Startup Accounting and Accountants: Which are the best bookkeeping firms in San Francisco?

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Kruze Consulting Startup Q&A Author
Vanessa Kruze Founder, CPA

If you’re looking for a bookkeeper for your startup, my team and I would be happy to help!

I’m a CPA and the founder of Kruze Consulting, where we provide Accounting, Tax, Finance, Bookkeeping and HR expertise for over 175+ funded startups. 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 former IRS agent who audited many, many technology companies in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Our head of FP&A is a former venture capitalist and startup operating executive. 

Together we’ve created an all-in-one back office solution for VC backed startups. Most importantly, we love what we do and look to form lasting partnerships with our clients. Part of that lasting partnership is helping our clients prepare for their next fund raise - our clients have raised over half a billion dollars in seed and venture funding in the past 12 months alone! So we think we’ve been successful on that front. We also help startups navigate an exit; an average of 1 to 3 of our clients are acquired any given month. Finally, we know what government incentives are available to help cut startups burn - our work is helping our startups save over $3 million in burn this year. 

Here’s a few of our services: Interim CFO services, startup bookkeeping, payroll, benefits, taxes, debt and equity fundraising assistance, 409A reporting, board financials, AR, AP, and HR. We also build financial models for startups that have been used to win investments from premier VC firms.

We have offices in San Francisco, San Jose (Silicon Valley), Santa Monica (Los Angeles) and New York, and our trained accountants and bookkeepers serve clients all over the United States. 

What to look for in a Startup Bookkeeper

 

Startups, especially San Francisco Startups, need a bookkeeper experienced in startup accounting. Not all bookkeepers are accustomed to working with startups. Fundraising, dealing with venture capitalists on the board, sudden acquisition offers or financial diligence requests from potential partners - it’s nothing like being a personal CPA or working with a traditional small business. 

Your startup’s accounting partner needs to start de-risking your next funding round right away. When we onboard a new client, we run them through a checklist to make sure we can get their financial files in order to sail through VC financial due diligence. And we start setting up a due diligence folder with your historical financials and other important documents, like tax returns, so you don’t have to delay your Series A, B, etc. while you search for paperwork. (Check out our due diligence checklist here so you can see some of the files we start to pull together for you.)

Secondly, your bookkeeper needs to know how to automate as much of the busy work as possible, to save the startup founder/CEO/executive team time. Every minute you waste doing silly bookkeeping paperwork is a minute you don’t get to use to generate your MVP or make that next sale or partnership. Startup founders need to be able to focus on what matters and use automation (and a competent bookkeeper) to get their numbers right. Read our Startup Financial Health Tips here to see the systems we set up for you so you can focus on growing your startup and not on your books!

Finally, you want someone who knows about startups. So many small business CPAs try to handle startup’s financials and fail. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen incorrect revenue, incorrect treatment of convertible notes, and just plain wrong stuff when we’ve taken over the books from bookkeepers who claim to know how to help startups, but who are really generic SMB accountants. In fact, a lot of times, VCs bring us into their investments because they can’t get the financial data they need out of their portfolio company’s current bookkeeping solution. That person in the Nashville call center might be very nice, but they don’t know what it’s like to be a San Francisco startup raising a $10 million Series A. We do.

Feel free to reach out to me: vanessa@kruzeconsulting.com or fill out our form and one of us will be in contact with you to see if we can help your startup manage your books. 

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