Alternatives to Foresight

Here's a few alternatives to Foresight to help you select the best financial modeling tool for your needs, and how you can combine any template with a Foresight model.

Let’s be honest, I’m not the only person building financial model templates, and Foresight is not the only way to create and manage your financial projections. I’ve been building financial models since 1998 and template products since 2008, and while I think I’ve built a set of tools that are robust, easy to use, well thought out, well-documented, and just really practical for entrepreneurs and investors, I wanted to provide you with information about a few other sources for financial modeling tools and templates.

Here’s a few template alternatives to Foresight:

  • Eloquens is a good place to start to find financial models and business planning tools. They have a wide selection of free and paid tools submitted by multiple authors, and you can search by topic and find a range of tools that could fit what you need.
  • Christoph Janz has a solid and well-liked financial model for SaaS businesses that he’s evolved over the years, and informed by his experience as an entrepreneur and VC. Here’s the latest version: SaaS Financial Plan 2.0. I see this model used a fair amount, and it’s a solid start to SaaS modeling.
  • Alexander Jarvis has very detailed models for SaaS and ecommerce. I haven’t personally used them, but the models appear to be very detailed and well thought-out.
  • Ben Murray has a SaaS Financial Model that is targeted for startups and SMBs and appears to be well-designed for that audience.
  • Lightspeed has a free standardized ecommerce financial model and appears to be well designed for ecommerce businesses.
  • Jaakko Piipponen of Baremetrics has a SaaS Financial Model that appears to fit a variety of SaaS businesses.

There are also a number of web-based software apps that can help you build financial projections:

  • OnPlan is a web app built to help you forecast, budget, and collaborate with your team. OnPlan integrates with your existing Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets financial model, and you can provide them with your existing model and their customer success team will convert it into our platform and extend its functionality with dashboards, charts, and more. Foresight is compatible with OnPlan, and you can upload your Foresight Starter or Standard Model into OnPlan if you want to upgrade to a collaborative software platform for financial modeling.
  • Startup Runway is a nice, visual, free cash planning tool to help startups understand, manage and extend their cash runway. (Their main chart is nice, and I built a similar chart into the Key Reports section in all of my models.)
  • Opstarts is a planning and forecasting tool for subscription businesses.

In addition, there are a number of apps that are built to help you monitor and forecast your business performance:

  • Float is an online cash management and forecasting tool that helps you manage your business and keep on top of your cash flow. It connects to Quickbooks, Xero, and FreeAgent and automatically updates your cash forecast using data from your accounting platform.
  • Baremetrics has a set of metrics, forecasting and engagement tools for teams using Stripe, Braintree, Chargify and Recurly.
  • Tiller links your bank and financial accounts to one of their Google Sheet templates to help you understand your personal and business financial performance.
  • ChartMogul is a subscription analytics and revenue recognition software built for SaaS companies that has a wide variety of integrations to automatically import your customer data.
  • Adaptive Insights is an enterprise-level FP&A and business budgeting software that is targeted to large companies and midsize organizations that want to go beyond Excel.

More templates and apps detailed at Best Practices and Resources for Financial Modeling

So, why choose Foresight?

I’ve been building templates and working with entrepreneurs to build financial models since 2004, so I have a lot of experience - across a wide variety of companies - in thinking through how to build solid financial models that entrepreneurs can maintain and use throughout the lifecycle of their companies.

I don’t strive to build tools that have the most details, the most charts, the most features. I work to build the most practical, accessible, usable tools for people to get done what they need to get done - create financial projections to help them make key business decisions and (likely) convince investors that they have a solid financial plan for their business.

I’ve worked as a VC so I know what VCs want; I’ve built custom models for hundreds of companies so I know what entrepreneurs need; I’ve worked to distill all of that into models that can provide people what they need.

I also recognize that you, the user of a financial model, may want to make changes or do some things differently in their models. All of my models are completely unlocked - all cells, sheets, and formulas can be completely edited - and they are extensively noted, so that you can use, understand, and modify the model to fit your needs.

Foresight works with other models

I’ve also built the Bring Your Own Model functionality to help use Foresight’s models with other models. The financial core of the Standard Model - the consolidated financial statements, operating costs, cash forecast, cap table, valuation, actuals reporting, summary, key reports, and funnel reporting - is separated from the revenue forecast so that you can bring or build your own revenue forecasts into the model with a minimum of integration effort.

What does that mean? Let’s say you already have a revenue forecast you like, whether you built it or you’re using a non-Foresight template. And let’s say you like the revenue forecast, but don’t think it does cash forecasting, or funding forecasts, or the cap table, or LTV, CAC, or other metrics reporting as well as Foresight. That’s fine: simply duplicate the revenue forecast sheets from the non-Foresight model into the Standard Model, use your existing model for the revenue forecast, and link it into the financial core through the Modelhooks functionality built into the Standard Model. You can still fully use all the financial components of the Standard Model, but you don’t have to use my revenue forecast. And the integration - in most cases - will take minutes, not hours, because you won’t have to hunt and find where to link the models together: the Modelhooks functionality makes it easy.

The problem with financial model templates has always been that they do some things you need, but not everything, and it can be incredibly hard to modify them to do what you want. One of the reasons for that is because modeling the revenues for a business - the sales methodologies, the growth engine, what is sold and how it’s sold, etc. - can be incredibly specific to each business, and it’s very hard to build a model that can work for a wide variety of businesses. I’ve worked to build a common growth and revenue structure that works for a wide variety of businesses, but having worked with thousands of businesses, I know that it’s simply not possible to do everything.

That’s why I’ve worked to build a modular model - a standardized financial core with an easy methodology to integrate with any revenue forecast - to help solve the problem with financial model templates, and to make it as easy as possible for you to use a template and minimize the amount of time you have to spend to make it work for you.

Compare and find the right Foresight template here ›

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