There is a lot to accomplish in the run-up to going public. An investment banker will do their part, but the CFO needs to assess the company’s accounting, auditing and tax capabilities and address any shortfalls. The ERP system may not be adequate to support the additional reporting and communication requirements of public companies. The corporate governance and risk management requirements of public companies are particularly stringent in comparison to privately-controlled companies.
If the sitting CFO is not experienced in taking a company public, it would be wise to bring in a CFO advisor to help them through the process. The additional cost of added staff during the run-up to going public should be compared to the cost of failing to meet the regulatory requirements or operational expectations of potential investors. The actions taken to bring a company up to public-company standards will have benefits before going public, even if the company ultimately chooses to remain private, so it is wise to get started as early as possible.