One of the key user groups for excel is the financial community.

And they are well catered for by excel, especially in a set of financial functions that simplify one of their key uses of excel: net present value calculations.

For those that don’t know what that is here’s a simple primer:

### Net Present Value

Net Present Value (NPV) is the value of all future cash flows (positive and negative) over the entire life of an investment discounted to the present.

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### Excel’s Financial Functions

Here, then, are the key excel functions, and what they are used for:

- PV: The present value of a set of cashflow payments given a known interest rate and number of payments
- FV: The final value of a set of cashflow payments given a known interest rate and number of payments
- PMT: The (equal) payments required to be made for a given interest rate, number of payments and present value. Very useful for calculating the regular payments on a loan.
- NPER: Similar to PMT but returns the number of payments required given the payment amount.
- RATE: Gives the interest (or discount) rate for a set of cashflows when the number of payments and present value are known.

Here’s more on how these functions work:

### Financial Functions

To illustrate Excel’s most popular financial functions, we consider a loan with monthly payments, an annual interest rate of 6%, a 20-year duration, a present value of $150,000 (amount borrowed) and a future value of 0 (that’s what you hope to achieve when you pay off a loan).