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Excel Shortcuts & Business Valuation

Excel Shortcuts & Business Valuation


In this blog (August 28th 2019) I will talk about Business Valuation and how to use basic “excel shortcuts” to build valuation models.


My last blogs were on:


1. Valuation Multiples 1 – Comparable Companies Analysis (comps);

2. Discounted Cash Flow Valuation (DCF);

3. Leveraged Buyout Analysis (LBOs);

4. M&A Analysis” (M&A model – Accretion/ Dilution).


You can find them under here when you did not read them yet and when you find them interesting.


Valuation Multiples 1 – Comparable Companies Analysis (August 26th 2019):


Discounted Cash Flow Valuation (July 24th 2019):


LBO Analysis (June 9th 2019):


M&A Analysis (June 20th 2019):


Business Valuation & Excel Shortcuts: An Introduction


My name is Joris Kersten (1980) and I am an independent M&A consultant and trainer in Business Valuation from the Netherlands.


After my bachelor and master in business administration I started working for a top-3 publishing company in London and after that I got into M&A at a M&A boutique in The Netherlands.


I was hooked by M&A and Corporate Finance in practice straight away. Especially I found “business valuation” very interesting. This because my parents owned a production company in roofs for the car industry that was sold to Vermeulen Hollandia (Webasto) in the nineties. I was a teenager then and I was fascinated by what the value of the company was. And I was fascinated by how on earth one could calculate the value of the company ??


At the M&A boutique I learned all on valuation techniques and I appeared to have talent for the job and the valuation discipline.


As an analyst you spend a lot of time on excel to build your financial models. And in order to build these financial models efficiently, you need to understand some “excel shortcuts” to build the models.


In this blog I will talk about these excel shortcuts.


Excel shortcuts and the computer mouse


When you work in excel to build valuation models (DCF, LBO, M&A etc) it is better to NOT USE THE MOUSE. This just works very inefficiently


In The Netherlands, my home country, I still see a lot of valuation consultants who use the mouse to build financial models instead of the keyboard.


When you try to get rid of the mouse, you will see that things will just run more smoothly.


To use the keyboard, please put excel in “English/ United Kingdom”.


I will now give you a few excel shortcuts in order to get you set up for the basics.


Most of the below excel shortcuts are described clearly in the brilliant book mentioned below/ left of Danielle Stein Fairhurst.


Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition (2019). Danielle Stein Fairhurst. Wiley Publishing company. 9781119520382.


Later in this blog you will find more info on this great book on financial modelling.


Shortcuts for general windows


Typ in:


Alt + tab to switch program;


Ctrl + tab to switch workbooks;


Alt + F4 to close program;

(check whether your computer has a FN key, next to ctrl. If yes, then you need to press FN as well for the function keys F1-F12).


Ctrl + N for a new workbook;


Shift + F11 for a new worksheet;


Ctrl + W to close worksheet;


Alt + E + L to delete a sheet;


Alt + W + F + F to freeze (and un-freeze) panes;


Alt + W + Q to zoom in or zoom out.

Source: Danielle Stein Fairhurst (2019). Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition.


Navigating in excel


Also with navigating inside excel there is no need to use the mouse.


Your keyboard is very good able to navigate you around in excel. Here are a few shortcuts you need to know:


Arrows keys: Use them to move around;


Ctrl + pg up/ down to switch worksheets;


Ctrl + arrow keys to go to end of continuous range and select cell;


Shift + arrow keys to select a range;


Shift + ctrl + arrow to select a continuous range.


And here are a few more:

Home to move to the beginning of the line;


Ctrl + home to move to cell “A1”;


Shift + enter to move to the cell above;


Tab to move to cell to the right;


Shift + tab to move to cell to the left;


Alt + down arrow to display a drop down list.


Source: Danielle Stein Fairhurst (2019). Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition.


Editing in excel


Again, for editing counts the same: Do NOT USE THE MOUSE.


You keyboard can do this job for you, you only need to remember some shortcuts.


In practise it means that you need to apply the shortcuts stubbornly (remove you mouse) and after a while you really do not want to go back.


The basic shortcuts for editing are:


Ctrl + S to save your workbook;


Ctrl + C to copy;


Ctrl + V to paste;


Ctrl + X to cut;


Ctrl + Z to undo;


Ctrl + Y to redo;


Ctrl + A to select all;


Ctrl + R to copy the far left cell across the range. You can set this range with holding “shift”;


Ctrl + D to copy the top cell down the range. You can set this range with holding “shift”;


Ctrl + B for bold;


Ctrl + 9 to hide row;


Shift + ctrl + 9 to un-hide row;


Shift + spacebar to highlight row (and ctrl + shift and + for another row);


Ctrl + spacebar to highlight column (and ctrl + shift and + for another column);


Ctrl + minus sign to delete selected cells.

Source: Danielle Stein Fairhurst (2019). Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition.


Shortcuts for formulas in excel


As you might guess, also when using formulas in excels, NO MOUSE PLEASE!


This is what you need to know!


And please practice with this a lot:


F2 (or ctrl + ‘) to edit a formula/ showing precedent cells;


Alt + enter to start a new line in the same cell;


Shift + arrow to highlight within cells;


F4 change absolute referencing (“$”);


Esc to cancel a cell entry;


= to start a formula;


Alt + = to automatic sum selected cells;


Ctrl + ‘ to copy formula from above cell;


Ctrl + ~ to show formulas;


F9 to recalculate all workbooks.

Source: Danielle Stein Fairhurst (2019). Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition.


Checking your work in excel


Excel has some great build in tools in order to check your financial valuation models.


Needless to say that there are shortcuts for these checking functions as well!


Here are a few very powerful ones:


Alt + M + P to trace immediate precedents;


Alt + M + D to trace immediate dependents;


Alt + M + A + A to remove tracing arrows;


Ctrl + [ to highlight precedent cells;


Ctrl + ] to highlight dependent cells;


F5 + enter to go back to the original cell (for example after you jumped back with “ctrl + [“);


Shift + ctrl + { to trace all precedents;


Shift + ctrl + } to trace all dependents.


Source: Danielle Stein Fairhurst (2019). Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition.


Formatting you cells


And at last, for formatting the most powerful basic shortcuts are:


Ctrl + 1 for the format box;


Alt + H + 0 to increase decimal;


Alt + H + 9 to decrease decimal;


Shift + ctrl + ~ for a general format;


Shift + ctrl + ! for a number format;


Shift + ctrl + # for a date format;


Shift + ctrl + $ for a currency format;


Shift + ctrl + % for a percentage format;


Alt + H + H to color a cell;


Alt + H + O + I to fit width to cell;


Alt + I + R to insert a row;


Alt + I + C to insert a column;


Alt + H + B + A to add a border.

Source: Danielle Stein Fairhurst (2019). Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition.


Further reading on excel shortcuts and financial modelling


For further reading I suggest you to read the book below. I have mentioned this book already since it is just a brilliant book. The book will learn you all on financial modelling with shortcuts and with advanced techniques.


Using excel for business and financial modelling: A practical guide. Third edition (2019). Danielle Stein Fairhurst. Wiley Publishing company. 9781119520382.


I find the book so good that I have decided to use it for my own training in: “Financial Modelling in Excel”. This is a 4-day training @ 25, 26, 27 and 28 November 2019 in Amsterdam. All the participants who register for this training will receive a hard-copy of the book. On my website you can find more info on this training.


This training is different to my regular 6-day training in “Business Valuation & Deal Structuring” @ 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 and 8 October 2019 in Amsterdam.


The November training will focus ONLY on excel.


And the October training will focus on business valuation concepts + the valuation concepts will be applied in excel. Under here you can find more info on the valuation training in October 2019.


Next blog and more info on the training “Business Valuation & Deal Structuring”


My next blog will be on “Precedent Transaction Analysis”. Stay tuned!


And when you are interested in being able to prepare all the main valuation models for real in excel, then follow my valuation training in Amsterdam South (6 days from 2 until 8 October 2019). Here I will explain you all the valuation models in great detail with excel.


More info can be found below, and here you can also find my profile as an international trainer in Corporate Finance.


Training Business Valuation & Deal Structuring


This is a practical 6-day training in “Business Valuation & Deal Structuring” (Investment Banking M&A) and the main topics are: valuation, leveraged buyouts (LBO’s) and mergers & acquisitions (M&A’s).


The training mainly focuses on giving the participant hands on tools to build financial models in excel to determine the value of a company on 1) a stand-alone basis, 2) in a LBO situation and 3) in a buy-side M&A scenario.


In the training we will look at different valuation techniques to calculate “enterprise value” like: 1) Comparable companies analysis, 2) Precedent transaction analysis, 3) Discounted cash flow analysis (DCF), 4) LBO analysis and 5) Buy-side M&A analysis.


And we will look at different techniques to get from “enterprise value” to the “value of the shares” taking (adjusted) net debt into account.


The training is very practical in a sense that the trainer will explain the concepts first and will then apply them in class to real life companies with the participants. With all the calculations “Microsoft excel” is used to build the needed financial models.


This training is meant for analysts and associates from international investment banks. Moreover, the training is meant for analysts and consultants in: M&A, private equity, venture capital and strategy. In addition, the training is meant for accountants, tax lawyers, bankers in credit analysis, financial managers, CFO’s etc.


During the training will be focused on international companies listed on the stock exchange. But the valuation techniques are also applicable to (non-listed) private firms.


For any more question on this training feel free to contact by email: and/ or by phone: +31 6 8364 0527 (time zone: Amsterdam).


Planning & location:


1. Wednesday October 2nd 2019: 10 AM – 6 PM;

2. Thursday October 3rd 2019: 10 AM – 6 PM;

3. Friday October 4th 2019: 10 AM – 6 PM;

4. Saturday October 5th 2019: 10 AM – 6 PM;

5. Monday October 7th 2019: 10 AM – 6 PM;

6. Tuesday October 8th 2019: 10 AM – 6 PM.

Sunday October 6th: Not a training day.


Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel – Amsterdam South. George Gershwinlaan 101. 1082 MT Amsterdam.

The hotel is located in Amsterdam South (financial district), right across train station “Amsterdam South” and about 15 minutes from “Schiphol Airport”.


Price & payment:


The price for this 6-day training is 3.900 euro excluding vat. And only 2.900 euro ex vat when you book before 31stJuly 2019 (1.000 euro early bird discount).


This price is for the 6-day training including study materials (A hardcopy of the theory + workbook of: Investment Banking: Valuation, leveraged buyouts and mergers & acquisitions of Joshua Rosenbaum & Joshua Pearl), coffee and tea all day, luxury lunch at lunchtime and a snack in the afternoon.


There is a maximum of 20 participants for the training based on first come first served. This way there is room for interaction in class.


You can register yourself by sending an email to:


You will then receive a registration form and additional details for registration. Or download the registration form and training manual at:


Trainer & Consultant: J.J.P. (Joris) Kersten, MSc BSc RAB

· 130 recommendations on his training can be found on:

· His full profile can be found on:


J.J.P. (Joris) Kersten MSc BSc RAB (1980) is owner of “Kersten Corporate Finance” in The Netherlands, under which he works as an independent consultant in Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A’s) of medium sized companies.


Joris performs business valuations, prepares pitch books, searches and selects candidate buyers and/ or sellers, organises financing for takeovers and negotiates M&A transactions in a LOI and later in a share purchase agreement (in cooperation with (tax) lawyers).


Moreover, Joris is associated to ‘AMT Training London’ for which he provides training as a trainer and assistant-trainer in Corporate Finance/ Financial Modelling at leading investment banks in New York, London and Hong Kong.


And Joris is associated to the ‘Leoron Institute Dubai’ for which he provides finance training at leading investment banks and institutions in the Arab States of the Gulf. This for example at Al Jazira Capital in Saudi Arabia and TAQA in Saudi Arabia.


In addition, Joris provides lecturing in Corporate Finance & Accounting at leading Universities like: Nyenrode University Breukelen, TIAS Business School Utrecht, the Maastricht School of Management (MSM), the Luxembourg School of Business and SP Jain School of Global Management in Sydney.


Moreover, he provides lecturing at partner Universities of MSM in: Peru, Surinam and Mongolia. And at partner Universities of SP Jain in Dubai, Mumbai and Singapore.


Joris graduated in MSc Strategic Management and BSc Business Studies, both from Tilburg University. In addition, he is (cum laude) graduated as “Registered Advisor Business Acquisitions” (RAB), a 1-year study in the legal and tax aspects of M&A’s. And Joris obtained a degree in “didactic skills” (Basic Qualification Education) in order to lecture at Universities.


Currently Joris is doing the “Executive Master of Business Valuation” to obtain his title as “Registered Valuator” (RV) given out by the “Netherlands Institute for Registered Valuators” (NIRV). This title will enable Joris to give out business valuation judgements in for example court cases.


J.J.P. (Joris) Kersten, MSc BSc RAB. Email: Phone: +31 6 8364 0527


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