THE SMARTER FINANCE BLOG

 
As each new generation of entrepreneurs emerges, there is a renewed interest in how venture capital deals come together. Yet there is little reliable information focused on venture capital deals. Nobody understands this better than authors Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. For more than twenty years, they’ve been involved in hundreds of venture capital financings, and now, with the Second Edition of Venture Deals, they continue to share their experiences in this field with you.
 

What I love about my job is getting to see teams of super-early-stage companies develop ideas that while raw have potential to make an impact on the market. I love the enthusiasm, the boundless energy and the sense of possibility that comes from having an idea that hasn’t yet been beat up in the marketplace of competing ideas, customer contracts, VC skepticism, jaded journalists or fickle consumers who are on to the (continue here)

We are often asked to list the best tools for startups to use in accounting and finance.  Until fairly recently, the only useful tools were QuickBooks on one’s computer and Excel.  There are finally now some resources that substantially improve the accounting function for startups.  Below are the main ones:
Bill.com – Hands down the best way to manage your vendors.  And, the integration with accounting systems is so great that it will dramatically decrease your bookkeeping costs.  In fact, we offer a discount on our flat monthly bookkeeping rates when bill.com is used.  Bill.com can also be used for invoicing enterprise customers directly.
Stripe – A must-use for recurring bills to customers, especially small ones.  Works very well for billing and tracking SaaS self serve and free customers.
Expensify – Expensify describes itself with the tagline “Expense Reports that Don’t Suck”.  That’s pretty true.  Expense reporting needs to happen.  This is a great tool for them.
ZenPayroll – “Delightful payroll” is ZenPayroll’s tag line and if payroll can be delightful with any provider it is with ZenPayroll.   Easy onboarding, ‘auto pilot’ payroll runs, integration with accounting systems, handling tax and other regulatory filings, affordability and excellent customer support are just of few of the reasons ZenPayroll is delightful.

Xero / QuickBooks Online – In the battle to move bookkeeping to the cloud, an excellent product from Xero prompts a revision from the incumbent Quickbooks. Both are great solutions and our heart is with the newer player, Xero.
Excel – Yes, we still use it.  Excel’s functionality and flexibility makes it a must have for our financial planning and analysis and financial modeling.  Google spreadsheets do work for very simple analyses and for a high degree of collaborating, but they don’t have the speed or functionality yet for advanced financial tasks.

Zenefits – Provides benfits and some HR support.

Bay Point Benefits – For potentially greater and more hands-on HR support.