The Black Ink team met with the founder to understand the company’s mission and road map for the future product. Based on these conversations, the Black Ink team provided recommendations on the best entity structure which would meet the founder’s goals. After deciding the entity structure, the Black Ink team managed the entire formation process of Ray Enterprises Inc. as well as maintained all compliance.
While building the finance and operation system for Ray Enterprises Inc., the Black Ink team kept in mind the goals shared by the founder every step of the way. Black Ink knew from the beginning that Ray Enterprises Inc. would be dealing with international customers and vendors in high volume. Black Ink considered all of this while selecting the right GL Software as well as stand-alone AR, AP systems and inventory management systems. It was important to automate as much as possible so that the company could scale as fast as possible. All systems needed to sync with the website instantaneously to keep inventory up to date. Then the systems needed to swiftly pass information to the order fulfillment team so that orders were shipped on a timely basis. All this must be completed while populating the General Ledger in real-time.
The Black Ink team took the lead in designing employee benefits packages – including the construction of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, selecting employee health/vision/dental insurance plans, and managing the 409a valuation process. The team was also able to help evaluate compensation packages for key employees.
The Black Ink team helped vet inventory management systems that could handle different moving parts in the assembly process. From the PO creation, to invoicing for a sales order upon the delivery. All while at the same time keep the accounting system updated with COGS and Inventory value while maintaining GAAP. The Black Ink team assisted Ray in obtaining insurance specific to transporting the lithium battery material used in their device. This way, Ray could both protect themselves from potential liability and protect their inventory.
Black Ink invested upfront to perform pre-diligence and have a ready-to-go data room. This included having a strong accounting manual, up to date IP record keeping, managing ESOP paperwork, and timely 409a valuation which allowed for Ray Enterprise to have an efficient due diligence process. Black Ink led the company throughout the due diligence process by taking the lead and acting as the main point of contact for Investment Bankers and Potential Investors. Black Ink was able to provide and fulfill all requests, and limited the founder’s involvement when they were not needed. This way, founders were able to focus on their day to day business operation and get through the transaction with unnecessary distractions.
Black Ink helped Ray with protecting IP and securing patents by both managing the relationship with the legal team and maintaining internal record keeping of all the documents. Black Ink provided an IP strategy for Ray including comprehensive patent trademark and copyright advice, along with preparation of all filings for patents, trademarks, and copyright as Ray’s business expanded.
« Black Ink helped us start, grow and exit. They were there for us from day one to the due diligence process during the acquisition of our business. When we first started developing our product it was too soon to hire full time employees to fill all of our operational and financial needs, but we also couldn’t afford to let anything slip through the cracks. Whether it be a senior talent we were recruiting or an investor group we were courting, the details matter regardless of your company size or stage of growth. Black Ink represented us in our style, with our brand’s personality. Their team crossed the T’s and dotted the l’s. They delivered when we needed it and when we were in the trenches they kept a lookout around the bend. Being able to have continuity in HR legal, operations, and financial services through all stages of growth has been invaluable. »
– David Skokna CEO and founder of Ray
After nearly ten years, Silverline’s Financial Reporting was stagnant and needed a fresh approach while entering into its next period of growth. With an eye on expansion and the potential upcoming challenges of a possible deal, the founders wanted to avoid being bogged down in due diligence. They tapped Black Ink to address the need for better Financial Reporting while performing Pre-Diligence.
Founders lacked a reporting tool that gave them holistic view of their business at any given point of time. This level of reporting was needed to make informed business decisions primarily related to hiring staff, capital investments, and running “What If’ scenarios and collaborating on ideas.
Founders had noticeably minimal transparency to their real time business financials and it’s KPIs.
One challenge the founders were facing was obtaining timely reports. With growth, the complexities of the business’s reporting needs also grew – which often led to delayed and after-the-fact reporting. This hindered decisions based on real time reporting.
There had been a small finance team for nearly ten years. Accounting processes were not well documented and the dependency on single individuals to perform important accounting functions had become problematic.
As part of creating a new reporting tool for Silverline, we reorganized the charts of accounts to be industry-specific which added in giving an overall picture of the business with an option to drill down reports by department. Black Ink was able to condense a five-page-long income statement to one and a half pages without losing any reporting functions.
Black Ink designed a Dashboard with Dynamic Reporting in Google Sheets, achieving the goals below:
In order to mitigate risk of being dependent on small staff’s ability to document accounting tasks, Black Ink acquired institutional knowledge throughout the process and worked as a team with Silverline to document accounting policies and procedures. This allowed recommendations of new processes in real time. This documentation was also used as a guide to onboard new staff on the internal accounting team.
With an eye on a potential investment in the near future and with first-hand knowledge of the amount of bandwidth needed from leadership for due diligence, Silverline’s founders tasked Black Ink with getting the house in order before third-parties started any due-diligence. Black Ink began building out a data room with all boilerplate requests prior to the engagement of an investment bank. When inquiries came in from potential investors, Black Ink took the lead on all requests. Once a deal was in the works we continued to take the lead with no needed bandwidth from the department leaders up until a deal sheet was signed. Leadership had far fewer distractions as a result, as well as a smoother and expedited flow for the transaction.
“Silverline went through a period of impressive growth, and Black Ink was there for us when we needed help scaling our financial processes. Black Ink took on the heavy lifting, so that the executive team and I could trust the data when making important decisions.”
– GireeshSonnad, CEO and Co-Founder of Silverline
When the CEO of Respire approached Black Ink, he knew he needed help moving the company toward reaching its full potential. Due to the perspectives he had gained while fulfilling the roles of bookkeeper and CFO, the CEO knew he would need someone knowledgeable in accounting who could help revamp the companies’ current systems and processes. Coupling all of this with the need for solid Business Intelligence and some housekeeping, he knew that within a year Respire would be seeking a partner in order to grow the business. Black Ink was brought in as a partner and began to rethink the functions of the back-office and accounting, while also preparing Respire for a close examination from potential investors. Respire needed to be prepared to put their best foot forward while raising capital and preparing for an investor, and Black Ink was able to assist in their endeavor.
After four years of the CEO managing all day today accounting functions for the company, it was time to scale. As with many start-ups, the founder swear many hats. Prior to Black Ink’s engagement, nearly all day to day accounting and book keeping functions had been performed by the CEO. Both his role and the company’s needs had out grown his ability to manage these functions and continue to grow the business.
While the company grew, so did the need for a clearer picture of the company finances. This became increasingly apparent as the founders started to plan for growth and a potential investment. Should an investor show interest, Respire would need to have the correct Business Intelligence that could anticipate and answer questions from potential investors.
After five years of managing customer relationships on spreadsheets and calendars, as well as handling all orders flowing directly through QuickBooks,the need arose for a new system. In addition to the typical functions of a customer relationship tool, Respire required a solution for tracking orders from sale to delivery. There was a need for many team members to have access this system across offices while still integrating it with the General Ledger.
As Respire actively searched for a potential equity partner, they wanted to ensure their finances and procedures were both in order and well documented prior to sharing sensitive information with potential suitors.
After the transaction with Mitsui and Whole You, Respire needed to be able to report in to a publicly traded company with tight closing dates.
Black Ink took responsibility for the QuickBooks file and accompanying financial schedules which included managing all day to day bookkeeping needs. Black Ink performed an audit on the books starting from the entity formation to date while working alongside the tax accountants to address each issue with limited impact to the company and shareholders. This ultimately warranted a revamping of the Chart of Accounts and moving the company to GAAP Standards, which included proper Accrual Accounting and Inventory Documentation.
Black Ink met with the Stakeholders of Respire as well as the new partners in order to outline the different reporting needs of Respire’s different departments. After classifying the needs and wants of each Stakeholder, Black Ink designed a reporting deck with pathways to address everyone’s needs. We then began a reporting cadence with management, as well as redesigned the budgeting process.
After assisting in vetting several CRM and Order Solutions there was a consensus to onboard Magic Touch Software. The process involved migrating all historical and current client data from QuickBooks Enterprise to Magic Touch. Black Ink then ran both QuickBooks and Magic Touch for two months before moving entirely over to Magic Touch for all orders, and syncing data directly to the General Ledger in order to make certain that the new systems had redundancy while working out any issues with the new systems.
Black Ink worked with Respire to prepare them for a potential investors. To do this, they needed to ensure that various financial reports and KPIs were being tracked and documented. Having worked on the client side of several transactions, Black Ink was able to create a data room pre-populated with reports prior to an initial requests. This allowed for Respire to fulfill Due Diligence requests very quickly, as many items were already prepared and ready to share. This increased the efficiency and decreased the overall time spent on the Due Diligence portion of the transaction.
With Respire’s new parent company being a publicly-traded company in Japan, it was necessary to adopt all required standards to be compliant with Japanese Nikkei. Black Ink reviewed all processes and worked with the parent company to adopt compliant processes and standards.
“As the CEO and founder of a growing company, I’m being pulled in all directions on a busy schedule. I need to prioritize my time on projects that are revenue-generating and that I have the best skill set for, and bring in experts in other areas. Bookkeeping is one of those areas. Having gone through an acquisition with Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Black Ink was able to lead the due-diligence data gathering, allowing me to focus on the negotiations. Black Ink has taken a huge weight off my shoulders and has been able to grow with us as we scale”
– David Walton, CEO, and founder of Respire Medical