What is Act-fx?
Act-fx is a set of actuarial functions for use with Microsoft Excel.
It is provided as an Excel ‘add-in’ which can be loaded when required to extend the range of built-in functions provided by Microsoft. Some functions relate specifically to pensions applications whilst others are of more general application.
How can Act-fx help?
Microsoft Excel is often used for ad-hoc actuarial calculations in connection with pension schemes and even small-scale actuarial valuations.
Excel is a flexible tool but if specialist functions for the application are limited, or not available, then much time can be spent programming either in cell formulae or using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). This ties up valuable resource in coding and testing, much of which may need to be carried out again for the next spreadsheet. Further, functions coded in VBA are slow-running compared with compiled code.
The complexity introduced by recent, more sophisticated, mortality improvement projection methods means that more advanced techniques are now required for calculating actuarial life functions.
Act-fx provides functions to assist with a wide range of actuarial calculations in a single add-in. These are programmed in compiled modules which run much faster than VBA.
What can Act-fx do?
Act-fx provides functions covering the following areas:
- compound interest
- life financial
- market, statistical and statutory.
All the functions are easily accessible by direct entry into cells on the spreadsheet or via the ‘function wizard’ in Excel. A full Windows help file is provided, giving parameter details and formulae.
Why use Act-fx?
Actuaries and actuarial departments often have user-defined functions for Excel. However, these may be limited and developed on an ad-hoc basis. Act-fx provides a comprehensive, integrated solution which is convenient, easy to use and takes account of the latest statutory requirements and developments in the profession.
Act-fx can provide actuaries and actuarial departments with significant cost savings by giving easy access to functions needed in spreadsheet calculations but without the overhead of the time and effort required to develop these in-house. Further, the functions provided are faster in execution than those that might be developed in-house using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
Actuarial Solutions Ltd is committed to continued support and development to ensure that the system is kept up to date at an economic cost and without the need to divert expensive in-house expertise to this task.