Toptal Finance Blog

The Toptal Finance Blog is a hub for in-depth studies and analysis on all facets of finance, ranging from innovative strategies on raising capital to detailed coverage of new finance trends and technologies.
Jacob Decter
Industry Analysis and Porter’s Five Forces: A Deeper Look at Buyer Power

Given the ever-changing business environment, countless companies and sectors face existential threats and decline. Take the media fulfillment and distribution industry—20 years ago, it was all the rage, but with the advent of online players and streaming, it has disappeared into obsolescence. Is this inevitable? Can companies learn to adapt and react to ensure their continued success and prosperity?

The answer is yes. In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Jacob Decter unpacks the concept of buyer power, one of the Five Forces that Michael Porter popularized in his now famous framework, providing useful insights and tips to businesses looking to stay ahead of the game and thrive.

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Paul Ainsworth
A Guide to Managing Foreign Exchange Risk

Exchange rate fluctuation is an everyday occurrence. From the holidaymaker planning a trip abroad to the multinational organization buying and selling in multiple countries, the impact of getting it wrong can be substantial.

This useful guide by Toptal Finance Expert Paul Ainsworth draws on 30+ years of experience as a CFO of large multinational companies to lay out the menu of options companies face in order to deal with foreign exchange exposure and manage risk effectively.

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Scott Hoover
C Corp vs S Corp, Partnership, Proprietorship, and LLC: What is the Best Business Entity?

You are ready to start a business. You have a great idea and a great team. You’ve thought through your plan. Everything is primed. You’re ready to form an official legal entity and are faced with the question: What business entity type makes the most sense for my new company?

Choosing between the different options is one of the most common questions (and frustrations) entrepreneurs face. In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Scott Hoover lays out a useful guide to help entrepreneurs think through the menu of options they face.

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Natasha Ketabchi
What is a Down Round and How to Avoid One

Anyone vaguely familiar with the venture capital industry knows that down rounds are bad news. But what exactly are they, and why do they occur? What alternatives do founders have to avoid a down round? Toptal Finance Expert Natasha Ketabchi draws on her experience in the VC industry to run through the mechanics of a down round, its implications and effects, and concludes by offering some vital advice for founders and investors keen to avoid the dreaded down round.

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Bechara Kara
What’s Next for Equity Crowdfunding?

Over the last few years, crowdfunding has imposed itself as a viable alternative financing route for small and medium-sized businesses globally. In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Bechara Kara runs through the market’s recent milestones, highlighting some of the shortcomings that can potentially threaten crowdfunding as a tool for democratizing finance, concluding with suggestions for a balanced approach in promoting its evolution.

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Paul Ainsworth
The Role and Responsibilities of the Modern CFO – A Function in Transition

Over the last few decades, the role of the CFO has undergone a profound shift. The historical tasks of the finance function such as books and records, financial reporting, and statutory compliance continue to be important but are now taken for granted by CEOs. The CFO of today and tomorrow must be able to take financial data and use it to influence operational decision making and strategy. But how?

In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Paul Ainsworth draws on his experience over his 30+ year career as a CFO at large, multinational companies across different geographies to outline the changing role of the CFO and the necessary skillset required to fulfill the growing expectations.

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Scott Hoover
Good-Bye, Overdue Receivables

Overdue receivables are one of the most common and serious frustrations entrepreneurs face. The hidden costs can be staggering, from lost time dealing with the problem to the cost of hiring dedicated experts, to the serious and long term damage to a business’ reputation with its clients.

In this practical and comprehensive guide, Toptal Finance Expert Scott Hoover shows that overdue receivables are actually easily avoidable. Scott outlines six steps all businesses should take, which will make a material difference to accounts receivable and tackle any issues up-front.

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Natasha Ketabchi
How to Craft a Successful Go to Market Strategy

As a venture investor, Natasha Ketabchi spends most of her day evaluating tech startups as potential investments. In early-stage investments, Natasha finds that the three things that matter most are team, product, and sales and marketing approach—including their go to market strategy. In this article, Natasha lifts the veil on what venture investors look for in a solid GTM plan.

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Scott Hoover
The Street Guide on How to Hire a Part-time CFO

When does it make sense for a business to consider hiring a part-time CFO? Are there situations in which it doesn’t make sense at all? What attributes and criteria should businesses use to filter and select candidates? This article by Toptal Finance Expert Scott Hoover looks at answers to all three questions, and is intended to be a practical guide based on nearly a decade of experience as a freelance CFO for privately held companies.

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Dalibor Pajic
Pricing Strategies for Success: A Practical Guide

Pricing strategy is one of the most important functions that any business engages in. Prices are a foundational element of a company’s revenues—If managed carefully, they can generate high profits and consequently cash. But setting prices appropriately is tricky, and when mistakes are made, companies suffer.

In this article, Toptal Finance Expert Dalibor Pajic draws on his 15+ year career in corporate finance to outline seven practical examples of when pricing strategy plays a crucial role, with the aim of illustrating how pricing decisions can be approached in different situations. Pending

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Elizabeth J. Howell Hanano, CFA
How to Get Consulting Clients – An Interview with Steve Blank

Consultants often struggle to find new, solid clients. We asked Steve Blank, the founder of the Lean Startup movement (and someone who has helped hundreds of companies get a better product to market faster and worked with dozens of consultants along the way) how consultants can attract clients.

Steve’s advice is a bit counter-intuitive. But it’s something that Toptal’s best consultants have already been doing for years.

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Edwin Petersen
Adapting for Success – A Guide to Change Management

With today’s rapid pace of technological progress, organizational change is perhaps more necessary than it ever has been. But change is hard. Countless studies show that more often than not, corporations fail to implement change successfully, losing money, time, and employee morale in the process.

Based on his 20+ years of international finance experience across a range of industries, and over a decade of experience as a CFO, Toptal Finance Expert Edwin Petersen outlines his thoughts on why change management often fails and how to get it right.

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