October 5, 2021

Using Your Financial Data to tell Your Saas Business' Story

Jen Happ
Chief Operating Officer

Finance is more than just numbers.  It is more than just accounting.  It is more than just setting a budget.  

Your finance data is the building blocks that together allow you to accurately and compellingly tell the story of your business.

What does this look like in action? Earlier this year, I gave a presentation where I went through a company’s income statement and used it to tell the story of not only where that company had been, but also, where it was heading into the future.  Afterwards, the audience was actually excited to dig into their financial statements and models—suddenly, finance didn’t seem so scary. With a little guidance, it’s actually simpler than you may think, and the benefits to you are invaluable.

Too often it can be tempting to simply “get things done” to check the boxes of your accounting and finance duties. However, by taking the time to really consider what these numbers illustrate about your performance, you can make better decisions, be more compelling to boards and investors, and make your data really work for you.

All you need to get started is a 5 year functional income statement—2 years looking back, your current year, and 2 years into the future.  With this, you’ll be able to answer and explain the following questions:

  • What have I achieved so far?
  • How do I think my company will grow in the future?
  • How much is left after I deliver my product or service?
  • How will I achieve future growth?
  • How do I acquire new customers?
  • How do I plan to reinvest back into my company?
  • What is left at the end of the day?
  • How much cash will it take to meet my growth goals?

Over the next series of posts, I will explain how to use your financials to answer these questions. I’ll also talk through some of the common mistakes I’ve seen in company’s financial projections that may make your story less believable. At the end, you should have the confidence to talk about your financials and what they mean with potential investors, team members, and your board.  

Remember, finance isn’t just scary numbers in Excel and weird accounting rules; it is storytelling with data.

P.S. I’ve helped over 30 founders and CEOs tell their story with data.. If you have any questions, feel free to comment or schedule a meeting here.

Looking for the rest of the series? Check out our latest installments:

Part Two: “What Have I Achieved So Far?”
Part Three: “How Do I Think I Will Grow in the Future?”

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