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  • Writer's pictureBrett Hampson

My Favorite FP&A Tools

Updated: Jun 5

Choosing the right FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis) tool can be a game-changer for your business operations. While there are many options available, three tools stand out for their specific strengths and suitability for varying business needs: Excel/Google Sheets, Fathom, and Causal.

After more than a decade in the industry, there are only a few tools that I'm impressed by and I find constantly used by myself and my peers in the industry.

Once a company gets larger, the market opens up and you start looking at custom solutions by companies like Anaplan or Workday. This guide is intended for smaller startups or SMBs.

Excel or Google Sheets

For businesses just starting their financial modeling journey, Excel or Google Sheets offer unparalleled flexibility and affordability. These tools are widely accessible, with Google Sheets being free and Excel costing less than $20/month. They require some knowledge in data extraction and financial model building, but this minor learning curve is a small price to pay for the customization and control they offer. They are perfect for early-stage companies looking to establish a strong financial foundation.

Fathom is a great choice for small businesses with simple product suites or business models who don't need to juggle multiple departments. At just $50/month, Fathom combines affordability with usability, offering an intuitive interface that even non-financial professionals will find easy to navigate. It provides valuable insights through visual financial reports, making it ideal for owner/operator businesses aiming for straightforward, yet effective financial planning.

For scaling companies, particularly those looking to professionalize their operations, Causal stands out. Starting at $250/month, Causal offers robust integration capabilities that go beyond just accounting systems, including HRM, ERP, and CRM systems. Its ability to grow with your business without adding model complexity makes it an invaluable tool for companies in expansion mode. While there is a bit of a learning curve, any experienced finance professional can get up to speed quickly, learning the basics within a few hours.

Bonus tools!

A few other notable mentions that I've enjoyed using, but don't personally use regularly (will continue to add to this list over time):

  • FlowCog - awesome driver-based tool for pre-revenue or early-stage startup founders who want a more intuitive and modern interface. Plus, Adam (the founder) is a friend and bootstrapped the build of this tool as a CFO himself.

In conclusion, each of these FP&A tools has unique features tailored to different business needs. Whether you're just starting with Excel/Google Sheets, running a small business with Fathom, or scaling up with Causal, these tools can significantly enhance your financial management processes.


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