So you have finally hit the limit of excel/google sheet for planning and are ready to move on to a system ー but which is the right one for you?
These are some key pain points a system can solve:
As your business increases in complexity, managing a financial model in Gsheets/Excel is untenable. Some of key pain points a system can solve are:
Versioning is difficult to maintain especially if multiple finance folks are involved in planning and forecasting
Excel/Gsheet is error prone due to user error or cell link integrity
Multiple data bases are not fully integrated → Headcount planning might be disjointed if it’s not neatly integrated
Actualizing the model is a pain if it’s not deeply integrated with an ERP
Scenario / Casing is difficult to do
Models change over time and do not have a repeatable structure
What to look for in financial planning software tools?
Here are some key evaluation criteria for the tool - use this as a framework during your initial search and also during the demo with each vendor. The basic evaluation considerations boil down to the platform, the implementation process, the training required, and of course, the cost. I've assigned a sample scoring system to help make a decision.
Conclusion & Favorites:
The best tool for you depends on the complexity of your financials, company stage and and the resources you have available in headcount & dollars to maintain a system, and your ARR growth rate. Here are my favorites for a SaaS finance team by stage.
$0m - $10m ARR ー GSheet / Excel, Trace, Jirav
$10m - $100m ARR ーAdaptive, Cube, Trace, Jirav
$100m - $300m ARR ー Anaplan, Adaptive, Trace
> $300m ARR ー Requires deeper analysis by company
Rohit has 10+ years in Full-Stack Finance. Raised >$500M in multiple rounds, responsible for comprehensive projects spanning fundraising, strategy, headcount planning, traditional FP&A, operational planning, and financial analytics.
Rohit is currently at Gusto as Head of Corporate Finance.