Business Planning with Microfin
Washington DC, USA
April 29 - May 3, 2019 

Join microfinance practitioners and interested parties April 29 - May 3, 2019 in Washington DC for an in-depth training on Microfin.  Microfin training focuses on strategic planning as the basis for creating operational forecasts for program growth, revenue, and expenses.  Tradeoffs regarding interest rate policy, organic vs. exponential growth, and capital structure all will be discussed along with how they relate to operational decisions.  Participants will use a case study approach to learn the Microsoft Excel based tool, and will have a good feel for how to create their own projections when they leave the training.   This will be a very interactive learning process and participants will be encouraged to share experiences, feelings, and ideas regarding the state of the industry as well as successes and challenges currently facing the provision of credit and savings services to the unbanked.  Although not required, bringing a Windows based laptop is encouraged.  Lunch and two coffee breaks will be provided each day.

The location for the training will be at the "Farragut Center", 1725 I Street NW Suite 300, Washington DC 20006.  Sometimes "I Street" is written as EYE Street.  This location is very close to the Farragut West and Farragut North Metro Stations, and within three blocks of Lafayette Park, which overlooks the North Lawn of the White House.  Follow this link to see the location on a map.

Microfin 4.16 was released November 3, 2018 with a significant feature which makes projecting debt payments faster and more accurate, as well as increasing the number of debt facilities restricted for portfolio use an organization can register in Microfin.  The Microfin Consolidator will be demonstrated and available at the training.  Consolidation will allow MFIs to further decentralize planning to regional managers who will then submit their projections to the head office for review, analysis, and form the basis for overall projections.  Note that consolidation solves the "large number" problem that MFIs with more than 100,000 clients face.

The cost of the training is $1,250.  Early Booking discounts are available as follows:

Register before March 25, 2019 and you will receive a discount of $150, making the cost of the training $1,100
Register before February 25, 2019 and you will receive a discount of $300, making the cost of the training $950

Delegates will need to secure their own lodging if necessary.  Please inquire about a list of hotels in the area.

Howard Brady, a seasoned microfinance consultant of 24 years, will teach the workshop.  Howard has been a Microfin instructor with Chuck Waterfield, the original author of the software, since 2000.  In April 2016, Howard assumed the future development and maintenance of Microfin.  Howard's consultancies have helped increase the efficiency and effectiveness of MFIs worldwide, have helped organizations find solutions to delinquency issues, and have created appropriate internal audit and internal control environments.  Howard integrates his first hand experiences into his teaching to provide practical solutions to complex issues facing MFIs today.

The registration form can be downloaded here.

If you are travelling to Washington DC and not a citizen of the United States of America, consult this page to see if your country is part of the visa waiver program and what might be required for entry to the United States.  If your country is not listed, you will need to fill out a DS-160 form online and schedule an interview with a representative of the United States of America in your country.  It may be helpful to review this document for the questions you might be asked on the DS-160. Note that the appropriate visa to apply for is a B-1 visa, which is used for Conferences and Seminars, not an F-1 or J-1 visa for educational purposes.  Since this workshop is not part of an educational institution, a SEVIS ID number does not apply.

I have instituted the following refund policy if your visa is denied:  Your entire course fee, less USD 100 will be refunded, if your visa is denied.  Once you send me your denial letter and accurate bank account information, you will have your refund within two weeks.  The refund will be made to the same account where the funds were drawn, either by credit card or by bank transfer.

A detailed, day by day agenda follows:

Microfin Training Agenda

Day 1

  • Defining the purpose of planning; business planning, strategic planning, operational planning, and financial projections
  • Presenting the components of strategic planning; mission statement, vision statement, SWOT analysis, markets and clients, environmental analysis and institutional assessment
  • Introduction to financial statements; balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, portfolio report
  • Introduction to adjustments; inflation, subsidized cost of funds, in-kind donations
  • Introduction to ratio analysis; definition of key ratios, trend analysis
  • Introduction to Microfin, linking business planning aspects to the strategic planning methodology 

Day 2:

Each Microfin section is then explained with relevant discussion on each section, after which individuals take time to input case study data and make individual operational decisions based on their understanding of the case study and own relevant operational planning experience.  The training is broken down into the following pieces:

Segment 1:

  • Model Setup Sheet:  System Parameters including operating mode, consolidated or multi branch/region mode, inflation, indexing, and historical financial statements

Segment 2:

  • Products Sheet: Loan Products and how to divide overall loan portfolio

Segment 3:

  • Product Design Sheet: Average loan size by cycle, Repayment frequency and term, Grace period, Compulsory savings, Interest calculation method, Interest rate charged, Credit insurance

Segment 4:

  • Products Sheet: Agent or insurer of credit insurance, Line of credit product parameters, compulsory and voluntary savings parameters


Day 3:

Segment 1:

  • Product Activity Sheet: Initial balances, number of active loans, client retention, resting or delayed disbursements

Segment 2:

  • Graphs Page:  Introduction to Loan projection graphs
  • Branch Page: Line of credit projections, compulsory and voluntary savings projections, credit insurance projections

Segment 3:

  • Branch Page: Loan loss provision and write off, loan officer analysis, number of branches


Day 4:

Segment 1:

  • Inst. Cap. Page: Branch office and Head office staffing
  • Branch Page: Brach office staffing and staffing costs
  • Head Office: Head office staffing and staffing costs

Segment 2:

  • Inst. Cap. Page: Branch and head office other operating costs
  • Branch Page:  Details of operating costs
  • Head Office Page: Details of operating costs

Segment 3:

  • Inst. Cap. Page: Branch and Head office Fixed Asset definitions
  • Branch Page: Fixed Asset details and projections
  • Head Office Page: Fixed Asset details and projections

Segment 4:

  • Inst. Cap. Page: Building, Other Asset, and In-kind subsidy
  • Head Office Page: Tax calculations, In-kind subsidy analysis


Day 5:

Segment 1:

  • Fin Sources Page: Unrestricted and Restricted Sources (beginning balances, interest rates, indexing to foreign currency), Initial cash balances, Liquidity requirements, Market rate cost of funds, Interest Rate refinements

Segment 2:

  • Fin Flows Page:  Detailed financing by source, automated default funding sources, investment strategy (income on investments), cash flows,

Segment 3:

  • Advanced topics: Advanced Mode, Navigator Page, Optional tools, Export/Import,  Variance Analysis, and other tools.
  • “How to?” questions and answers

Segment 4:

  • Final refinement of the projection model
  • Presentation of Certificates and course evaluation