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Case Studies

Whatifi and Railz: What if you knew the financial future of your company in under 30 seconds?

November 12, 2021
whatifi railz financial forecasting

Whatifi and Railz: What if you knew the financial future of your company in under 30 seconds?

Whatifi is a financial scenario planning platform. Whatifi helps finance professionals to visually plot a company's various "what if" financial futures - all in real-time. Using a mind-mapping-like interface, they enable lightning-fast decision-making and financial modeling. whatifi's customers include Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Fractional CFOs, and individual business owners.

Fractional or full-time CFOs have a huge responsibility for the companies they do financial planning and forecasting for. They need to track cash flow and financial planning as well as analyzing the company's financial strengths and weaknesses and proposing corrective actions - all while keeping the company informed and understanding of the metrics.

Unsurprisingly, 33% of finance leaders expect the amount of data their teams manage to increase by 50% over the next five years. More than 90% of spreadsheets contain serious errors. The need for accurate and standardized data for reporting and predictions is key for the businesses relying on their CFOs and for the CFOs creating the reporting.

For whatifi, Raliz is all about reducing friction for the CFOs and ensuring that the most accurate and timely financial data and company information is available to them whenever they want to build or test a “what if” scenario. To help finance professionals visualize a company’s various financial futures and create decision-making clarity as they navigate all of those potential financial outcomes.

visual financial planner
How the whatifi financial scenario planner uses visualization - simplifying a complex task

Whatifi is enabling Chief Financial Officers to make better predictions for the companies they serve with Railz

Whatifi relies on Railz to automate and standardize the ongoing ingestion of a company's financial data through their normalization engine to build a baseline for each "what if" scenario. Railz ensures that the beginning of every forecast is grounded in the most accurate and current financial data possible.


Whatifi boldly states that they can model multiple "what ifs” financial scenarios in seconds from a built model. If a client comes along and asks, “what if we grow 10% a month or 8%?” or “what if we hire a developer at $40 per hour or $50 per hour?” whatifi can build those alternate scenarios in under 30 seconds.

financial modeling scenario
Whatifi pulling in the data you need from your businesses to make projections

“A decision is only as good as the data that makes up the foundation of a company. Our CFOs and Fractional CFOs want to quickly create a baseline for a company. We use Raliz to standardize and automate the ongoing ingestion of a company’s financial data.” - Jon Cowley, Founder, whatifi

Whatifi’s scenarios are dynamic and they update daily so CFOs and their companies have access to the most accurate and timely information. Railz helps to make sure that the beginning of every “what if” scenario is grounded in the most accurate and current financial data possible. By enabling CFOs to connect to the major accounting and financial service providers that their companies use, CFOs can pull the data directly from the sources rather than manually entering information.

“Our partnership with Raliz will save CFOs hours of time and energy when building [these] models.” - Jon Cowley, Founder, whatifi

Whatifi’s end customers are the CFOs and Fractional CFOs that build and model cash flow scenarios for their clients. Whatifi’s partnership with Raliz will save CFOs hours of time and energy when building cash flow forecasting and other models for their companies. The overall goal for whatifi is to change the conversation from “let me get back to you” to “hold on, let’s find out now.”

Why whatifi built their what-if financial scenario machine using Railz’s financial data from accounting service providers

As a startup that was building, and would eventually be maintaining, integrations for all of the various accounting and financial service providers that businesses rely on and CFOs need for data was daunting.

As a startup, every dollar and developer day matters. Startup founders spend 40% of their time on tasks that do not generate income - it’s important to move fast and be able to save time on tasks where possible. For whatifi, being able to leapfrog the integration with industry standard accounting service providers, such as QuickBooks and Xero, allowed the whatifi team to focus on other core technology for their decision-making platform. For the actual integration part with Railz, whatifi was up and running in 2 days.

Jon Cowley, the founder of whatifi, what-if journey began with the birth of his twin boys, Liam and Henry. Starting a family in his early 40s introduced a whole host of “what ifs”: Career. Location. Education. Real Estate. Savings.

The spreadsheets that managed all the above what-ifs quickly became unruly. There were too many deeply interconnected variables and too many sliding dates and circumstances.

By day, Jon is a 25 year veteran of the feature film and TV VFX industry. He has worked on some of the coolest Hollywood movies. This highly technical and creative industry has evolved powerful workflows and software to handle the sheer volume and complexity of time and variables. These are tools designed for creatives to easily manage highly technical, interconnected decision making.

The origins of whatifi started in personal finance, but there was a strong market need serving CFOs and the businesses they work for. In business, the constant juggle of revenue, payroll, monthly expenses and customer acquisition makes for a more reliable model.

The company launched and whatifi joined Fintech Cadence, Canada’s fintech hub that is a non-profit who provides multiple programs and events for the fintech community from coast to coast. Being part of Fintech Cadence enabled whatifi to learn about Railz and the Accounting Data-as-a-Service™ API. Railz offers startups special programs through Fintech Cadence. They were also a top 5 finalist in National Bank's 2019 Fintech Innovation competition as well as a top 5 finalist in Desjardin's 2020 edition of the Co-operathon Fintech Challenge. Whatifi is taking fintech innovation by storm and will only continue to scale!

The future for whatifi: Offering financial forecasting to whatifi’s CFOs

Whatifi looks forward to offering further predictions and are super excited about Railz’s financial forecasting features. Being able to quickly lay down a base cash flow forecast based on historicals is a huge bonus for the CFOs and the companies they serve. Whatifi can use Railz’s financial forecasting to compare against all of their “what if'' scenarios - further assuring the accuracy of the data presented.

Whatifi is changing how businesses assess their financial future and Railz’s normalized, real-time data helps them achieve this

Managing and modeling financial forecasting for any company is a challenge. Layers of documents, various tools and systems to manage all the accounting and financials, it’s not an easy task to maintain accurate data. Whatifi was able to build their what-if scenario platform off of Railz’s API. Access to accurate, real-time, and normalized financial and accounting data on businesses empowers both the businesses and their Chief Financial Officers to better understand their financial future.

Director of Marketing

Samantha Lloyd is the Director of Marketing at Railz. We're building the largest financial data network to support the future of finance. She has a decade of experience building organic growth, brand, and digital marketing for startups and technology companies. In her free time, you can find Sam SCUBA diving, snorkelling, paddle boarding, and jet skiing.