FINAN303-19A (HAM)

Computer Modelling in Finance

15 Points

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Waikato Management School
Te Raupapa
School of Accounting, Finance and Economics


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Paper Description

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The objective of this paper is to equip students with financial modelling skills using a computer spreadsheet, including generic skills such as performing sensitivity analyses, running simulations and solving valuation problems in finance. The paper will also introduce students to more advanced programming techniques in financial modelling, including defining often used financial functions and performing complex tasks with Visual Basic programming codes.
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Paper Structure

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  • Test
  • Excel Project
  • VBA Project
  • Presentation
  • Study and sit the Exam


Students should select and attend one of the 3-hour sessions per week (3 hours= 2-hours lectures and 1 hour tutorials) .

Please note that all students should attend the first Lecture on 25 February in LG 03.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Understand the principles of specific statistical techniques [LO1]
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Analyse, summarise and prepare raw data [LO2]
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Develop simple computer models to solve financial problems [LO3]
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Apply, interpret and communicate the results of the models developed [LO4]
    Linked to the following assessments:
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The application for special consideration can be found under Files. Further information is available at
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 50% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 50:50 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 50% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Exam
2.  Test
12 Apr 2019
12:00 PM
  • In Class: In Lab
3. Project-01 Excel Model
15 Apr 2019
9:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Project-02 VBA Model
27 May 2019
9:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Project-02 Presentation
27 May 2019
9:00 AM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Required Readings

These are two suggested textbooks for this paper. Neither of them covers the topics completely but they provide the best resource to study some of the finance topics covered (and as a future reference). The first one does not include the use of VBA but it is much more detailed for some of the topics. Note that VBA basics are also covered in a handout.

Benninga, Simon. Financial Modeling, MIT Press. 4th edition (2014). ISBN 9780262027281, Library call number HG173 .B46 2008

OR Other Resources

Mayes/Shank - FinancialAnalysis with Microsoft® Excel® 2016, 8E
1337298042 | 9781337298049
3/5/2017 © 2018
8th Edition 544 pages,PB,4 colors Fraser, L. M., & Ormiston, A. (2015). Understanding financial statements (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Excel/VBA Resources:

ExcelI Fun's Playlists on YouTube. Retrieved 31/7/2008 from

Birnbaum, D., & Ebrary Inc. (2007). Microsoft Excel VBA programming for the absolute beginner. Indianapolis, IN: Premier Press.
Available as ebook from the library.

Winston, W. L. (2016). Microsoft Office Excel 2016: data analysis and business modelling. Redmond, Wash. Microsoft Press.

Related subject fields:
Albright, S. C. (2015). VBA for modellers: developing decision support systems with Microsoft Excel: Duxbury/Thomson Learning.

Jelen, B., & Syrstad, T. (2016). VBA and macros for Microsoft Office Excel 2016 . Indianapolis, Ind.: Que Pub. ISBN: 9780789755858

Jelen, B., & Syrstad, T. (2019). VBA and macros for Microsoft Office Excel 2019 : Pivot Table Data Crunching. Indianapolis, Ind.: Que Pub.

Lewis, N. D. C. (2004). Operational risk with Excel and VBA : applied statistical methods for risk management. Hoboken, N.J.: John
Wiley & Sons.

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Online Support

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PowerPoint slides and Tutorial materials will be available on Moodle.
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The course has 36 (3X12) contact hours (lectures and tutorials).

The rest of the 150 hours expected workload in this 15-point paper can be distributed as follows:

28 hours to complete the Projects, 30 hours to prepare for and attend the Test and 56 hours to prepare for and attend the Final Exam.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: FINA201 or FINAN200 or FINAN202




Restricted papers: FINA415 and FINA515

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