E-book: IPO Readiness Checklist

Be prepared to scale for growth, boost financial resilience, and eventually take your company public with this IPO Readiness Checklist.

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This IPO readiness checklist will guide you as you seek to:

  • Establish resilient and streamlined financial processes
  • Create the best team to steer your company to a successful IPO
  • Minimize risks to maximize stability, agility, and growth
  • Prevent fraud and maintain control of financial processes
  • Boost and facilitate regulatory compliance
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Boost Your Companies Financial Health with These 5 Actions in Advance of Going Public

What is the best way to prepare your company to eventually go public? Having spent many years helping businesses across the globe prepare for this momentous step, we decided to gather our expertise into this guide, which is also based on the results of a survey of 562 finance decision makers regarding their readiness for an IPO.

Even if you don't plan to take your company public anytime soon, it's always important to ensure that your financial house is in order, plan ahead for compliance, and start to act as if you are already public. The sooner you start this process, the better.

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If there’s one thing I have learned from taking several companies public, it’s that it’s never too early to start preparing your processes, putting in place the systems, and hiring the right people to create scalable solutions.
Josh Waldron, Vice President Corporate Controller, Thumbtack


Why is it important to start preparing for an Initial Public Offering even if you don't plan to go public for a while?

During a period of volatile market conditions like those seen in 2022, delaying an initial public offering (IPO) is probably a wise decision. However, delaying an IPO does not mean delaying preparation for an IPO: Companies who decide to push back their planned listing for any reason should take advantage of this time to get their financial processes in order.

Our 2022 global survey of 562 finance decision-makers at organizations with revenues of $250 million to $1 billion and beyond investigated the financial readiness of companies looking to IPO. The findings reveal that nearly 80% of fast-growing businesses have delayed or are planning to delay their IPO, with the majority postponing it by between 6-18 months. Coupa works with a large number of organizations that use our cloud-based Business Spend Management (BSM) platform to prepare and manage their financial data before, during, and after an IPO.

The last mile to an IPO can be the most critical period, as the company needs to meet all regulatory compliance and auditing checks required for listing on the stock markets, as well as withstand increased scrutiny from investors and financial institutions.

How does a company know when it is ready to IPO?

We have created a five-point IPO readiness checklist based on our years of experience in helping businesses all over the world prepare for an IPO, including Uber, Slack and Farfetch. Each of the actions of the checklist are explained in greater detail. Even if a company is delaying their IPO, now is the time to get its financial house in order, prepare for compliance, and begin behaving like a public company sooner. This undertaking can take longer than most realize, so it is in the company’s interest to start earlier rather than later.

What are the five main ways to prepare for an IPO?

Before your company plans to IPO:
1. Establish robust and scalable financial processes: Do you have matured and automated systems in place that can support your company’s growth?
2. Mitigate risks that could impact business continuity: Are you able to identify and mitigate risks that could set back the IPO or result in reputational harm?
3. Establish a trusted IPO team: Do you have an experienced set of people in place who can guide and shepherd the company through an IPO?
4. Establish clear financial controls that hinder fraud and misuse while protecting future shareholders: Are you able to identify suspicious activities and prevent fraud?
5. Ensure your financial processes are compliant with audits, regulations and due diligence: Are you ready to meet the demands of quarterly reporting and satisfy any regulatory requirements for your market, such as the US Sarbanes–Oxley Act?

Get more detail on each of these five action steps in our e-book, the IPO Readiness Checklist.