AVERAGE, MEDIAN, MIN
  • Financial functions: PV, FV, RATE, NPV, IRR
  • Logic Functions: IF, nested IF, CHOOSE, AND, OR
  • Time Functions: HOUR ,MINUTE, SECOND, TODAY, NOW
  • Formatting: fills, copy formulas, paste special
  • Data Manipulation: TEXT, CONCATENATE, ROUND
  • Anchoring and locking cell references
  • Build simple capstone financial model that encompasses efficiencies, shortcuts and sensitivity analysis
  • Shortcuts and working with Add-ins
Video Length / Estimated Total Course Time

3 hours / 5 hours

Build very quick financial summary and trading statistics exhibit using historical results, analyst estimates & basic assumptions in Excel. This course will allow you to understand basic structure of building an analysis in Excel and navigating through and becoming efficient in Excel.

Financial Summary
  • Build a very simple financial overview exhibit by inputting historical results, analyst estimates and basic projections
Trading Statistics
  • Build trading statistics exhibit displaying standard market valuation multiples
  • Accounting & Financial Statements Integration
  • Finance 101: Introduction to Finance
  • Corporate Valuation Methodologies
  • Prior experience with Excel, decent ability to type and follow instructions
Video Length / Estimated Total Course Time

1.5 hours / 2 hours

Build upon Corporate Valuation Methodologies with a short, hands-on exercise to hone in the core concepts in practice before diving into the more advanced valuation modeling topics. Translate the valuation concepts into real-life case study that demonstrates and shows the valuation principles.

  • Calculate current trading and valuation statistics of industry competitors
  • Project value of a company and stock based on estimated industry average valuation multiples
  • Construct a sample DDM and DCF valuation analysis
  • Estimate WACC, component costs of capital and CAPM and incorporate into valuation analysis
  • Accounting & Financial Statements Integration
  • Finance 101: Introduction to Finance
  • Corporate Valuation Methodologies
Video Length / Estimated Total Course Time

1.5 hours / 2 hours

Pro Forma financial statements are a tool to recast financial results in a manner that is more representative of future performance and to remove the effects of private ownership. Pro Forma financial statements have one or more assumptions or hypothetical conditions built into the data and are often used to develop core earnings capacity (quality of earnings) when the objective is to value a company for sale to a third party or for internal perpetuation. The goal is to examine a sampling of the most common types of Pro Forma adjustments most often seen when valuing closely-held entities. Similar to analyzing one-time adjustments for public companies, the adjustments can affect both revenues and expenses, increasing or decreasing either one. However, private company pro form adjustments require a much more detailed analysis of each expense line to adjust for the effects of private ownership.

  • How to recast financial results to be more representative of future performance and adjust for the effects of private ownership
  • Understand the different types of adjustments required, ranging from discretionary to non-recurring to standalone corporate entity
  • Comprehend the major types of revenue adjustments to isolate true, organic revenue base
  • Learn the right questions to ask regarding new clients, lost clients, profit sharing agreements and more
  • Plow through all the expense line items, focusing on SG&A expenses
  • Apply industry-wide rules of thumbs on compensation and benefits
  • Adjust for the impact of key officers and management's run-rate compensation level
  • Dive in deep on operating expenses, from auto expenses/allowances to advertising/marketing, etc
  • Adjust for taxes from a private, pass-thru entity to a standalone corporation
  • Analyze key Balance Sheet adjustments such as midnight shareholder dividends and officer loans
  • Accounting & Financial Statements Integration
  • Company Overview
  • Basic Financial Modeling
Video Length / Estimated Total Course Time

1.5 hours / 2.5 hours

This Merger Modeling - Earnout Discussion module builds upon our M&A Deal Structuring and Merger Modeling Basics course by reconciling differences that arise in private middle-market transactions in which a buyer wants to be rewarded for future growth and a seller is only willing to pay for growth that has been achieved. But, the seller reckons - “why should I sell when I believe I can achieve greater growth and then sell for an even larger valuation at that future point”. The main tool to bridge this gap is for the seller to put his money where his mouth is - if you say you can achieve $1 billion of revenue, then prove it - one should be willing to accept deferred, contingent payments for such future growth that has yet to be realized. In this add-on module, we explore different ways to analyze and structure earnouts.

  • Construct a sample earnout model based on a base earnout and a "super-earnout"
  • Create a two-tiered earnout structure that is dependent on achieving management projections
  • Structure earnout based on both Revenue and EBITDA targets
  • Evaluate the "base" target financial goals and calculate corridor earned
  • Review best practices in calculating the actual earnout earned
  • Repeat analysis for second earnout tier: the "super-earnout", a much more difficult to achieve set of financial projections
  • Evaluate pros and cons of being too optimistic in management projections vs. being too pessimistic
  • Accounting & Financial Statements Integration
  • Basic Financial Modeling
  • M&A Deal Structuring
  • Merger Modeling Basics
  • Segment Build-up & Sensitivity Modeling
  • Private Company Pro Forma Modeling
Video Length / Estimated Total Course Time

1 hour / 1.5 hours

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