Each month at our Global Takeover Congress (sometimes known as an all-hands meeting), we recognize a Tabler or group of Tablers for contributing to our culture by exemplifying our core values. In our Outstanding Core Value Contribution series, we’ll highlight those folks each month and show how their contributions bettered Social Tables.
Who are the big winners this month? Alan DePerio, Salome Saliashvili, and Scott Sehon, all of our Finance team.
What core value are you being recognized for and why?
Always Honest for handling our first Big Four financial statement audit. It’s a huge undertaking and at times was very difficult. but added a lot of credibility to our financial statements during our Series B funding and will continue to add credibility in the coming months and years.
Why does an audit matter?
Scott: When people come to look at our company, be it investors, bankers, or if we ever went public, the integrity of our financial statements mean a lot. If you have audited financial statements, especially big 4, that stamp of approval is a big deal. Looking at the financial statements from 2015, they have to look at that and examine our policies, procedures, documentation, and controls that we use to arrive at that information.
Why did you win Always Honest?
Alan: Because it would’ve been easy to do [an audit] ourselves, but being willing to go to an outside firm shows that we were willing to be honest.
Scott: And we openly admitted sometimes that weren’t always right. There was no willful negligence or deception, but it definitely showed some of the typical issues for younger companies. By being honest about the things from our past in terms of how our books were kept and how we reported our numbers, we’ve created a lot of additional work to know we’ve gotten it all right. We have spent six months when it could’ve taken less time if we hadn’t been so thorough.
Salome: We didn’t take any shortcuts on this. We took this as an opportunity to make us more scalable. It’s a pain now, but adding in the extra step or check box, or not allowing certain types of contracts or terms, lets us grow and actually become more successful.
What are some of the challenges of doing an audit?
Scott: Dealing with corrections for things that we have no control over or things we that took place before this team stepped into our roles.
Alan: It’s a delicate balance to stick to our rules and guidelines but remain as flexible as we can. When you’re a startup, you need to be able to grind and work contracts out as best you can.
How has it affected how you do your job now?
Alan: We’ve added several items to our closing checklist to ensure our books continue to be cleaner each month.
Scott: Doing this prevents things from being found at the annual audit. Instead we’re finding it each month and can either correct things or dig deeper when we need to.
Salome: It’s a great checks and balance process and adds more discipline to our sales process. Makes it easy to say something won’t pass our audit and mean it.