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What is the best financial figures breakdown format/template to use for a new start-up?

Vanessa Kruze, CPA, is a leading expert in startup taxes and tax compliance. Her team at Kruze Consulting has filed thousands of tax returns for companies that have raised billions in VC funding, and her work has been diligenced by leading VCs, attorneys, and M&A teams at the largest technology companies.
Vanessa Kruze, a highly-experienced CPA, brings valuable tax expertise to startups, drawing from her rich background at Deloitte Tax and as a financial controller for a $20 million startup. As the leader of Kruze Consulting, recognized multiple times in the Inc 5000 list, she specializes in navigating the complex tax landscape for startups. Her firm is known for delivering precise and strategic tax solutions, delivering tax credits utilizing advanced tools to ensure compliance and optimize tax benefits for startups throughout the United States.

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I run a CPA / interim CFO firm that serves over 700+ startups and I’ve helped many of my companies build financial models that have gotten the thumbs up from top VC firms and the pickiest of investors/board members.

While you may be able to start with a template, keep in mind that your business is unique, and therefore your model should be as well. Get our free templates here. Here are some common points that you’ll want to include in your financial model:

  • 3 Years of Projections. Occasionally investors will ask for more/less, but start with 3 years.

  • 3 Statement Model. Include a Profit & Loss Statement, Balance Sheet, and Statement of Cash Flows. Each should balance and tie back to each other (this gets tricky).
  • Your KPI’s should be your Drivers. Every company has a dashboard of metrics that they track growth and success by. A few examples include number of users, customers, margin, customer acquisition cost, Twitter followers, website traffic, etc. Look to the past and show that there is a correlation between X (could be # of Sales Reps) and Y (could be your revenue), then use this as a driver towards the future projections.

  • Churn. Customers will leave. Account for this.

  • Waterfalls. Your financial model should be dynamic. Waterfalls show how you actually performed against your projection and then resets the future accordingly.

Don’t show an investor a financial model that shows smooth growth “up and to the right.” No company’s growth is without bumps. These models take a lot of time to build and are highly personalized, so it really is best to consult with a professional. If you’re planning on raising $3M+ you should come prepared with a well thought out financial model.

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