DEFINITION of 'WhatIf Calculation'
Calculations for testing a financial model using different assumptions and scenarios. Whatif`calculations enable the forecaster to check the variance in end results for a financial model using various hypothetical levels for inputs such as interest rates and exchange rates. These calculations are generally performed with spreadsheet software. Whatif calculations can also be referred to as sensitivity analysis or stress testing.
BREAKING DOWN 'WhatIf Calculation'
In a discounted cash flow model used to assess the viability of a project, changes in the discount rate can lead to wide ranges in the net present value of the project. The key benefit of whatif calculations in this case is that they can test the viability of the project under various scenarios. Whatif calculations are similar to a sensitivity analysis, and should not be confused with the "IF" function in excel.

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