Business Planning with Microfin
Toronto, Canada - Standard and Advanced
March 13-17, 2023

Microfin is not just a simple budgeting spreadsheet for Microfinance Institutions, but a holistic enterprise planning tool, designed to help budgeting managers, CFOs, and operations officers plan for branch expansion, staff hiring, cash management, and asset purchasing. In addition, Microfin includes a complete set of financial statements, ratio reports, graphs, and monthly budget-to-actual variance analysis.

Due to the comprehensive nature of the spreadsheet, many users are initially intimidated by the software. My training courses empower users with a developer-led, thorough explanation of Microfin, utilizing a hands-on case study and the latest version of the software. Assumptions and results are explained and logically tested, removing that initial intimidation and giving confidence to the users that implementing Microfin, projecting results, and making informed decisions for their own MFI is simpler than initially imagined.

Microfin courses have been streamlined with a reduced cost, based on feedback from course participants.  The Standard Course will be taught Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, (March 13-15, 2023) with the Advanced Course participants joining with the Standard Course participants on Wednesday and then continuing on for Thursday and Friday (March 15-17, 2023).  The location is Toronto, Canada and the course will be taught in English.  The course is designed as a destination location for those who have the ability to travel but have had difficulty in securing visas to the United States of America.  Please visit this website for official information on obtaining a visa to Canada.  

Note that Niagara Falls is located approximately 130km (80 miles) from Toronto, Canada.  Please indicate if you have interest in an excursion to the falls. 

For participants who would like to take either the Standard 3-day, Advanced 3-day, or Standard and Advanced 5-day course, fees are listed below.  Note the significant discounts which are available if you register early.  Group discounts are also available in addition to these rates.

  Earliest Registration
Best Price
Before Feb. 6, 2023
Regular Registration
Standard Price
Before Feb. 27, 2023
Late Registration
Late Reg. Price
After Feb. 27, 2023
Course Fee - 3 Days (Standard March 13-15 or Advanced March 15-17) USD 750 USD 850 USD 1000
Course Fee - 5 Days (Standard AND Advanced March 13-17) USD 950 USD 1050 USD 1200


Note that two coffee/tea breaks and lunch will be provided each day.

Register by filling out the registration form here.

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 

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 2:

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

 Segment 4:

  • 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 5:

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

Segment 6:

  • 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 7:

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


Standard Course Day 3 and Advanced Course Day 1

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


Advanced Training Agenda

Participants will be provided the opportunity to ask questions in advance. Any advance questions will be answered first.

We will then review of the basic projection, the previous case study, which will provide a refresh of the basic loan product and growth structure.

The advanced training begins with launching a new case study file, pre-configured with multiple products and branches, with a significant amount of case study data pre-entered so that the training will be focused on the inputs and outputs rather than data entry. A written case study will accompany the new Microfin file so inputs can be verified and repeated with the written case study context.

Areas of Advanced Training include:

Advanced Course Day 2

Variance analysis tool
Input and reconciliation of actual results vs. projections with applications of how Microfin inputs may be adjusted to better reflect the actual situation instead of the projected budget

Loan Product Design
Verifying the loan product records interest and loan payments according to several loan repayment schedules, including sharia or Islamic compliant loans. For “flat” rate loans, an interest adjustment will be explained and shown.
Linking insurance with a loan product for agent method and insurer method. This will also involve the Product Definition sheet and the Branch or Region Sheets

Loan Product Activity
Refinement of initial balances Projecting growth loan officer by loan officer – an application of the user defined sheet
Retention rate impact and analysis Graduation from one loan product to another. This involves the Product Definition sheet and Loan Product Activity sheets.

Branch or Regional Sheets
Projecting a savings first (all clients are savers, some receive loans) operation
Projecting salaries which are denominated in foreign currency – an application of the user defined sheet

Advanced Course Day 3

Consoidated Mode to Branch/Regional Mode
The process of converting the Standard case moving from Standard Mode to Regional Mode and reconciling the results

Financing Sources
Cash flow and liquidity analysis with cost vs. benefit decisions
Interest rate sensitivity risk
Currency devaluation or depreciation risk
Risk of leverage with an example of a natural disaster or declining loan quality

Microfin Consolidator
A recently developed tool which permits up to 25 Microfin files to be combined and presented as a consolidated Balance Sheet and Income Statement. If each individual Microfin file were used in Branch or Regional mode and each had 8 branches or regions, the Microfin Consolidator would handle 200 branches or regions. Likewise, if each branch had 2,000 borrowers, the Consolidator would handle up to 400,000 borrowers. The question for the MFI is if they really want to reconcile 200 branch results within Microfin several times a year.