Business owners tend to have an exaggerated idea of what their companies are worth, says Roger Jacobi.
“Their estimates are formed on the basis of financial statements, profit margins, and a lot of emotion — but without the market context and deeper analytical understanding, it’s tough to know for real.”
At least that’s the goal for Jacobi and his partner Dan O’Connell who launched this winter. Their flagship software utilizes complex algorithms, incorporating trends and industry data, to turn a company’s financials into actionable information that can cut out redundancies and create clarity.
For a flat fee of $500, businesses can plug their financials into Fiscal Checkup and receive a set of six different reports: an income statement, a balance sheet, industry comparables, a business valuation, a lender’s report and an executive summary. While automatically generated, these reports are highly customized with a narrative that uniquely reflects the company receiving them, pulling from a variety of databases.
Most importantly, they’re objective — at least moreso than the ownership.
“We give it to them straight,” says Jacobi, “because we’re not there to make them look good or look bad, we’re there to give them the right facts.”
The target market for Fiscal Checkup is businesses that aren’t large enough to have a full-fledged financial management staff, but are in a clear growth phase and seeking opportunities for improvement. Jacobi says their product is ideally suited for CFO’s, CPA’s and controllers because they can bring recommendations from the reports into meetings and look like “rock stars”.
To help with that, Jacobi and the founder O’Connell – who runs a meager operation in Lake Elmo with two other employees – are working through accountants and consultants, allowing them to tap into branching networks potential clientele.
The product went live on a limited basis last June before officially launching at the start of 2016, and is approaching 100 sales. If they can successfully get it in front of enough owners, Jacobi feels Fiscal Checkup is an easy sell.
“Our goal as a company is to really come alongside the business owner who wants a financial road map and wants to know how to thrive. For 500 bucks we can give them more information than they’ve ever dreamed of.”