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.
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 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.
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.
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
“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.”
“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.”