Numbers can be a nightmare, so these Sydney entrepreneurs want to help startups get their financials right
Last month Startup Daily profiled Nomad Financial, a New York-based financial services firm dedicated to startups, and looked at whether Australia’s startup ecosystem was in need of a similar firm.
Australian entrepreneurs Sarah Riegelhuth and Finn Kelly decided there is, in fact, a market for such a firm and launched We Love Numbers, providing bookkeeping, a finance team – including a tax accountant and CFO – and entrepreneurial advice to startups.
“We’re looking for entrepreneurs as opposed to just business owners, people who have won awards or want to win awards, people who are entrepreneurially minded and want to grow. We’re not looking for someone who has had the same business for 10 years and is happy just being as it is,” Riegelhuth said.
Looking for scalable startups two to five years old earning revenue of $250,000 to $3 million a year, We Love Numbers is carefully selecting the startups it works with. Launching in January with ten clients, the firm will be opening slots to new startups each month as it hires more staff. However, the selection process has also been put in place to create a sense of community.
“It is a membership, because we want to bring the community together online and face to face at events,” Riegelhuth said.
We Love Numbers is recruiting CFOs who have previously worked in big accounting firms or as CFOs for different companies.
“Our current CFO, Rebecca Boles, has been with KPMG for almost a decade. We’re also looking for people who have been entrepreneurs who may have sold their businesses who want to work in an entrepreneurial advisory role or strategic planning,” Riegelhuth explained.
We Love Numbers is Riegelhuth and Kelly’s eighth business. Riegelhuth said the new venture is similar to their personal financial planning service Wealth Enhancers, with the pair taking what they learned about accounting there and adapting it to business.
Asked about how We Love Numbers – which aims to go global – differs from Nomad Financial, Riegelhuth said that the firm offers a third core piece which the New York firm doesn’t: entrepreneurial advice and coaching.
“This part of the service might only be used occasionally. For instance, if you’re about to turn your company into a franchise, you might want an entrepreneurial advisory for 12 months, or if you’re about to sell your business, you might want entrepreneurial advisory for 6 months while you’re exiting. We see this part of the service as something members will turn off and on based on their needs at the time,” Riegelhuth said.
“CFOs don’t give you marketing or HR advice; they might tell you when you can afford to put on a person, because they’re focused on financial strategy, but they won’t tell you who your next hire should be. At the same time, entrepreneurial advisors might tell you to hire a new person, but the business might not be in the financial position to do that. CFOs and entrepreneurial advisors need to work together.”
With We Love Numbers already boasting clients like KX Pilates, Riegelhuth and Kelly couldn’t have asked for a better start.