Business Planning with Microfin
Seattle, USA
October 28 - November 1, 2024

Join microfinance practitioners and interested parties October 28 - November 1, 2024 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.

Microfin 4.16 was released in 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.  In addition, the Microfin Consolidator will be 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.

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 September 16, 2024
Regular Registration
Standard Price
After September 16, 2024

Late Registration
Late Reg. Price
After October 7, 2024

Course Fee - 3 Days (Standard Oct 28-30 or Advanced Oct 30 - Nov 1) USD 750 USD 850 USD 1000
Course Fee - 5 Days (Standard AND Advanced Oct. 28 - Nov. 1) USD 950 USD 1050 USD 1200


The training will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Seattle/Northgate, Address: 9550 1st Ave NE;  Seattle, WA 98115; USA. For those delegates traveling to Seattle, the accommodation cost at the hotel is USD 200 per night.  You should feel free to book your own room at the Hampton Inn & Suites or investigate other hotel options which may be cheaper.



Howard Brady, a seasoned microfinance consultant since 1994, 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 accessed 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.