Excel, Google Sheets, and other tools of the trade

labanker's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,113

Hi Monkeys:

So I've been out of finance game in a direct capacity for a few years now (made a transition to software development). I'm assuming the tools of the trade for everyday work are largely the same as they were when I was in IB / PE (e.g. Excel for analysis and Powerpoint for decks / presentations), but I'm curious if anything has changed, or if there's anything you wish would change. Specifically:

  • Does anyone use Google Sheets? Awhile back I would have laughed if you suggested I use Google Sheets for spreadsheet work, but I've been using it for some ad-hoc analyses and it's actually getting pretty good. Google makes better software in my opinion, and really the only reason I still use Excel is because I have all the old Excel shortcuts burned into my muscle memory.
  • Are Factset and CapIQ still the data sources of choice? Are you guys still manually spreading comps (e.g. pull the SEC filing and tab / highlight the sources) or is it just a CapIQ download at this point?
  • When you're building models, do you build most models from scratch, use templates, or some combination of both?
  • Microsoft has recently given software developers a lot more flexibility when it comes to integrating with / customizing Excel, and Google gives developers a lot of custom functionality options for Sheets. Do you guys think banking / PE specific functionality would interesting? I'm thinking generate a starter Sources & Uses or debt schedule with a click, calculate working capital ratios and other metrics with built in formulas, verify certain calculations are correct, apply banker style formatting automatically etc.
  • When it comes to general business info (e.g. business descriptions, board of directors, office locations, etc.) is it still mostly Google searching and CapIQ?
  • On the sourcing side, are any of you using sales and marketing tools like Salesforce (with add-ons like Clearbit to automate data entry) or is it mostly spreadsheets and Outlook contacts?