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The Role of a CPA in an IPO: Open Thread

Back with another edition of “Accounting Career Couch” a undergrad senior wants to hear about some experiences the working stiffs of accounting world have had with initial public offerings.

Need advice on your next career move? Want to educate some rubes without coming off like a total jerk? Looking for a way to broach your co-workers body odor problem while not making it too personal? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll help you let everyone done gently.

Meanwhile, back on campus:

Hello Caleb,

I am an undergraduate senior, and I have a presentation coming up in my Special Financial Reporting Topics course. My group chose “The Role of a CPA in an IPO”, and I was wondering if this topic has been discussed on your site before, if not, could you make a post so I can gather related information, issues, success/failure stories, and personal experiences in order to complement my research? It seems this topic does not get a lot of coverage, and I believe it would be interesting and beneficial to all your readers.

To our recollection, this is a topic that has not been discussed on GC, so our reader’s inquiry makes for a good jumping off point.

If you’re not familiar with initial public offerings, then you can get the wiki cliff notes here and the SEC’s own fast answers under “I.”

Form S-1 outlines (check out the gory details below) everything a company needs to submit in order to register its securities and there are plenty of ways a CPA can assist a smooth and pleasant experience. If you’re client has less than $25 million in revenues and isn’t registering more than $10 million in securities, Form SB-1 can be used in lieu of the big boy.

Generally, when a company files its S-1, the SEC usually has lots of questions about the financial statements and the accompanying information. The back and forth can be grueling and if your client isn’t organized or financially savvy the temptation to strangle someone and everyone can be high. But hey, if you manage to stick it out with them to the filing date, there’s usually a pretty good party and your client should be grateful for your service.

So at our reader’s request, anyone with recent (or not so recent) experience working on IPOs is invited to share their war stories – the good, the bad, etc.