Every Superhero needs a Sidekick: Interview with Fathom

One of our "Every Superhero needs a Sidekick" series where we take a look at Fathom that sits towards the end of our app-stack and see how it can help us interpret our numbers, plan for the future and plan a multi-verse of what-if's.

Date
7 November 2021
Author
Steven Case Steven Case
Reading time
Around 3 min

If you've followed our previous articles so far, you'll see that we've really focused on getting quality data into our accounting system in a consistently reliable and controlled way. Now that it's in there - what next?

Next is to get some reporting out of the system based on that data. Now, Xero has a library of built-in reports - but in most circumstances, they're just a sheet of numbers. Sheets of numbers can be overwhelming and don't really paint a picture of what's really going on. This is where Fathom really shines.

Fathom is a reporting tool that can plug into your accounting data and produce beautifully laid out graphs and images to help you zone-in on your numbers. It separates it's main application window into 3 main sections; analysis, reporting and forecasting.

Analysis

In the analysis section, with our live data plugged in, Fathom can give us some instant access reports into our data. We can very quickly compare actuals to targets and KPIs to make sure we're on track in real-time. Fathom makes it very easy to see where KPIs are hit or missed, see if you've hit break-even yet, see cash flow and a lot more. In addition to this, Fathom has a few tools to help you see and plan a few what-if scenarios - such as, what if I wanted to increase net profit from 6% to 10%... Fathom shows you that you can achieve this by increasing client volumes, pricing, decreasing costs or even a mix of them all. This helps you map out a plan to achieve your goal.

Reporting

One of our most valued services is our management accounts. Fathom has a library of pre-built and customisable reports that can be white-labelled for your business and set to both PDF or to on-screen reporting. They look super-slick and impress most audiences looking at them. These reports look professionally prepared and would give investors confidence that the numbers are being taken seriously due to the analysis each page offers. If you're interested in seeing an example pack, please get in contact and i'd be happy to share an example.

Forecasting

This is a really exciting area to get into as it lets us see the future. Either using smart prediction based on your data or even if built from scratch, Fathom builds a 3-way forecast for you using all the assumptions that you plot in. Once this is in place it can be used with the reporting module mentioned above and you can add new scenarios and plans to see how they might impact the future as a result. Fathom allows us to add in micro-forecasts for specific projects or scenarios where different things or combinations happen.

Fathom is an extremely powerful tool and even if used with its out-of-the-box templates, can be incredibly useful. Where it comes in really usefully is where we can help analyse the results and add in a human commentary to help explain what's being shown. We know the business and what your targets are so can relate each picture back to your main aims.

If you'd like to know more about Fathom or are interested in improving your reporting, we'd love to be able to help. Get in touch below.

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