A Three-Way Financial Model is an invaluable tool when it comes to understanding the financial aspects of a business. It works by taking an income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement and combining them into a single statement in order to project the financial health of a business in the future. Auditing a financial model is a valuable activity that can allow companies to gain an accurate understanding of their financial standing and make informed decisions.

In this guide, we will cover the following key points:

  • Definition of a Three-Way Financial Model
  • Reasons for Auditing a Financial Model

Key Takeaways:
  • Definition of a Three-Way Financial Model
  • Reasons for Auditing a Financial Model
  • The Steps Required for Auditing a Financial Model
  • The Benefits of Auditing a Financial Model

Preparing for an Audit

When performing an audit of a three-way financial model, preparing for the audit is essential in order to ensure accurate results. To get the best results from an audit, auditors should take the time to plan ahead by obtaining records and defining the scope, developing an audit plan, and preparing analysis tools.

Obtain Records and Define Scope

Auditors should always begin by obtaining the necessary records to be reviewed and defining a scope for the audit. This includes any relevant documents such as financial statements, contracts, and accounting records. It is also important to identify any key assumptions used in the three-way financial model. By clearly defining the scope of the audit, auditors can ensure that the scope of their audit is appropriate and all necessary information is covered.

Develop an Audit Plan

Once the records and scope are obtained, the next step involves developing an audit plan. An audit plan outlines the key steps and objectives of the audit, including items to confirm, tests to be performed, and timeframes for completing the tasks. An audit plan is important in order to ensure the audit is conducted in a timely and effective manner.

Prepare Analysis Tools

The final step in preparing for an audit of a three-way financial model is to prepare analysis tools. Analysis tools such as spreadsheets and financial models are essential for analyzing the data and determining the accuracy and validity of the financial model. These tools can be invaluable in identifying any discrepancies or problem areas that need further review.

By taking the time to properly prepare for an audit, auditors can ensure the accuracy of the results and the best possible outcome for the audit. Through the use of the steps outlined above, auditors can ensure their audit will be conducted efficiently and effectively.

Analyzing Raw Data

The goal of analyzing raw data in financial modeling is to ensure accuracy and completeness. This is an important step, as the model is only as good as the data it uses. In this guide, we'll discuss two key steps for auditing raw data: gathering source documents and verifying data quality.

Gather Source Documents

Gathering source documents is the first step to analyzing raw data. Source documents are the underlying documents and records used to create the model. This could be anything from income statements, balance sheet data, and financial statements to customer invoices and market research. It's important to understand the source and purpose of each source document so any discrepancies can be identified quickly.

Once source documents are gathered, it's time to get to work. Every source document should be carefully reviewed for accuracy and completeness. Empty fields and missing data points should also be accounted for. Additionally, the volume of data should be in line with the expected data set size.

Verify Data Quality

Verifying data quality is the next step in auditing raw data. This entails checking to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data. Quality assurance tests should be performed on the data, such as data consistency checks, accuracy checks, and duplication checks.

Data consistency checks involve verifying that the data is accurate, consistent, and up to date. This includes researching any discrepancies to ensure the information is correct. Accuracy checks are also important to verify numerical accuracy of the data. Finally, duplication checks should be performed to ensure that the data is complete and that no duplicate records exist.

Once these quality assurance tests are completed, the model should be tested for any issues. This could include data accuracy, input errors, and inconsistencies. Any issues should be reported and addressed before the model is considered fully audited.

Analyzing Outputs

When auditing a three-way financial model, analyzing outputs is essential to the overall process. Analyzing outputs involves review and testing the model drivers, verifying that model outputs align with source documents, reviewing model linkages, and testing the accuracy and consistency of the model.

Review and Test Model Drivers

Model drivers are the values that are used to determine the model's outputs. When auditing a three-way financial model, it is important to review and test the model drivers to ensure that they are correct and accurately reflect the data being used. This will help to ensure the credibility of the model and its results.

Ensure Model Output Aligns With Source Documents

The accuracy of the model's outputs is essential when auditing a three-way financial model. To ensure accuracy, it is important to compare the model's outputs to the source documents from which the data was derived. By comparing the two, any discrepancies can be quickly identified and addressed.

Review Model Linkages

Reviewing the linkages between the model's inputs and outputs is an important step in auditing a three-way financial model. Linkages identify how inputs are used to determine outputs and show the flow of data within the model. When reviewing linkages, it is important to make sure that they are accurate and can accurately display the data flow within the model.

Test Financial Model’s Accuracy and Consistency

The accuracy and consistency of the model should also be tested when auditing a three-way financial model. Testing the accuracy of the model ensures that the data used is reflected accurately in the model's outputs. Additionally, testing for consistency ensures that the outputs are reflective of the inputs and remain consistent over time.

Documenting Findings

When auditing a three-way financial model, it is critical that the findings be documented properly. Specific errors or gaps should be identified and verified before any suggested corrections are implemented.

Identify Errors and Gaps

Identifying errors and gaps in the financial model should come first. The auditor should look for inconsistencies, discrepancies, inaccuracies, or incomplete information. These can be found in the input assumptions, financial statement calculations, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and other components of the three-way model. Any errors should be documented with an explanation for why the error occurred. Additionally, any gaps in the model should be identified and noted.

Verify Suggested Corrections

Once the errors and gaps have been identified, the auditor should then verify any suggested corrections. This can involve rechecking the accuracy of the correction, as well as ensuring that the correction does not have any unintended consequences. Additionally, it may be necessary to conduct research on the issue or consult with experts. Once the suggested corrections have been verified, they can then be implemented in the model.

Concluding the Audit

After the audit of a three-way financial model is complete, the auditors must conclude their audit by writing and submitting the audit report and following up on audit recommendations. Audit reports typically include a summary of the audit findings, conclusions, and recommendations for areas needing improvement. After the report is submitted, the auditor must follow up on audit recommendations and ensure that corrective actions are taken.

Write and Submit the Audit Report

The audit team should prepare the audit report which includes a summary of the findings, conclusions and recommendations. The audit report should be in a format that is clear, concise, and easily understood by the reader. The report should include all the relevant information obtained during the audit, including the results of the tests performed, a summary of the overall audit evaluation, and any potential gaps or issues identified. The auditor may also include any potential corrective actions that need to be taken.

Follow Up on Audit Recommendations

After the audit report is submitted, the auditor should follow up with the client to ensure that corrective actions are taken as suggested in the audit report. The auditor should review the actions taken to identify any improvements and to ensure that recommended changes have been properly implemented. This ensures that the client’s financial model is functioning effectively and efficiently. In addition, the auditor should also consider further testing to ensure that the financial model is operating in accordance with the objectives set out in the audit report.


Auditing a three-way financial model is an essential step in ensuring the accuracy and accuracy of financial information and projections. By thoroughly reviewing the assumptions and data that can be found in a financial model, organizations can obtain a deeper understanding of their financial future and make better decisions. Moreover, regular auditing of financial models is a key process that can help identify any potential issues or discrepancies early on, which can help reduce the financial risks of an organization.

Therefore, organizations should take the auditing of their financial models seriously and pursue regular audits. By closely assessing the assumptions, inputs, proceedings, and other aspects of a financial model, organizations can be well-prepared for the future and avoid unnecessary risks or losses.

Reiterate Reasons for Auditing a Financial Model

  • To gain a deeper understanding of their financial future and to make the best decisions
  • To ensure accuracy and accuracy of financial projects
  • To identify unexpected problems or discrepancies early-on
  • To reduce the financial risks of an organization

Emphasize Benefits of Regular Auditing

Regular auditing of financial models is key to gaining maximum benefit from the auditing process. By conducting regular audits, organizations can actively track progress in achieving financial goals, identify potential areas for improvement, and intervene with corrective measures if needed. Regular auditing can also ensure that the assumptions and data used in the financial model are up to date and consistent with the stated objectives.

In conclusion, auditing a three-way financial model is essential to ensuring its accuracy and accuracy, as well as to gaining a better understanding of an organization’s financial future. Additionally, organizations should strive to conduct regular audits to reap the maximum benefit of the auditing process.

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