All episodes

02 LogicGate | With Kevin Jacobson, CFO/COO

Kevin Jacobson is leading LogicGate with a dual role as CFO & COO, which allows him to help guide all facets of the company’s rapid annual growth.

Notes

Episode Description

What exactly is behind the skyward trajectory of a fast-growing software company? Turns out that it’s more than just growth.

In this episode of The CFO Playbook, host Rob Norman sits down with Kevin Jacobson, CFO and COO of LogicGate, which develops cloud software solutions for automating governance, risk, and compliance processes. 

As the first business operations employee hired in the company’s early years, Kevin keeps his eyes not only on LogicGate’s rapid annual growth but also on efficiency and — perhaps most importantly — customer retention.

In October 2020, Kevin joined the growing ranks of executives worldwide who combine the roles of CFO and COO. He discusses how his dual role invites him to bring a finance lens to customer service operations, and he shares his insight into slicing the data to learn the most from a company’s financial indicators.

Episode Summary

What exactly is behind the skyward trajectory of a fast-growing software company? Turns out that it’s more than just growth.

Kevin Jacobson is CFO of LogicGate, which develops cloud software solutions for automating governance, risk, and compliance processes. As the first business operations employee hired in the company’s early years, Kevin keeps his eyes not only on LogicGate’s annual growth rate of more than 100%, but also on efficiency and — perhaps most importantly — customer retention.

What’s more is Kevin’s focus beyond the financial statements, as he looks for ways his skills in finance can positively impact the numbers he reports. 

In October 2020, Kevin joined the growing ranks of executives worldwide who combine the roles of CFO and COO, taking on the management of LogicGate’s customer-serving departments. 

In this episode of The CFO Playbook, he sits down with host Rob Norman to talk about bringing a finance lens to customer service operations — something LogicGate views as a revenue opportunity rather than a cost centre. “If you're not applying the resources to make sure that the investment in customers is sound and that they're being taken care of,” says Kevin, “then you're missing the point.”

Kevin shares his insight into slicing the data to learn the most from your company’s financial indicators and how to set up the most helpful metrics from the very beginning. 

He also reflects on the questions LogicGate is considering as they look to enter new financial markets and offers advice and resource suggestions to up-and-coming CFOs.


Guest Analysis

Name: Kevin Jacobson

What he does: As the CFO and COO of LogicGate, which provides cloud software solutions for automating complex risk management processes, Kevin looks beyond the financial statements to find ways he and his teams can impact the growth and future of the business. In addition to business operations, Kevin manages LogicGate’s Global Customer Organisation, which turns customer success into market-leading customer retention.

Key Quote: “The lens that I've always tried to bring to the job is — What can I do to actually impact the results on the financial statements that we're going to report?      

Where to find Kevin: LinkedIn

From Kevin’s Playbook Insights

Key takeaways from this CFO’s playbook

The role of the modern CFO goes beyond understanding and reporting the financial metrics.

Kevin is always looking for the ways he and his teams can make a real impact on the figures he reports. He has found that bringing his financial skillet to all kinds of questions — from product development to customer feedback — has the potential to benefit operations in every department.

Rethink the traditional ways of investing internal resources.

SaaS products offer an opportunity to recalibrate the understanding of customer service operations. Whereas many traditional product companies see it as an expense to be minimized, LogicGate sees positive customer experiences as the gateway to retention and growth.

The answers lie beyond the big numbers.

Kevin’s team keeps a close eye on the key metrics of growth, efficiency and retention, but it’s what lies beneath those figures that will offer insights on where to adjust or opportunities to expand. With each metric, Kevin recommends slicing the data by client business sector, client company size, product segment and financial investment to better understand what’s happening.

Tech and Tools

Episode Highlights

Your customer service is a revenue centre

“A traditional view of customer support, customer service and customer success is they're thought about as a cost centre. I think that is fundamentally flawed thinking, especially in the world of software-as-a-service where you're selling a subscription. … The way we're thinking about it at LogicGate is that the Global Customer Organization is in many ways a revenue centre. If we're intelligent about how much we're investing in that over time, it's going to result in a better customer experience and retaining their business with LogicGate.” 

Dissecting growth beyond the numbers

“LogicGate is growing in excess of 100% year over year. That's interesting, but then you want to get down below the covers and say — Where's that growth coming from? To what degree is it coming from current customers? To what degree is it expansion and increasing their spend? To what degree is it coming from new customers? Within new customers, what segments are these  — small or medium-sized businesses? So we look at growth and make sure that we feel like the growth is in line with what we're looking to achieve. And then we try to get insights about where that growth is coming from or where the hotspots of traction are.”

Keeping growth in balance

“We're constantly looking at growth, retention, and efficiency. If you're growing, those numbers have to be somewhat symmetrical. So if you're growing fast, but not retaining your customers, that's a problem. If you're growing fast, but doing it very inefficiently, that's a problem. If you're retaining customers, but not growing fast enough, that can be a problem too.”

The CFO’s role should impact results

“The mindset that I've always tried to bring is that reporting the financials, understanding the financial metrics, making sure that we're managing spend… That's table stakes. You have to do it as efficiently as you can, and then from there, you should be asking yourself — How can I use my skills to impact the results?

Set up for simplicity

“Sit down and say — What are the numerators I'm going to want to know? What are the denominators? In the case of customer acquisition costs, you want to know how many customers you got from a channel. That is the denominator. The numerator is — What did you spend? Spend a little bit thinking about that so that you can set up your accounting system that way. If you do that, you're just paying yourself off because every month and every quarter, it’s going to be much simpler for you to get these insights.”

Be yourself, even at the top

“There's this tendency when you get a new job or promotion or you're in a [more] senior role than you've ever been in before to try to act a certain way or be something that you're not. I think that's just normal pressure. You want to live up to what you feel the expectations are. But one of the things that has served me well is to just continue to approach these things with a level of humility. You don't need to know everything. It's better to say you don't know the answer, but you'll go figure it out then to give the wrong answer.”

Top quotes:

“Long story short, we believe that retention and growth are on the same level.”

“If you're not applying the resources to make sure that the investment in customers is sound and that they're being taken care of, then you're missing the point.”

“The lens that I've always tried to bring to the job is — What can I do to actually impact the results on the financial statements that we're going to report? 

“You don't need to know everything. It's better to say you don't know the answer, but you'll go figure it out then to give the wrong answer.”

Soldo® 2021 All rights reserved

The financial services provided to customers resident in or with registered office in a EEA country are provided by Soldo Financial Services Ireland DAC, a company incorporated in Ireland with company number 610705 and registered office at 33 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland, authorised as an Electronic Money Institution by the Central Bank of Ireland (firm registration number C179925). Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. The card is issued by Soldo Financial Services Ireland DAC pursuant to a licence issued by Mastercard International Inc.. Soldo Financial Services Ireland DAC complies with all applicable data protection and privacy legislation in force from time to time in Ireland including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU 2016/679) and the Data Protection Acts 1988 - 2018. All communications related to financial services provided by Soldo Financial Services Ireland DAC shall be sent to Soldo Financial Services Ireland DAC, 33 Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, Ireland. The financial services provided to customers resident in or with registered office in the UK are provided by Soldo Financial Services Ltd., a company incorporated in the UK with company number 09495650, whose registered



office is 119 Marylebone Road, London, NW15PU United Kingdom, authorised as an Electronic Money Institution by the Financial Conduct Authority (firm registration number 900459). Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. The card is issued by Soldo Financial Services Ltd pursuant to a licence issued by Mastercard International Inc.. Soldo Financial Services Ltd. (data protection number: ZA147304) complies with all applicable data protection and privacy legislation in force from time to time in the UK and the EU including the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) and the Data Protection Act 2018. All communications related to financial services provided by Soldo Financial Services Ltd shall be sent to Soldo Financial Services Ltd., 119 Marylebone Road, London, NW15PU United Kingdom. All communications related to the website, the software and related services shall be sent to Soldo Ltd., 119 Marylebone Road, London, NW15PU. Soldo Ltd. (data protection number: ZA 092035) complies with all applicable data protection and privacy legislation in force from time to time in the UK and the EU including the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) and the Data Protection Act 2018.