KPMG Spark Blog
Strong corporate governance is critical to adding organizational value and preparing the company for long-term opportunities.
When entrepreneurs initially focus on building and growing a company around a new product, service, or technology, they often do not pay much attention to how their businesses will be governed. Yet, as experienced business women and men have come to recognize, good corporate governance is critical to adding value and preparing the company for short-term challenges and long-term opportunities.
A common misconception about corporate governance is that it is only about the board of directors. In practice, corporate governance encompasses policies, procedures, and principles that guide how the company sets strategy, manages risk, monitors its assets and resources, ensures management accountability and financial transparency, satisfies legal and regulatory obligations, and communicates with internal and external stakeholders. Most importantly, corporate governance sets the organization's tone and culture.
While there is much talk about "good corporate governance," there is no single formula that is ideal for every company. Factors that determine the level and complexity of corporate governance include the size and scale of the company, the need to access capital markets, the regulatory environment, and the development stage of the business.
From the perspective of an individual seeking to build a successful company, what are the most critical or effective governance practices? How do these practices evolve as a business matures? Given stakeholder demands for good corporate governance at all companies, we see lenders, insurers, venture capital, and private equity investors increasingly focusing on the governance practices of private companies.
It is helpful to consider governance practices mandated for public companies that are increasingly being adopted voluntarily by many private companies today.
For small companies where directors, shareholders, and management may essentially be the same-board composition may not be an issue. As a business begins to grow, however, independent directors can play a critical role in management debates, setting strategy, and supporting and monitoring the CEO.
Independent directors can offer substantial benefits:
Independent directors can also play an important role in defining the company's path as it matures and migrates to a more robust governance structure.
KPMG Spark is the new way to manage accounting for small business owners who struggle with DIY software and the never-ending administrative tasks of accounting. We take bookkeeping off your hands by leveraging intelligent automation, a custom financial dashboard, and a professional bookkeeper-in-the-loop. Contact KPMG Spark today to speak with an accounting specialist dedicated to your small to medium-sized business success.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP.
This blog article is not intended to address or provide advice concerning the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services.
Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates or related entities.
The following information is not intended to be “written advice concerning one or more Federal tax matters” subject to the requirements of section 10.37(a)(2) of Treasury Department Circular 230. The information contained herein is of a general nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. Applicability of the information to specific situations should be determined through consultation with your tax adviser.
KPMG LLP does not provide legal services.
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