Smarkets is a betting exchange that offers a secure and transparent platform for trading on sporting, political and other events. The company was founded in 2008 by a team of finance and software engineering professionals and is backed by a consortium of private investors.
The platform has handled over £15 billion worth of bets since launching in 2010, making Smarkets one of the most profitable companies per employee in Europe. In 2017, Smarkets was ranked in the top five of both the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and Deloitte Fast 50.
Smarkets has 5 business entities, each with its own Xero account. This required manually exporting CSVs from Xero into Google Sheets each month, which was time-consuming and error-prone.
Once actuals were pulled in, calculating the differences between the forecast, the annual budget, and the actuals was manual and time-consuming. There was no way to look back at historical versions after-the-fact.
Sharing the whole spreadsheet file with stakeholders wasn't feasible. But pasting charts and tables into slide decks was static — any questions had to go through the finance team.
Making changes to the Sheets model was time-consuming and error-prone. Formula errors would sometimes be discovered, leading to inaccurate numbers.
Causal connects directly to all 5 of Smarkets' entities in Xero, and pulls new data automatically at the end of each month. Actuals get filled in and rolling forecasts update automatically.
Causal saves a full history of model versions, and the built-in forecast-vs-actuals functionality lets Smarkets generate custom reports comparing model versions to actuals, in just a few clicks.
Causal's interactive dashboards are used in real-time during meetings to discuss different scenarios and make decisions. External investors engage much more with the Causal model than previous decks.
Causal's structure and plain English formulas let Zak, Head of Finance, spot calculation mistakes easily. And updating the model's structure is much easier.
"I’ve moved our entire financial model into Causal. I no longer spend time on manual plumbing, and can focus on playing a strategic role in the company."
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