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Finance Lessons from Zoom, Tesla, Intel, and More

Finance Lessons from Zoom, Tesla, Intel, and More

Welcome to another edition of the Weekly Financial Digest! 

Each week, the team here at Lola bookmarks our favorite articles about corporate finance. Then, we take those and summarize them for you.

This week, we’re featuring financial lessons from everyone's favorite tech companies. We also found a few pieces about streamlining your day-to-day operations, like why you should use Google Sheets instead of Excel.

It doesn't stop there, though. Dive in for everything!

An Interview with the CFO of Zoom

CFO Thought leader really outdid themselves with this podcast interview. They had Kelly Steckelberg, Zoom’s CFO, join the podcast to talk about taking the company public. Kelly had only been with Zoom for 18 months before they went public, and surprisingly Zoom didn’t have a deep enough understanding of their numbers before she joined.

In this podcast, Kelly talks about the importance of making the right hires leading up to their IPO, and the all important first earnings call. 

If you have 25 minutes, you’ll want to tune into this one

What These New CFOs’ First Moves Tell Us About Financial Leadership in 2019

Teampay dropped another really interesting blog article. This one focuses on the leadership moves that new CFOs at Tesla, Intel, Adobe, and Workday made in their first few months. Here’s a sampling:

Tesla’s new CFO, Zach Kirkhorn, focused on talent. He wanted to create a team that made decisions about finances, rather than just crunching numbers after the fact.

George Davis, Intel’s new CFO, also took on the job of overseeing the company’s IT operations. This matches a trend we’ve written about before of CFOs taking on more responsibility.

Read the full piece from Teampay for plenty of interesting insight into these companies.

Why You Should Move to Google Sheets

Plenty of finance departments live in Excel. The author of this piece makes the argument that Excel is old-school for finance teams and you should instead use Google Sheets. He makes some strong points that got us thinking…

First, Google Sheets is the best spreadsheet tool for collaboration. There’s no old version or  master file. You can collaborate in real-time in Google Sheets. That helps keep everyone on the same page.

Another great feature of Google Sheets is that you can link charts between Sheets and Google Slides. That means if you update the data in Google Sheets, your presentation chart in Google Slides is automatically updated. 

Still not sold? Read the rest of this piece on Toptal’s blog.

10 Steps to Effective Finance Staff Meetings

Meetings can be frustrating. Sometimes it probably feels like you’re just wasting your whole day in meetings, even if the meeting was scheduled with good intentions. 

That’s why the team over at CFO.com put together some ideas to help make your finance team’s meetings more effective. Here are a few that stuck out to us:

  1. Be ruthless with start and stop times. If the meeting is supposed to start at 9am, start the meeting. If anyone shows up late, it will be their loss.
  2. No electronics. Ban cell phones from meetings. Ban computers too unless they’re absolutely necessary. Electronics are just unnecessary distractions. 
  3. To-do lists. Make a to-do list at the end of every meeting for everyone to accomplish. Review this list in the next meeting to make sure each item was actually checked off.

Read the rest of CFO’s meeting tips.

What's Your Spend Management Costing You?

Have you automated your spend management yet? If not, it’s time. If you’re still doing spend management the manual way, it can cost you up to $6 for each invoice that you process. 

That’s no good. 

Spend management automation can help you:

  • Stay streamlined, especially as your organization grows and expenses become more complex. 
  • Increase the accuracy of your reporting. 10% of manual invoices have errors. Automation can help avoid those errors.
  • Improve employee satisfaction. It shouldn’t surprise you that making the expense reporting process easier through automation will make your employees happier.

Get the full story from Digitalist.

IPO Corner

All is quiet on the IPO front right now, but Fortune says that the second half of this year is about to heat up. We’re still waiting on IPOs this year from WeWork (which could totally bomb according to Vox), Airbnb, Peloton, and more. It could be an interesting few months in the IPO world. 

Let’s look ahead to 2020. Forbes put together a list of the next billion dollar startups. Not all of these are headed for an IPO. Actually, none of them have formally announced it, but any one of these companies could be headed for an IPO in 2020.

Did you read any great content that I missed here? Head to Twitter or LinkedIn and let the Lola team know!


About the Author: Rebecca Morrison
As VP of Finance and Operations, Rebecca Morrison oversees financial reporting and analysis, forecasting, and budget management for Lola.com. Previously, she was VP of Global Finance and Operations at Midaxo, and has held various roles in Finance and Operations at HubSpot and EMC.