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 guidance and support in the buildout of a best-in-class, public-company-ready finance function toolkit. The rapidly growing B2C 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 interim PowerBI data model to automate the calculation of bookings and associated booking-derived metrics.
- Conducted thorough stress-testing of existing KPI definitions and calculations to bridge against external reporting investor materials (booked units, revenue, ARR, net-dollar-retention, LTV/CAC, attach rate, etc.).
- Created an inventory of KPI definitions, data sources, and associated governance/process controls to ensure continued accurate calculations.
- Utilized PowerBI model and accompanying KPI inventory / documentation as the blueprint for developing a steady state technology roadmap, data warehouse, and data governance policy recommendations.
Developed a finance function tool roadmap and built the tools & 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 income statement 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.
- Developed Salesforce CRM governance data model and Salesforce ‘close’ process to support the clean and accurate reporting of external non-GAAP financial metrics.
Established a public company-ready FP&A framework 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 helped the Company develop a robust finance function on its way to a successful IPO. Accordion designed and developed the tools needed for the automated calculation of SaaS KPIs and stress-tested their definitions and interpretation to prepare the CFO for public company analysts and investors. In addition, a robust demand forecasting model, operating model, and PowerBI tool were transitioned to the Company along with accompanying business processes and coaching to deliver a repeatable process. Our team also partnered with other office of the CFO functions (Accounting, SEC Reporting, IR, Operations) to drive a quarterly reporting cadence which integrated all aspects of public company reporting.