The FAST Standard focuses predominantly on outcomes, in other words what the final model should look like.

It dwells little on the tradecraft of executing spreadsheet models. For instance, it does not provide details of Excel keystrokes (shortcut keys) on which the FAST Standard relies and which are vastly superior to using a mouse in almost all circumstances.

However, no set of design rules can be entirely divorced from the manufacturing environment in which the product is built. Many of the standard’s rules and recommendations are therefore determined by the strengths and weaknesses of the Microsoft Excel modelling environment: they indicate how to take advantage of the strengths and work around its weaknesses. One of the prime objectives of the FAST Standard is to enable efficient, error-reducing construction techniques in this way.

ICAEW: 20 Principles for good spreadsheet practice

Modelling Resource

The FAST standard was the first to be recognised by the ICAEW to be compliant with the principles.

Financial modelling handbook

Modelling Resource

Over 40 modelling guides designed to help you get to grips with FAST modelling.

The European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group

Special Interest Group

EuSpRIG is the World’s premier site for information, action, conferences and dialogue on Spreadsheet Risk Management.

Spreadsheet Lab website article

Blog Post

An engineer's perspective on the FAST standard and parallels that can be made.

BBC News website article


The FAST standard being mentioned in the news article "Financial modelling - is the government wasting millions?"

FAST Standard LinkedIn Group

Special Interest Group

Our community of over 1000 modellers can help you and your organisation with your modelling questions.