Last Updated: January 3, 2022

Downfalls of Excel Based Cap Tables

What is a Cap Table?

Before the days of the world wide web and the cloud, business files were kept in a stale filing cabinet. These cabinets were often organized but nothing like the capabilities we now have with technology where everything is connected.

A cap table is a list or table of a companies equity and capitalization information. An example is, showing who owns how much of the company. Cap tabes can also show things like stock options and owner’s amounts.

Inefficiencies with Excel Based Cap Tables:

Many companies run into problems brought on by poor cap table management. This can be expensive and happen for numerous reasons. One of the largest issues companies have with cap table management is using excel based cap tables.


Companies may think they are saving money by not paying for cap table software or management tools. In reality, this can cost them much more than if they were to invest in the proper tools. When there is an issue on the cap table it can require many hours of labor from your legal team to resolve. Sometimes this means issuing agreements or grants to fix the cap table to abide by the IRS and SEC rules.

Single Source of Truth:

A single source of truth means there is no discrepancy or different versions of the document. Think of this as having a master copy of a document that multiple people could see and evaluate changes to. When using excel based cap tables, there is no single source of truth. This is because anyone can change their version of the document they have access to without anyone else being aware or having those changes shared to their version.

Not having a single source of truth in your cap table can be confusing when trying to complete financial tasks down the road. For example, if you started a company with 4 others. When it got time to sell the company, nobody could agree on how much of the company they owned because their files all said different things.


Excel based cap tables can be bad for your business leading to expensive legal bills. Equa offers a secure vault to store and manage your cap table while giving all respective parties access to the “master files.” Check out to find out more.