Building An IPO-Ready Finance Function & Developing Critical FP&A Tools
In preparation for an IPO via a SPAC, a 4-year-old SaaS business required leadership and execution in the buildout of a best-in-class, public-company-ready, finance function toolkit. The rapidly growing software and integrated hardware client engaged Accordion to design their finance function, develop financial and operational models, develop cross-functional business processes, and leverage/implement technology to enhance automation and the level of data governance.
Finance Function Automation
FP&A Best Practices Implementation
Stress-tested KPI definitions and automated SaaS KPIs calculations:
- Developed an interim data model to satisfy new external reporting requirements, automating the calculation of non-GAAP metrics & KPIs.
- Conducted thorough stress-testing and modeling of existing KPI definitions and calculations against industry standards and externally reported investor materials (ARR, NDR, LTV/CAC, attach rate, etc.).
- Inventoried & established KPI data sources and associated governance/process controls to ensure continued accurate calculations.
- Leveraged the interim data model and accompanying KPI & process documentation as the blueprint for developing a steady state technology roadmap, data warehouse, and data governance policy recommendations.
Developed a finance function tool roadmap, then built the tools and processes to deliver accurate forecasting, cross-functional buy-in, and establish confidence in providing forward looking guidance:
- Created a detailed demand forecast model to support the rollout of a company-wide S&OP program, simultaneously informing the supply chain procurement process and serving as the basis for FP&A financial forecasting down to gross margin, by product and channel.
- Led the complete redesign and rebuild of the Company’s 3-statement operating model to support forecasting, long-range planning, scenario calculations, and variance analysis.
Established a public company-ready FP&A calendar and cadence, balancing immediate, short-term SPAC deal milestones with steady-state finance function design:
- Formalized integrated operational (S&OP) and financial (FP&A) forecasting processes.
- Created Risks & Opportunities framework.
- Conducted dry-runs of monthly/quarterly forecast processes.
- Developed external models to support analyst communication, as well as ad-hoc board reporting & analyses.
- Instituted a company-wide change management program to educate cross-functional business partners and operationalize the public company KPIs and targets.
- Quarterbacked the creation of an integrated Finance, IR, Operations, and Reporting calendar.
In 14 weeks, Accordion accelerated the Company’s development of a robust finance function on its way to a successful IPO. Our team designed and developed the tools needed for the automated calculation of SaaS KPIs, stress-tested their behaviors, and analyzed them against industry standards to prepare the CFO for public company analysts and investors. In addition, a robust demand forecasting model, operating model, and data model were transitioned to the Company along with accompanying business processes and coaching to deliver a repeatable process. Accordion partnered with other office-of-the-CFO functions (Accounting, IR, Operations, SEC Reporting) to drive a quarterly reporting cadence, integrating all aspects of public company reporting.