Let’s talk taxes.
Maybe that statement makes you want to scroll away. But founders might want to sit up and keep reading…because accounting can be a big headache even in the smallest of startup ventures.
As early-stage founders themselves, the team behind Atlanta-based TaxZen felt the pain of their startup clients when it came to organizing business finance and taxation information. Those types of conversations ultimately moved up the launch timeline for ArboHQ, their finance platform designed specifically for startups. The team initially planned to launch in 2023 but pivoted efforts to ensure the rollout this year.
The platform provides CFO services, bookkeeping, and help with tax compliance and R&D credit optimization needs. Putting such financial data in one place can help founders better understand the health of their business and accurately prepare for fundraising efforts down the road.
For busy founders (or those solo founders who don’t want to dust off their college accounting textbook), Arbo is designed to help track burn rate, revenue insights, expenses, operating expenses, account balances, and other key metrics in one place. “Instead of traditional communication methods like emails, we use quicker and inbuilt chat to facilitate direct access to experienced bookkeepers. To ensure top-notch service, we regularly look for the best bookkeepers, accountants, developers, customer success, and sales teams,” he told Hypepotamus.
Arbo is ultimately about giving founders a solid foundation for growth.
“I’ve always imagined the company as a tree, with accounting at the root and branches representing business solution breakthroughs for founders,” co-founder Saurav Bhandari told Hypepotamus when asked about the origin of the company and its name. “We found that arbo means “tree” in the world’s most extensively spoken international auxiliary language. It was a perfect synonym for my vision!”
No CFO? No Problem
Arbo is a natural expansion of Bhandari’s and Riya Adhikari’s work at TaxZen, a “do-it-for-me” tax filing platform helping startups navigate more complicated tax issues. It is designed to put an “expert startup finance team” in a founder’s pocket and be a tool for startups that have yet to hire their Chief Financial Officer. Building accurate financials and projections, of course, are essential for startups out on the fundraising and pitch circuit. But they are equally as important for founders who aren’t actively fundraising but who need a better way to keep their balance sheets up to date.
“Some of the most common problems are that new startups underestimate the value of having that financial rigor in place,” added Bhandari. Common accounting mistakes can be compounded as startups build out their balance sheets.
“As someone that has been in the sector for many years, these mistakes are big red flags for potential investors assessing the investment since that sends clear signals that your financials are not in order.”
Bhandari said Arbo is designed specifically to fill in the gaps for founders that they might experience through a common accounting service like Quickbooks.
“The software is built for founders who need to communicate with investors in a specific way. We’ve walked in the shoes of startup owners and understand firsthand the challenges of fundraising/VCs,” he told Hypepotamus.