Components are the fundamental building blocks of every financial model in Francis. Familiarizing yourself with the five components' use cases can significantly reduce the time spent on modeling. Understanding when to use rows instead of calculations or groups instead of sections will simplify structuring your model to align with other features in Francis.



Rows should feel familiar to users who have prior experience working with spreadsheets.

Rows are used to create forecasts and follow up with actuals. You can create formulas in separate cells and map them to your general ledger to pull in actuals.

The important thing to note about rows is that you can link data from connected sources to any row in your model. By going to the Mappings view in your model, you can map your general ledger accounts to rows in your model, allowing you to pull populate row values with actuals directly from your ERP tool.

Rows that include mappings will have a green connection indicator showing that they are connected to an external data source. Rows without mappings will show a gray indicator.


Calculations are used to perform time-consistent calculations, meaning that any numbers or formulas input into a calculation are the same across all periods in your model. Calculations are best used when a value is derived from values in other rows. The most common use cases for calculations are:

  • Subtotals and margins

  • KPIs

  • Cash flow statement

When modeling the cash flow statement, use calculations to reference your P&L and balance sheet to calculate cash movements using the indirect method.


Groups serve as containers for rows and calculations and are typically used to define the structure of sections. By default, groups automatically sum the values of rows and calculations contained within. Commonly grouped line items include:

  • Revenue streams

  • Direct costs

  • Operational costs

  • Assets

  • Liabilities

  • Equity

When creating cell references, reference groups if possible. Groups automatically capture the addition of new rows and calculations, eliminating the need for manual updates to cell references as you change your model.


Sections allow you to define the layout of your model and won't impact any numbers or calculations. Sections can contain groups, rows, and calculations. How many sections you want to split your model into is up to you. Common sections include:

  • Profit and loss

  • Balance sheet

  • Cash flow

  • Individual loan instruments

  • Revenue forecasts

  • Assumptions or drivers

Consider your desired reporting format before structuring your model, as PDF reports are generated by selecting which sections to include.


Tabs allow you to separate your model into multiple sheets. Their behavior is similar to that of other spreadsheets, and you can make formula references across sheets.

Drag and drop components across tabs to reorganize your model on a rolling basis.

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