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Brex in the Black

A crash course in financial operations. Bullet discussions on finance, fundraising, and financial processes with Brex’s CFO Michael Tannenbaum.

Brex in the Black Fundraising

We talk to Michael about all things fundraising: when to start the process, how you should conceptualize this slice of startup life, how to approach investors, and what to prepare for your initial meetings.
Fundraising — when to start, how to approach, and what to prepare
We talk to Michael this week about what the role of the CFO is in the fundraising process, and how it interacts with the role of the CEO. We also discuss how this dynamic should change as the company scales.
The job of the CFO in the fundraising process
Michael regales us about raising capital while at his previous role at SoFi — a stint that included a billion-dollar deal with Masayoshi Son, Founder & CEO of Softbank, before it became fashionable.
Raising capital from Masayoshi Son, before it was fashionable
Michael discusses when your startup should be audited, and whether it is important. We go on to talk over what firm is best to work with, and what financial processes to setup to make sure you pass.
When your startup should be audited - and how to make sure you pass
Michael reviews Quickbooks, Xero, and Netsuite on what differentiates them, and which is right for your startup.
This week, Michael discusses whether a startup should outsource accounting, what the relevant options are, and how to search out who would be a good fit for this role.
Do you outsource accounting as a startup? Yes - here’s how
This week, Michael answers questions on the critical topic of startup benefits. We go over what healthcare plans — and how many — a startup should choose, what employees have come to expect from their benefits, and how startups can go about shopping for a plan.
What plan to choose and how to get it
Michael goes over the difficulties of payroll, how to implement an orderly payroll process (a surprisingly difficult task). We also discuss whether Finance or HR should own payroll, and what most companies get wrong about this key function.
Payroll, ownership, and implementation
Michael reviews how to think about keeping clean books, along with how to properly finalize your financial activities at the end of each month.
Why the monthly close matters, and how to conduct one
We review the concept of accruals, the difference between accrual and cash accounting, and a few examples of the use of accrual accounting in business.
Michael talks about the importance of filing, reporting requirements, local taxes, and delaware incorporation - even if you’re not making a profit.
We discuss stock options versus RSUs, vesting schedules, strike prices, the 409a valuation, ISOs v NSOs - and how to get it all right.
Removing the confusion around company stock options
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