For anyone who’s touched unit economics, LTV and CAC are familiar. My last article unpacked those here.

What about all the other costs in your business. How do you know your pricing & hiring decisions lead to profitability? In my last article there was a lot of references to costs included, and those not.

In my last article, I talked about the ratio of LTV to upfront costs (CAC and onboarding if that’s relevant for you). It’s a decent guide.

When I started working with SAAS companies 10 years ago, it wasn’t enough for me. …


Last week, the Australian govt published the 2020 budget. 12 months ago, being 5 months late, $200B+ in the red and with GDP contraction of approx 4% would have seemed fanciful.

By the time it came out last week, it’s almost as if no one noticed. One feature was the assumption we (consumers) would spend money pumped into the economy. Given my tendency for retail therapy, indulging that is now seems a civic duty.

The budget’s most distinguishing feature is the deficit of $200B. Deficits will be part of the landscape for some time. …


Anyone who invests in or works in mgmt of tech companies will be familiar with these. They’re also not metrics governed by any accounting rules (they’re a little too new for that). LTV is Life Time Value, CAC is Customer Acquisition Cost.

There’s many different ways to measure them, much of which depends on your business model.

One use of them is as an “ROI” metric on the deployment of capital. The ratio of LTV to CAC tells you whether you’re investing for growth or focused on reaching cashflow positive (or in deep trouble — read on).

In Australia, Xero…


Several people have asked me in the last week to start writing again. I’m aiming for once a week if I can.

If you own a business, you’re feeling the pain right now. This will be the 4th major economic disruption event in my career and this one is unique in many ways. In other ways, there are patterns which this is following.

I’ll talk about that more in future. For now, you need to put on your oxygen mask before you can help anyone else. Your business is a series of relationships with customers, staff and suppliers. They all…


As someone who accepts climate science, what do you do when confronted with someone who doesn’t “believe in climate change”?

The standard advice is to engage with them, find out what about it they’re uncomfortable with, and use facts and reason to gently change their minds.

As a member of the liberal, well educated, progressive elite, that’s an approach that makes me comfortable as it confirms my own biases & paradigms. If I’m honest with myself, it’s also an approach that allows me to showcase my intellect and education.

However, using both of those attributes, plus the power of observation…


Last week we learned James Packer stepped down from various business roles. The reason given was “mental health issues”. The news feed suggests he’s struggling with anxiety and depression. These are conditions in their own right. They’re also the two main symptoms of a whole raft of mental health conditions.

It turns out James Packer and my Dad had more than one thing in common.

Like James Packer, Dad was the 4th generation to inherit wealth. Dad’s family didn’t have Packer family level of wealth. However they were rich pastoralists in Victoria whose ancestors had found gold on their farm…


Equity Crowdfunding has recently become legal for retail investors in Australia. This a change that has been shown overseas to boost funding options for early stage ventures.

An event was hosted last week by #fintechsydney & #Equitise. There were lots of good questions I’ve touched on here.

First, what do the words mean?

What’s equity crowdfunding?

You may have heard of crowdfunding before. You tip in a small amount of money along with a whole bunch of other people to get something off the crowd. It may be your friend’s great movie idea. It may be some new product. …


Over the next few years, this will be a frequent topic in Australia this time of year. If our political discourse over the last few years (on any issue) is a guide, it’ll be a fractious conversation.

Two years ago Australia Day started to feel a bit strange, something was wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it (and I do my best to ignore the online frenzy on what I “should” think). Last July I got the opportunity to spend a week in a remote Aboriginal community in NT. …


“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness.

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Charles Dickens wrote this in 1850 in David Copperfield. The character’s name was Mr Micawber, who crossed the line into misery on more than one occasion.

While our unit of measure on money has changed, the truth of this statement hasn’t. It’s one of the most black and white “truths” in managing your finances. It’s true for both business and personal finances. …


Last week Women in Finance had their inaugural awards dinner in Sydney. I was a finalist in the CFO category, which was exciting enough in itself. A black tie gala dinner based on the Oscars made it a night to remember.

I didn’t win my category. Being nominated is enough.

If I had won, I needed to make an acceptance speech. Only one winner wrote one beforehand — coming up on stage with a pre written speech got a few comments from the MC. It was Wendy Harmer, so all very entertaining.

What would I have said, if I had…

Rachel White

CFO | Writer | Cat lover | Budding amateur chef

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