Wondering how much your VC-backed startup's tax return will cost?   Check out our startup tax cost calculator to get an estimate now!
Q&A icon

Startup Q&A

Back to questions

As a CPA, what advice would you give to a university student studying accounting and finance?

Vanessa Kruze, CPA, is a leading expert in startup taxes and tax compliance. Her team at Kruze Consulting has filed thousands of tax returns for companies that have raised billions in VC funding, and her work has been diligenced by leading VCs, attorneys, and M&A teams at the largest technology companies.
Vanessa Kruze, a highly-experienced CPA, brings valuable tax expertise to startups, drawing from her rich background at Deloitte Tax and as a financial controller for a $20 million startup. As the leader of Kruze Consulting, recognized multiple times in the Inc 5000 list, she specializes in navigating the complex tax landscape for startups. Her firm is known for delivering precise and strategic tax solutions, delivering tax credits utilizing advanced tools to ensure compliance and optimize tax benefits for startups throughout the United States.

Table of contents

What advice would you give to a university student studying accounting and finance

There are three layers to becoming a good accountant, and I’ve outlined a few points here:

Technical Capabilities.

  1. College Education: you’ll need a BS in Accounting from a “good” school. Every student has access to the same books and internet searches, so here a “good” school is defined as one where your professors are engaging and the cohorts are collaborative.
  2. Get your CPA: immediately after graduating. It only gets harder as you move forward in life. Your employers and clients look to the CPA designation as a badge of honor.
  3. Diversify your work experience. Work in an accounting firm, an audit firm, a tax firm, a small business, or a public company. Mix it up, cover a breadth of skills. Because ultimately you will… (see pt 4)
  4. Find your niche. Not all accountants are created equal, nor should they be. Find the industry that you like and excel at the most, and then dive deep. Accounting for startups is wildly different from accounting for the Health Industry. A great Health Care CPA is likely a poor Hospitality CPA; the fields are just too different to truly master both.
  5. Don’t stop. Seek new learning opportunities and new ways to become more knowledgeable. It’s easy do it SALY, but there may be new ways to it more efficiently.

Emotional Capabilities.

  1. Know thyself. There are three types of Accountant out there: Grinders, Minders, and Finders. Grinders have deep technical knowledge, but don’t like to interact with clients. Minders love to interact with clients, but don’t have as deep of a knowledge base. Finders are the salespeople, their knowledge base carries breadth (but leaves the depth to the Grinders). Knowing which type of accountant YOU ARE is vital to your success.
  2. Gird your loins. People care about their money A LOT. And when something goes wrong with peoples money, the accountant is often caught in the cross-hairs. A great accountant is able to calmly and rationally explain bad situations to clients (even when it’s not the accountant’s fault).

Physical Capabilities.

  1. Work hard. Putting in hours matters. Work nights. And weekends. Year after year. It’s not only emotionally draining, but physically draining as well. Great accountants will work all-nighters when necessary, and have the trained endurance to withstand busy season. - But it’s not about going full throttle all the time. We’ve all heard the story of burn out. So for goodness sake balance your self. Spend time with loved ones. Go for a run. And take your vacations.

Looking to hire a CPA for your funded startup? Kruze’s clients have raised over $10 billion in venture capital funding, and our team is regularly recommended by the top VC’s in Silicon Valley. That’s why we are considered one of the best startup CPAs out there!


Startup Accounting


We are the experts at helping seed/VC-backed Delaware C-Corps with their accounting and finances!

Talk to an experienced accountant, not a generic sales person

 Kruze Consulting
Alex Janeck
 Kruze Consulting
Edith Silva
 Kruze Consulting
Randy Hall
Viz AI

$250M+ VC Funding Raised

"I had a great experience working with Kruze Consulting when we raised Series A. They know what VCs need to see, and how to present a startup’s books and finances. If you are going to raise venture capital, you need experts like Kruze."
Chris Mansi

Chris Mansi


Startup Venture Capital Assistance

With former venture capitalists on staff, our team is here to help you navigate the fundraising process and manage your board of directors

 Kruze Consulting
Scott Orn
COO | Former VC
 Kruze Consulting
Healy Jones
VP FP&A | Former VC

Scale Remote Operations & Team

"Kruze has supported us above and beyond basic accounting needs by ensuring we have everything we need to expand and support our team wherever they may be located"
Zack Fisch

Zack Fisch

Head of Operations & Legal

Clients who have worked with Kruze have collectively raised over $15 billion in VC funding.

We set startups up for fundrising success, and know how to work with the top VCs.

 Kruze Consulting
Vanessa Kruze, CPA
Founder & CEO
Kruze Logo

Experienced team helping you

Our account management team is staffed by CPAs and accountants who have, on average, 11 years of experience.

 Kruze Consulting
Bill Hollowsky, CPA
VP of Accounting Services
 Kruze Consulting
Claudine Vantomme, CPA
 Kruze Consulting
Morgan Avery
SUT/R&D Sr. Tax Accountant
 Kruze Consulting
Beth Bassler
Controller, CPA
Protara Therapeutics

Grew from a 2-person startup to a NASDAQ listed public company.

"The Kruze team helped us grow from a 2-person startup to a NASDAQ listed public company in 2 years. We wouldn’t have gotten public without Kruze’s support. Anyone thinking of launching a startup should make Vanessa their first call!"
Jesse Shefferman

Jesse Shefferman


Kruze Logo

Get in Touch

Please help us connect with you

How can we reach you?

Our first response is typically via email, so please check your inbox.

Help us have a productive first consultation by providing some additional information.

What year was your startup incorporated?

What is your stage of funding?

(pick up from the list)

Approximately how much funding have you raised?

(please enter a dollar value such as 5000000)

Help us understand what you are looking for:

(Optional, click the ones you need)

Anything additional that you’d like to share?

Optional - if you’d like to share anything else to help us prepare for our consultation, please let us know. We are also happy to sign an NDA, just let us know.


We are the experts at helping seed/VC-backed Delaware C-Corps with their accounting and finances!

Talk with a real accountant, not a generic salesperson!

 Kruze Consulting
Scott Orn
 Kruze Consulting
Alex Janeck
 Kruze Consulting
Edith Silva

Help us get in touch

Enter your name
Enter Company name
Enter Phone number
Enter Email
Enter Message

Important Tax Dates for Startups

  Talk to a leading startup CPA