From daily operations to major decisions: the financial models all founders should know

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  1. Why do you need an operational financial model?
  2. Visualising financial data, taking a closer look
  3. Basic financial models, and beyond!
  4. What’s next?



The startup world is dynamic, and let’s be honest, especially so for SaaS companies. Here at Standard Ledger we know that financial clarity isn’t just beneficial, it’s an essential to grow and scale. 

An airtight operational financial model is crucial for transitioning smoothly from daily operations to making significant business decisions, and we know that isnt always something founders have the time to do! Let’s take a closer look at the essential tools and insights we believe every founder needs, to effectively manage and scale their business, and free you up to do what you do best – innovate and expand. Let’s go! 

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1. Why do you need an operational financial model?

Sounds important, but is it really needed? Yes. An operational financial model goes beyond tracking dollars and cents, it’s a comprehensive tool that fits seamlessly with your daily business processes. The model gives you a real-time view of your financial health, essential at any stage of a startup. 

So let’s take a closer look at the key areas of an operational financial model: 

  • Revenue recognition: integrating systems like Stripe or PayPal is vital for accurate revenue recognition, enabling real-time tracking and helping with financial forecasting and reporting
  • Pipeline revenue recognition: getting to grips with your pipeline of potential revenue is crucial, especially for Saas companies. CRM systems like Salesforce or HubSpot are central here, offering advanced ‘revenue tracking dashboards’ that align sales efforts with revenue outcomes
  • Product tracking dashboards: making informed product development and marketing decisions are powered by tools that offer insights into product performance, customer engagement, and sales efficiency
Man reviewing documents with highlighter at desk

2. Visualising financial data, taking a closer look

Some of us are more visual than others, but when it comes to data we are all better at taking it in when we can visualise it. Clear representations of data can be useful in simplifying complex information, and highlighting trends/patterns that might be overlooked in traditional (dare we say boring?) reports. 

Essential visuals include:

  • Graphs showing revenue trends: providing the reader with a time-based view of revenue changes, which helps identify seasonal fluctuations and growth trends
  • Pie charts for revenue distribution: understanding the sources of revenue – whether from different products, services, or customer segments – can help in optimising your product mix and marketing strategies
  • Heat maps for regional sales performance: offering a clear visual representation for businesses operating in multiple regions, heat maps will easily show where sales are booming, and where you might need strategic adjustments
Two people looking at financial documents on desk

3. Basic financial models, and beyond!

Basic financial models are critical, and you will likely be covering these already (and if not, we can help with our fractional CFO service!) But we know the real value comes from diving deeper than just surface level. At Standard Ledger, we don’t just build basic financial models for you, we’ll enhance them to provide deeper layers of analysis and understanding.

Lets go beyond the basics: 

  • Meticulous data handling: cleaning/preparing your data to ensure accuracy and relevancy
  • Advanced analytical tools: utilising sophisticated tools to go deep into financial data, offering you insights that go beyond standard financial statements
  • Practical insights for founders: presenting data in an actionable format, allowing you to quickly grasp the financial implications of your business decisions
  • Focus on strategic decision making: comprehensively managing your financial landscape so you can concentrate on product development, and customer engagement 

What’s next?

We like to think we are not just your accountant, but integral partners to your business. 

We want to make sure your financial strategy aligns with your business objectives, and to do that our team of spreadsheet junkies is here and ready to dive into the numbers, giving you the clarity and confidence to propel your business forward. Get in touch now to start gaining that insight, and keep scaling and growing. 


BOOK A CALL with us for a chat, and get your business ready for the next stage of growth.


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