How to Elevate the Conversation with Clients

Todd Serulneck, Managing Director at Acuity, explains how he uses Jirav as a fractional CFO to elevate the conversation with his clients and why it’s better than Excel for planning.

How does Jirav help you as a CFO?

As a CFO, when I get clients, they're typically not planning or budgeting — they're just surviving, and they're just going from one problem to the next, to the next. What I'm trying to do is elevate the conversation with the client to become more prescriptive with their business — to talk about what this business needs to look like in five years, how are we going to get there, and how do we know that we're on the road and that we're staying on the road?

So a product like Jirav is emphasizing a process where we can do a monthly forecast and look at the business every single month in terms of being able to really understand the business, see it strategically, and then make adjustments — minor adjustments — every single month. And then every six months or every year, make a major change in the business — but it's not an accidental change. It's intentional, it's planned, it's measured, and it's understood.

The little changes that you make today are going to be very significant swings in your business three years from now, and it could be the difference between being a $30 million company and a $100 million company. It's because of something you decided on three years ago. And so Jirav is all about looking at what you are doing today and what that means three years from now.

How is planning with Jirav different than Microsoft Excel?

When I'm in Excel with a client, and I'm trying to be on this process where we're forecasting every single month, the client's budget is being spent on Excel every month. Whereas now, that budget is dedicated to conversation.

One of the best, most flattering comments I've gotten from a client is, "You sit down with me every month for two hours and all we talk about is my business."

For two hours, we look at it, we take it apart, and we put it back together again. And we do this every single month. And he's like, "My CPA doesn't do that. My financial planner doesn't do that." We do that.

And so from a trusted adviser perspective, Jirav is doing all the hard lifting in the background while making sure that I am the trusted adviser in that conversation.

Are you ready to elevate the conversation?

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About Jirav

Jirav delivers smarter financials and faster insights, helping you understand where your business has been and forecast where it’s going. Our all-in-one budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and dashboarding solution offers faster implementation and a more intuitive interface allowing finance leaders to build financial models in hours, not days, and generate financial reports in minutes, not hours.