1. Staff up the finance team
Preparing for an IPO takes a lot of time; in fact, it will require full-time effort for several people within the finance team to undertake the process. While your company can typically control the timeline, there’s every incentive to make it expeditious, which means having a fully staffed finance team. You’ll also want a full team in place after the IPO is complete, as you’ll need to meet mandated quarterly reporting requirements that will consume a large portion of the team’s time each quarter.
2. Partner closely with your legal team
You’ll want to partner closely with your general counsel and/or internal corporate counsel to ensure that you have all bases covered. There are a variety of tasks on which you’ll need to cooperate or at least exchange information, so it’s best to set up a good collaboration as soon as possible. Clearly assign roles and responsibilities for both pre- and post-IPO workstreams.
3. Develop and stick to clear operating plans
Executing on an IPO and quarterly reporting as a public company requires lots of compliance and cross-functional coordination. Ensure that each team clearly understands expectations and timelines before you get the IPO process underway, and keep organized and transparent operating plans to ensure nothing gets missed. Consider adding a clear cadence of syncs and project plans outlining all deliverables and timing to ensure your team executes successfully.
4. Align with the executive team on tone and metrics
The finance team can help the IPO go more smoothly by aligning with the executive team on developing and maintaining the tone and metrics the business wants to focus on. How you incorporate and disclose key metrics is critical, and your public-facing officers need to be able to speak clearly and convincingly to investors about your business. On this score, framing is everything, so the finance team has a key role to play in helping executives find the right approach to presentation.
While there are many other things to focus on while planning an IPO, it’s vital to put the disposition of the finance team at the top of the to-do list. Strict regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 requirements for internal controls over financial reporting, make having a fully staffed and well-oiled team essential, particularly as the finance team will have significant new compliance obligations to execute quarterly after the IPO.
One important piece to figure out long before the path to IPO is sales tax. Get in touch with the Anrok team to pave the most successful future possible.