How we stopped the numbers going over our clients’ heads

February 8, 2024

We interviewed Imran Mustafa, Head of Growth at Maestro Business Development about his experience with Fathom. In this case study, we hear: 

  • How Imran and his team transformed that glazed-over look in clients’ eyes  
  • How Fathom has helped to take away client anxiety, and showcase the value of the advisor role 
  • How Fathom helps to close deals and win more business. 

Number of employees: 5
Industry: Business Coaching
HQ: Australia


I can't do my job without Fathom anymore. Let's just put it this way. I can't go back to Excel. The value that we provide to our clients because of Fathom has gone up significantly,” says Imran. 

"Before Fathom, clients didn't understand what I was saying about their finances, they would just nod and look blank. Now they understand and engage in more conversation. Fathom is like a Google Translator for us, it translates financial numbers into something a business owner can understand.” 

The company  

Maestro Business Development is a small to medium-sized business coach consultancy, based in Melbourne Australia.  

For over five years, they’ve been helping companies understand and improve their relationship with numbers. The business has been growing rapidly and primarily works with companies with a turnover of under $20 million.  

Business owners will approach Maestro Business Development for one of two reasons:  

  1. They're looking to improve their sales, as they’ve hit a ceiling and can't seem to break that barrier.  
  2. Sales are great, but they can't seem to find the cash in their bank.

The challenge  

Clients would ask us ‘what if’ questions: let's say if we were to do this, what would happen? Or what about this? I would build models in massive Excel spreadsheets, all interconnected with each other, to figure out the answers. It’s not easy to do this in Excel, it takes hours and is prone to errors! 

When I would present these spreadsheets, clients would get that glazed-over look in their eyes. They didn't understand what was going on, they would nod, but you could clearly see it was going over their heads, we’d lose them after five minutes. 

We found numbers presented like this don't register with clients. They're amazing at running their businesses, but it takes work to interpret the interplay of the numbers for margin, net profit, cash flow etc. Unless you explain to them in a simple and visual way, they don’t get it and don’t engage in conversation.  

I realised we needed something where we could easily explain their numbers visually. What I call an ‘Accountanese’ to English translator, because those streams of numbers in a spreadsheet can be a confusing language to business owners.  

The solution   

We loved that Fathom connects directly to Xero, automatically pulling the data through. We used the Forecasting feature in Fathom, it asked us a few simple questions, and in an instant, we saw our client's data projected into the future.  

We then created Microforecasts to answer our client’s ‘what-if’ questions. We’d just move the slider on screen, depending on the question, and it instantly changes the numbers, our clients can then visually see the impact of that decision. 


We work with businesses to make financial decisions based on forecasted numbers. Fathom is a great tool because it encapsulates all possible options, you can just tweak it a little bit and it shows the various options possible, in a clear visual way.  

The results 

1. Clients understand and engage in more conversation 

It's an eye-opener for clients when they first use Fathom, the ability to show the numbers in easy graphical form. When they used to see a lot of numbers in a spreadsheet, they couldn’t make sense of it and were intimidated. But now showing them in Fathom: the graphs, charts and the relationship of different inputs, they're like, ‘oh, that makes sense’. 

It used to be one-way traffic when it came to client conversations. I would be doing all the talking and they would be just nodding. Now it's the other way around! They're asking questions, the fact that they're engaging and asking questions tells me their understanding is perfect. 

2. It takes away client anxiety and they see us as being more valuable  

Fathom is a game changer for my clients because a lot of them have this anxiety. ‘Oh, interest rates are going up. I don't know if I can afford this. Should I hire another employee, what's going to happen?’ Using Fathom just takes the anxiety away.  

As a result, our clients’ confidence in our projections has increased significantly and they are making those business decisions with clarity and confidence based on what they see in Fathom. Moving from Excel to Fathom we’ve seen the difference; the perceived value of our services has really increased. 

3. We win more new business now  

Fathom’s clear and instant visuals really help with our new business pitches too.  

“I used Fathom to close a client pitch this week because I took that anxiety away during our discussion. They could visually see the answers and said, ‘this is what we need.’” 

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Are you sure you still want to use spreadsheets?  

There’s a better way. Simplify complex data for clients, and take them through the insights that matter. Try Fathom for free. 

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