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What questions should I ask a reference for someone that will be helping with my financial model?

I plan on having someone help me put together my financial model, as this is not my area of speciality. I asked for a reference and have a call set up with the person soon. What questions should I be asking? Also, should I be concerned that the person that will be helping with the financial model has a background that is more corporate? He has only worked with one other startup on a financial model but feels like he can definitely put together mine.

Thanks!

5 Replies

Hai Habot
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Hai Habot Entrepreneur • Advisor
Growth | Business | Marketing
Prior experience in your specific vertical (and ideally similar area of focus and business model) is important and it can help [a]make sure you are taking all of the right elements into consideration and [b] make sure that your basic assumptions (around conversions, costs, revenue, LTV, etc.) are as close to reality as possible. In my experience these are the most critical things in a model where you don't have enough experience or data - whether you want to use it internally or present it to potential investors.
Mark Wald
1
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Mark Wald Advisor
Managing Director at Supporting Strategies - Santa Monica
As a seasoned financial modeler myself, I'll say that it is important for someone in my position who's lacking relevant industry experience to partner up with another professional modeler or industry executive/advisor who does have enough relevant experience and insights to shape your financial model with the right logical structure and reasonable, valid assumptions.

A financial model is FIRST a tool for testing your business model assumptions and running scenario planning exercises to validate the viability of your business model under different potential circumstances. If you're going to use it as a tool to raise capital, it is also means for communicating to potential investors that you thoroughly understand the individual activities that you plan to carry out in operating your business, the interdependence of those activities, and the expected financial results, cash needs, etc.

In addition to checking with your friend's reference(s), I'd recommend that you ask them to walk you through one or more sample models they put together in the past so you get a clear understanding of what their work product will look like, the level of detail they'll go to in developing your model, etc.

Message me on LinkedIn if you'd like to discuss further!
Andrea H
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Andrea H Entrepreneur
Special Projects Director
Do you have any specific questions I should ask the reference? Thanks
Kv Subramanian
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0
Kv Subramanian Entrepreneur
Independent management consultant , advisor management institutions and research support to MBA students
It is not clear what is this financial model is for? If it is to examine the feasibility / viability of your investment in a venture, I believe a mere finance manager who has been handling the finance function in a corporate may not be the right person. If you are interested I can send you an excel model developed to study the feasibility of investment in a multi location training centres for a client in Singapore. I can vouch for the model since it was a paid consultancy and the client has paid the entire amount after he found the model to be good. This model is completely parameter driven, has all assumption stated upfront and by varying value of these assumptions you can immediately see how the viability values change. Regards subramanian +919845274369 [removed to protect privacy]
Kv Subramanian
0
0
Kv Subramanian Entrepreneur
Independent management consultant , advisor management institutions and research support to MBA students
If you are interested I am open to discuss your needs. For your info I am attaching my CV to give you an idea of my background and suitability for the job. Also please visit my site https://www.primeconsultinggroup.in Regards
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