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Businesses can use Microsoft Excel to perform capital budgeting, risk analysis, or cash flow analysis. There are hundreds of standard financial valuation models that can run through Excel. Extreme practical knowledge of Microsoft Excel and mastery of common Microsoft Excel functions are invaluable to all those in financial activities. Any data can be entered and manipulated as long as it is quantifiable. While it is impossible to master all Excel features, it is critical to understand how to perform functions crucial to a specific analyst process.

Common analysis functions include data manipulation, formatting, pivot tables, search equations, and evaluation. Investors do financial analysis in two ways. The first focuses on information retrieved from a company's financial statements, which can provide Microsoft Excel with building blocks for advanced equations. The second focuses on graphs, probabilities, and then analysis. Microsoft Excel is probably most useful for fundamental analysts. Technical analysis often relies heavily on interactive charts.

Occasionally, the financial analysis consists of restating known information rather than predicting future information. For accountants and consultants, Microsoft Excel can perform depreciation, amortization, tax, and budget functions. Microsoft Excel naturally lends itself to cost accounting because of its flexibility. Unlike financial accounting, which has strict rules and a relatively uniform methodology, cost accounting must modify to meet the individual needs of the business. Microsoft Excel can track, update, and send information in ways that enable smarter business decisions.

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