Startups in Spain tend to trivialize the importance of the financial management of its businesses, and often look down on it, considering it a “simple number producing” activity related to “gestorías” (agencies that undertake administrative work).

But companies who care for having a first class finance management from the beginning have some clear strategic advantages:

  • Efficiency: Releases time from other key positions of a startup — founders, CEO’s, CTO’s, CPO’s, Sales Directors — who otherwise have to do financial management in a partial, reactive and non professional way.
  • Data analysis: Beyond the “simple number producing” label, the company becomes a data-driven organization, managed by information and data. Data rigorously analyzed, linked and integrated that keep the board well informed, adding value and guiding the strategic decisions.
  • Organization processes: Process is everything! With a sound base of financial and non-financial metrics, the company can adopt a rigorous and standardized weekly and monthly operational cadence. The Board and the Board of Directors ensure that the strategy is implemented and that any significant variation is discussed, debated and, if necessary, corrected.
  • Visibility: To third parties — investors, strategic partners and financial partners — a level of confidence is transmitted when the company has a strong and professional financial management.

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

I do not have CFO, so what?
Many companies make the mistake of assimilating a professional financial management to large and complex enterprises. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a clear advantage to professionalizing the role from day one .

Now or later?
Now! The main reason for delaying the decision of professionalizing the financial tasks of a company is usually the cost, since it is not a function of the front office. Companies that pay attention to financial management from day one are able to scale their operations better. Instead, those companies that wait to succeed, often discover that they professionalized their financial department too late.

Common mistakes:

  1. “We are facing a shaky and not cohesive organization with respect to key metrics”.
  2. “We must walk the path of one year in only one month”.
  3. “There were mistakes in the initial approach of the company that are now expensive, slow and delicate to fix”.
  4. “In an emergency such as a financing round or an internationalization process, the finance area may not respond adequately and quickly enough”.

Having a “gestoría” is not enough?
No. The accounting data is not directly interpretable by the business and, in any case, someone should do the job of adding non-financial metrics, interpret them, report them and discuss them appropriately with the board. Raw data do not add value.

What is the difference between the financial management in a small company and the one we might have later, once we succeed?
Essentially the cost and the flexibility, not the quality. On each growth-phase of a company, complexity and business success requires a CFO model adapted to it. But maintaining the common elements that we discussed earlier in this post. It is a mistake to wait for the company to succeed to change from an external financial agency to an internal CFO, who is capable of dealing with a millionair financing round or sell the business. The change is too abrupt, and the results do not occur as quickly as the company would like .

Given the need for a startup to have a professional financial management service, we have identified the following solutions:

  1. The startup has a CFO who is also a co-founder and who knows and wants to grow with the company. This CFO cost should be aligned with the initial business needs.
  2. The startup has an independent CFO who can growth with the company. He/she has to be able to gradually adapt to new situations, challenges and complexities. And the company has to be able to retain him/her!
  3. The startup has a service support tailored in terms of commitment and cost. This service provides the support needed on every life stage of the company and it is able to scale with the business.

This post appeared first on Delvy Law & Finance blog, on February, 3 2015

***
by Xavier Sansó
CFO at Delvy Law and Finance

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E.

Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs & Tech Lovers

Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to. 

Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre
Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre

« Masters of Scale » 

with Reid Hoffman

The host: Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host. 

About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube

The Team: Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff and Jai Punjabi

« Rocket » 

with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu

The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is  Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress. 

About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it.  No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« This week in Startups »

with Jason Calacanis

The host: Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival. 

About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Youtube, SoundCloud and RSS Feed

You can also subscribe to their newsletter in order to receive episodes directly. 

The Team: Jason Calacanis, Jacqui Deegan, and Tony Agapiou

« Recode / Decode » 

with Kara Swisher

The host: Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode. 

About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn

« K Fund PodKast »

with Jaime Novoa

The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter. 

About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud

« Clockwise »

with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent

The hosts: Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv. 

About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« Itnig Podcast»

with Bernat Farrero

The host: Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast. 

About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).

Listen to the podcast: Youtube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Ivoox, and Google Podcasts

You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday. 

Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.