The largest, private equity firm headquartered in the Tampa Bay region, Weatherford Capital has grown its assets under management (AUM) to more than $1 billion, as of February 15, 2023. Weatherford was looking for a solution for better business planning and financial analysis. To better manage growth and business planning, Weatherford selected Jirav, and they were able to eliminate approximately 24 hours of spreadsheet updates per month, increase the visibility of financial performance among partners, and shift efforts from merely tracking past performance to projections and strategic business planning.
Weatherford Capital is a private equity firm founded in 2015 that backs rapidly-growing technology and technology-enabled companies with a Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Government (B2G) focus. Like many start-up companies, Weatherford had been managing financials with Excel spreadsheets.
However, as the organization grew, these spreadsheets became cumbersome. “We were at a point where we were tracking all our internal financials in a multi-page spreadsheet,” said Amir Salari, VP of Finance at Weatherford Capital. “It was hard to maintain, not to mention looking professional, which is important to a firm like ours.” The team came to the conclusion that this system for managing financials wasn’t scalable. “It took two to three days every month just to update,” Salari said. And because of the time-consuming nature of updating the spreadsheet, reviews of financials didn’t happen nearly as frequently as the team thought they should. That meant business planning wasn’t as agile as the company wanted it to be, to maintain its pace of growth.
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Before, budgets were only focused on the P&L. Now we can see the P&L, and also look at projections two to four years out. What’s more, we can see cash balances, assets and liabilities, and see things to model out. That helps with tracking the cash we have on hand to ensure responsible growth.
Weatherford’s search for a more scalable way to manage their financials led them to Jirav. No other financial planning and analysis solution offered the ease of use Weatherford wanted, with the robust set of features they needed. Plus, Jirav could integrate with their accounting software, which was a must-have.
The Jirav implementation went smoothly and quickly. “With regular meetings and ‘homework’ that helped familiarize us with the software, the onboarding process was simple. The Jirav team also handled the integration with our accounting software. All in all, it only took us about four to six weeks to get up and running with Jirav, and then we felt we’d mastered it after about four months,” said Salari.
“The partners were very happy when we got Jirav up and running,” Salari said. “Jirav was a very good find.”
Now, after two and a half years with Jirav, Weatherford Capital has made Jirav a centerpiece of its business planning and financials. “Today everything is housed in Jirav. We can easily import the data from our accounting software and just update after closing the books each quarter, and then push the updated projections out. It’s fast and easy.”
With Salari as the admin, there are 4 others on the executive team who have Jirav accounts. “They can view the data anytime to see how the business is doing. It’s helpful for the partners to see all the financial data they need in one place.”
Jirav dashboards provide up-to-the-minute data and charts on the business - visibility that Weatherford had lacked in the past. The team relies on the Jirav dashboard, along with robust reports, to see the status and make calculated business decisions. “The partners are pleased to have a dashboard they can access anytime. In the past, we sent reports sporadically. Things like cash balances or headcount, I wasn’t able to do in the past. Now, I can do all that very easily in Jirav. We can see a clear picture of how the company is doing, especially with the Jirav dashboard. It’s easily maintained every quarter.”
Jirav has improved Weatherford’s budget process. “Before, budgets were only focused on the P&L. Now we can see the P&L and also look at projections two to four years out. What’s more, we can see cash balances, assets and liabilities, and see things to model out. That helps with tracking the cash we have on hand to ensure responsible growth.”
Salari notes this kind of depth of visibility would have required a two-part process in Excel; now it’s all housed within Jirav. On top of that, all the actuals are being mapped to the right place. “I don’t need to look at the past the way I used to and guess what will happen. I’m basing my new assumptions on the Jirav drivers and not past performance.”
Salari added, “Since starting with Jirav, I would estimate our assets under management have tripled. Jirav has helped us scale through that growth. Now I have more time to focus on strategy around our growth, rather than spending time piecing together what happened in the past.”
Another substantial benefit of Jirav has been the ability to determine the effects of headcount on growth. “Jirav has changed how and when we hire,” Salari said. “We can create a model to see how additional employees might impact our growth and determine how best to time the hires. In the past, it would have been much more difficult. We’re able to make better hiring decisions with Jirav, because we are confident that we understand the implications of the hiring process.”
And once a person is hired, the business model is easy to update. “In the past, if we hired a person in June, the business model would remain more or less static – even if I knew things would change. That’s because it would take time to update my model – time that I could use elsewhere. Now I can feel confident, because I am looking at the impact within the model. That’s not just for hiring. You are constantly evolving your assumptions and projections and have a better idea of the company today versus the budget you did in November.”
Salari concluded with advice to other organizations like Weatherford. “Look into what would work for your organization. Know that a solution like Jirav frees up a lot of time for you to get more strategic about your company - not a focus on the past, but a focus on the future.”