Audit Tests in Project Finance Models

This section addresses the A in FAST which I call accuracy (some call this appropriate). You should create some kind of checks when making your model which is really not a very elaborate thing to do and can test the incredible joy of the balance sheet balancing. True accuracy is often better tested by making clean, structured and transparent equations.  When making your automatic audits, you can overdo things.  One necessity is to make a balance sheet and test that it balances in each year. In this case I start with a bad example where a balance sheet was not included.  When you have a lot of MIN/MAX functions in the cash flow statement and multiple debt issues, the balance sheet check is important.  In the example below, there was no balance sheet.



The screenshot below illustrates how you can use one of the formulas to the left to make tests.  You could throw all of these tests into an audit page.  But when you make the audit tests too complex and too extensive, people will stop paying attention. The real tests are probably three.  First, the balance sheet must balance. Second, the debt must be fully repaid. Third, the circular references in the construction financing and created from debt sculpting must be resolved correctly. The example below is for a test in one of the left columns and makes sure there is only one flag that is on.  Note that the conditional TRUE/FALSE formatting also may help.  Note again, how the conditional formatting from the generic macros works where the flags that are on are in green and the flags that are off are in grey.



A bad example of auditing is shown below. In this case a TRUE/FALSE is not used and there is an absurd use of quotes in the test as well as a long OR function.  Finally, the OK rather than a TRUE/FALSE is used as the output.