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Who are the best CPAs for startups?

Vanessa Kruze Kruze Consulting

Vanessa Kruze

CEO and Founder of Kruze Consulting

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I’m happy to report that the majority of our business comes from referrals from existing clients, so I’ll venture to say that my firm, Kruze Consulting, is becoming well known within the startup community as one of the best CPAs for startups.

Kruze: the Largest CPA 100% Dedicated to VC-backed Startups

While there is no database of CPAs who only work with startups, I’m pretty confident that we are the largest CPA totally dedicated to serving funded startups. We provide Accounting, Tax, Finance, Bookkeeping and HR expertise for over 700+ funded startups. Our clients raise over $4 Billion in VC and seed funding last year!

I’m a CPA, and in the past I’ve worked at Deloitte Tax and I was the Controller of a 120+ employee startup. Our COO Scott Orn is a Kellogg MBA, former VC Partner at Lighthouse Capital Partners, and before that was an investment banker at JPMorgan’s technology group. Our tax leader is a CPA  - and is an expert on R&D tax credits (a great way for unprofitable companies doing a lot of engineering and R&D work to reduce their burn rate). Our Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis has an MBA from Wharton and used to be a VC, and an exec at several companies that raised a ton of venture funding. 

We have over 100 people on the team, from CPAs and CMAs to experienced controllers to technologists - yes, actual web developers who create tools our team uses to automate accounting tasks.

What to look for in a CPA for your funded startup

Companies that have raised seed and venture capital are not like other businesses. They need finance and tax advice from a CPA who understands the unique needs of high-growth, often times unprofitable, companies. Knowing the cash out date, the average burn rate, the variance to burn… plus, since many early-stage companies are in more “regulatory complex” cities like San Francisco or New York, so your CPA needs to be aware of filing deadlines and governmental paperwork.

Plus, a good tax CPA will know the tax code well enough to be able to help the business use tax incentives to reduce their burn rate. Kruze Consulting’s CPAs know what government incentives are available to help cut startups burn - our firm has executed almost $10 million in startup R&D tax credits last year. 

Do you really need a CPA, or will a bookkeeper do?

CPAs are regulated by their individual states’ accounting boards, and are required to have specific accounting knowledge, keep up to date with that knowledge, and follow strict ethical guidelines. However, for a venture-backed startup, the real benefit of a CPA is twofold:

  • Stronger advice and help during due diligence
  • The ability to handle tax work in-house

How a CPA can help startups during due diligence

For the first, most VC-backed startups will go through complicated financial due diligence during a funding round or during an M&A exit to a large technology player. Later-stage VCs are increasingly hiring outsourced due diligence experts - including large accounting firms. The team at a huge accounting firm that is investigating your startup’s financials will have pages upon pages of questions. Having a CPA who knows your company and financials (and tax returns) on your side will make due diligence that much easier and less painful.

There have been numerous times that our clients have had VC’s and major acquirers hire big 4 accounting firms to conduct accounting and finance due diligence during transactions - transactions where our clients succeeded in raising tens, if not hundreds, of millions in financing (or got acquired for massive amounts!). These big 4 accounting firms are the biggest and best public accounting firms on the planet, and their due diligence is no joke. We’re proud our work and expertise were accepted by the major accounting firms during these due diligence processes, and are even more proud of our clients, who have raised billions in funding and have had their startups acquired by major technology players like Apple and Cisco. 

Taxes - where a startup’s CPA can really shine

Secondly, Kruze Consulting is a licensed CPA firm, as are many of our employees. This gives us the legal right to take on specific tasks for clients - such as interacting directly with the IRS on our clients’ behalf (given the wait times for the IRS customer service numbers, this alone is worth the investment in a CPA for many startup founders - the Washington Post is reporting the IRS only answers 2% of phone calls to one of its hotlines!) You can check to see if a firm or individual is a CPA by using the CPA Verify service here

We also pride ourselves on being tax-nerds, and being up to date on tax laws and credits that can help our clients lower compliance costs and reduce their burn rate. Our CPA team has saved unprofitable startups over $30,000,000 through our R&D tax credit work, and we were one of the pioneers in helping startups take advantage of this tax incentive. 

Given that Kruze’s CPA services are priced similarly to many of the low-cost, “automated” bookkeeping services, a better question is why wouldn’t you use a CPA when you can likely get one for about the same cost as a basic bookkeeper? Check out Kruze’s competitively priced services.

Specialized Startup CPA Services

Early-stage companies are not all the same - a SaaS business is very different from a biotech company, and a hardware company is not at all similar to an ecommerce company. Some CPAs are specialized in particular verticals - ours is high-growth, VC-backed companies. From SaaS to healthtech to hardware to ecommerce, we have specialized CPAs and accountants on staff who can help your company navigate the VC landscape and manage your growth.

Some of the CPA and accounting services we provide include: bookkeeping, payroll, benefits, taxes, venture and venture debt advice, 409A valuation reporting, board prep, budget creation and HR. 

We have offices in NYC, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Austin and Los Angeles.

 

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

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$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 Viz AI

Chris Mansi

CEO @ Viz.ai

  Talk to a leading startup CPA