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
On this episode of Brex in the Black, we host special guest Kevin Busque, Founder & CEO of Guideline, to discuss 401(k)s, IRAs, HSAs, and how to effectively provision tax advantaged structures for employees.
How to use tax-advantaged structures.
We host special guest Scott Orn, COO of Kruze Consulting, to discuss how to best handle startup acquisition offers.
How to handle an M&A with Scott Orn, COO of Kruze Consulting
In this episode of Brex in the Black we talk about startup valuations and how they work for the different stages of a startup.
Startup valuations and the different funding rounds
In this episode of Brex in the Black we talk about growing a finance department person by person.
Growing a Finance Department - Person by Person
In this episode of Brex in the Black we talk about budgeting at startups, who should do them, and how they progress.
In this episode Michael breaks down how he's been rethinking the office strategy after a prolonged period of remote work.
Remote work: Rethinking the office strategy
In this episode, Michael Tannenbaum answers a common question he gets from early-stage founders. How to reimburse after I've been spending money on personal card?
In this episode of Brex in the Black we talk about acquihires with Brex’s VP of Business Development.
In this episode of Brex in the Black we talk about the healthy tension your finance team should have with the rest of your company.
Should your Finance department get along with the rest of the company?
Michael weighs in on remote benefits such as utility stipends, meal stipend, at home office benefits for furniture, shared office space in new cities, etc.
Actionable insight into budgeting at startups and how to handle the conflict that comes with the process.
Michael Tannenbaum’s playbook for running an effective board of directors meetings.
We cover how venture debt is unique in the startup ecosystem, typical terms, rates, and what to watch out for in the process.
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