About Me

MY NAME IS
PETER VAN DER KRAAN

I have worked in a number of areas all of which I sought every opportunity to use Excel to maximise clarity and efficiency. Some of my projects have been for Australia’s largest companies and others have been for independent small business operators that understand the power of Excel.

While I am based in Sydney, I regularly work with businesses and analysts all over the country.

PROJECTS INCLUDE

I worked with an experienced advisor who was required to do the same complex tax calculations over and over again for each employee within a very large organisation.

This advisor was proficient at the ins and outs of the tax legislation but had not developed their spreadsheet skills to the same extent.

Working together, I identified that his process for the calculations was not using Excel to its full potential. He was cutting and pasting a lot and manually referencing cells to each other. This is not best practice when using Excel. It was also repetitive and time consuming – and not a lot of fun.

It become clear that with the clever use of some of the joys of Excel including pivot tables, macros, filters and lookups as well as improving the basic design of the spreadsheet calculations we could shave over 50% of the time it took to do the job (they still needed to spend some time to collate the data and get the tax technical bits right).

I also showed them how to build in some checks and balances that substantially reduced the error-rates (previously each error was time consuming and painful).

I implemented an innovative approach using Excel to come up with an improved and logical approach to valuing large infrastructure assets.

I am a specialist in infrastructure and have also been COO of one of Australia’s largest valuation firms. This firm was responsible for the valuation of many important infrastructure assets.

These included large mine operations, pipelines, railways and electricity networks. The valuation of these assets was quite often a time consuming task taking many months to complete.

The traditional methods for valuing these assets often came up with quirky results that did not necessarily reflect the true value of these assets. I used Excel to power the innovative methodology and also assisted various large companies (many in the mining sector) to value their assets using this revised and improved methodology. Due to the enormous scale of the assets in question and their long effective lives the valuation advantages from the revised methodology ran into hundreds of millions of dollars.

This project was conducted over a period of 2 months and involved the comparison of tax incentives offered to business in over 20 countries throughout the world. It involved quite a complex set of calculations to effectively compare the impact of each country’s incentives on 5 different types of businesses.

The key to the success of this model was that it was designed such that sensitivity analysis could be easily conducted in a meaningful manner.

The Excel model provided powerful insights into the various tax regimes around the world, thereby allowing the government department to formulate appropriate tax and investment policies to make sure Australia remains competitive.

The introduction of the Tax Consolidation legislation in Australia to simplify some income tax areas and remove some areas of potential unintended opportunity for taxpayers lead to tax advisors’ calculators running hot.

Working with one of the large international accounting firms, I had to take this large and complex piece of tax legislation and turn it into a relatively simple calculation.

This was achieved with a complex yet streamlined approach via Excel and produced an accurate calculation spreadsheet that allowed companies to work out their tax position in this area with some certainty.

Without this model the calculations would have been long and arduous and prone to error.

OUR HAPPY CLIENTS

Gawin Seto

“I have a recurring project where I am required to complete a complex set of tax calculations and reports for over 600 people within the one organisation. Peter revamped my Excel-based approach to this task and reduced a 5-week job to less than 2 weeks!

“Not only did Peter save me a large amount of time and effort, he converted me into a believer of the awesome potential of Excel in the right hands. Thanks to his guidance I am now a lot better at using Excel on other projects in my business.”

Gavin Seto
Highflyer Taxation Services

Valerie Khoo

“Peter has provided us with ongoing help to make sense of our data and numbers. Although we have collated a lot of data of the past few years, none of the platforms we've used in the past have been able to give us the dashboards and reports that would be really helpful.

“Peter has been able to manipulate the data easily so that we've been able to make truly informed decisions that have enabled our business to grow. Importantly, he's created data reporting systems that have given us an ongoing view of key numbers and metrics.”

Valerie Khoo
Australian Writers' Centre