Don’t lose your grip: Avoid complexity and Excel cap table management

Using digital spreadsheets for your cap table adds layers of work to managing your financial data. One false keystroke can misrepresent real data, there can be multiple versions of the same spreadsheet on various devices, and it can be difficult to find the one source of truth that has correctly preserved your company’s equity information. 

There is a better way. With the right software, you can manage your company’s financial data with ease, track the genealogy of shares, and get expert guidance compared to stone-age tools like Excel. Taking a business from idea to exit is a steep mountain to climb—read on to see how the right tools can ensure you don’t lose your grip.   

Tool #1: Top-tier tracking

When you use an Excel spreadsheet to track your ownership data, you will need to manually input the names of the people receiving awards, the price of the award, the type of award being granted, and the date that the award was granted. All it takes is one typo, and this vital information can be obscured without you even noticing it. Not only is there room for error, but all of this manual tracking requires a lot of time—time that you don’t have when you are building a company from the ground up.

If you instead opt for an equity management software, you will have one user-friendly database with all the information you need right at your fingertips. Once someone inputs ownership information, that data is locked in. Any edits and changes are tracked, providing you with a clean genealogy of shares that you can look back on at any time. 

Though a spreadsheet may seem sufficient in the beginning of your company journey, as you continue to scale to the summit, your equity data will become more complex. Find a solution that is accurate, user-friendly, and adaptable so you can spend less time fiddling with an outdated spreadsheet, and more time expanding your business. 

Tool #2: Employee and shareholder visibility

Investors and shareholders want to track your success and keep a close eye on their investments, and if you do not have solid financial data available at the ready, you risk looking unprofessional. If a potential investor asks to see your cap table, and you need extra time to get your data organized, you could lose out on the opportunity for good. If employees want information on their stock shares, lack of readily available data can frustrate them with your company. Spreadsheets often cannot meet these varied and dynamic demands. 

If you utilize the right cap table software, you will have a much easier time managing your financial data and providing the necessary visibility to your employees and stakeholders. This software should have a secure document library to review and save important financial records. There should also be tools that help employees and shareholders understand the value of their shares and track how the value has changed over time. By having access to their own document library and visibility into cap table intelligence, you will spend less time on the phone fielding questions, and you will have clean, professional financial data at the ready to impress your potential investors. 

Tool #3: White-glove service and support brilliance 

The right equity management platform should not only have leading software but the white-glove support and expert guidance to help your business grow. 

Wouldn’t it be a relief to have a tenured professional guide you in the initial setup of your account to know you are building your business on solid data? Cap table software will give you a user-friendly platform to organize and access your financial data, but initial account setup often requires more professional direction. These experts have experience in managing the wealth of both private and public businesses, and they are prepared to guide you throughout your entire company life cycle. 

Cap table intelligence is your expert guide that climbs the mountain of your business journey with you, side by side. An Excel spreadsheet is more like a paper map: It can rip, be misplaced, or be destroyed by the elements. When comparing these two solutions … is it really a comparison?   

Tool #4: AI and modeling 

When using a spreadsheet to manage your equity, there are limitations on the modeling you can do—decision-making requires more than pie charts and manual data entry. A robust cap table solution will include advanced AI and modeling tools that provide real-time and nuanced information on trends and predictive analytics related to future goals like an IPO. 

If you want to see how your cap table is impacted by a merger and acquisition, an IPO, or additional funding rounds, this requires tracking a large number of complex calculations taking days, if not weeks, to properly set up in an Excel spreadsheet. This greatly limits the freedom you have to play out any “what if” scenario. Using cap table software is like having a guide that can see all the way to the peak of your business journey. 

Furthermore, there are AI tools to automatically upload your data, save data in the right file format, and even generate paperwork and agreements. AI will help you save time when uploading large amounts of new information like grants, new shareholders, and certificates. 

Reach the peak of your business journey with Astrella

Don’t rely on outdated tools like Excel spreadsheets to manage your equity and financial data. The tracking, visibility, expert guidance, and modeling you can receive with Astrella’s cap table intelligence will keep you from losing your grip. Invest in a tool that will grow with you and provide you all of the support you will need to reach your desired exit, whether that be a merger and acquisition, an IPO, or maintaining private ownership. Contact us to learn more about Astrella, today!