When you think about things that make or break a startup, a lot probably comes to mind. From strategic thinking to runway, your burgeoning company needs a lot of things to go right in order to thrive.
The good and bad news is that a lot of those factors interplay. If you miss one area, it can affect others, creating a cascade of problems. On the flip side, though, getting a holistic view of your company helps you see where it’s headed, supporting your ongoing success.
Enter: strategic financial planning apps. They can make it easier to gather all of your pertinent data and create a story from there. This enables you to more clearly see where you’re at and what’s likely for your startup’s future. These platforms are a little like having a data-informed crystal ball.
Sounds pretty good, right? At least, in theory. But getting the insights you want requires you to find an app that works for you. Then, you need to know how to use it well.
With that in mind, let’s look at two of the most interesting and user-friendly financial planning apps on the market today: Mosaic and Causal.
Mosaic promises to be your compass, financially speaking. As an analytics and planning platform, it gives you a way to connect all of your various spreadsheets while automating a lot of your manual financial planning tasks. This solution aims to deliver real-time analysis, on-demand reporting, and agile forecasting.
To serve up insights, it needs to pull in your data. So, to accomplish that goal, Mosaic offers a variety of integrations with your tech stack. Current integrations include:
Once you’ve got it plugged in with your stack, you can use Mosaic to get real-time insights. With this tool, you can get a quick bird’s eye view of things like:
- Annual recurring revenue (ARR)
- New customer count
- Sales pipeline
All of this information gets displayed visually and can be updated and customized.
In addition to offering clarity now, it also helps you plan for the future. You can set and track goals in Mosaic, to start. And you can share those goals with your team to keep everyone on track.
Mosaic also lets you build and update forecasting models in just a few clicks, delivering the agile planning most fast-moving startups need.
If you’re only looking for insights into the current state of your startup, Mosaic offers an Analytics plan. For future visioning, you’ll need their Planning plan. For both, choose their Analytics & Planning package.
If all of this sounds enticing, you’ll want to reach out to the company. Mosaic doesn’t make any of its pricing information public and doesn’t currently offer a free trial.
Causal functions similarly to Mosaic, with an emphasis on financial forecasts presented in shareable, interactive dashboards.
When you’re building a dashboard, it automates projections for you. This goes well beyond what you could easily do in a spreadsheet. With Causal, for example, you can project the number of customers in any given month based on your anticipated growth rate, then — based on that growing customer base — project your monthly revenue.
From there, with just a click or two, you can visualize your projections with charts and tables, then share them with the appropriate people. The visualizations keep the assumptions visible for your viewers so they can always see what you’re working with at a glance, keeping unnecessary questions off your desk.
And Causal can show you expected variances. For example, it can deliver a line graph that visualized where you’d be if your customers grow at 5% vs. 10%
Like Mosaic, you can connect Causal to the relevant components in your tech stack. That way, the data, visualizations, and projections in Causal stay updated in real-time. This tool integrates with solutions like:
- Google Sheets
Essentially, Causal gives you a way to make the reports you need more easily, and to present those reports in an interactive way.
Plus, if you want a way to try a financial planning tool without a big investment, Causal delivers with its tiered pricing model. They offer a $0 plan. That said, it caps out at five models and only integrates with Google Sheets and CSV uploads. Their startup plan costs $250 a month and unlocks all of their standard integrations. It comes with two seats but you can add more members for $29 a month.
What these tools can do for you
For many founders and CFOs, a huge amount of time gets sunk into gathering up data and compiling it. Whether you need a report for your board or graphs and charts to present to your team as you set KPIs, you’ve probably spent hours — if not days — just trying to get a picture of what’s going on.
With tools like Causal and Mosaic, you can automate a lot of that work. What’s more, you can more accurately forecast. That clears you up for the core work you need to do to grow your startup. Having a realistic projection is one thing. Having the time, energy, and clarity of mind to actually act on it is entirely another.
Long story short? If you want the ability to pull reports and create data-informed forecasts in just a few clicks, it’s worth exploring these tools.
If you’re not sure which would be better for your startup, chat with us. Our team can help you assess solutions like these to determine which might be best for your company and its planned trajectory. In fact, as accountants that specialize in helping tech startups, we’re seasoned in supporting growing companies as they build their ideal finance tech stacks.
For direction on financial planning tools or for experts to help guide that planning, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team at ShayCPA offers the finance expertise you need from pre-seed to Series A and beyond. Don’t let financial planning be a weak spot at your company. Contact us today.