Startup CFO

Experienced part-time CFOs for your fast growing startup

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Jim Gellas

Startup CFO Consultant at Kruze Consulting

San Francisco, California

Services: Financial Analysis, Financial Reporting, Financial Modeling, Accounting, Business Valuation, Business Development, Finance, Operations Management, Auditing, Strategic Planning, Start-ups, Go-to-market Strategy, Acquisition Integration, Business Planning, Venture Capital, Internal Controls, U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), Operating Budgets, Restructuring, U.S. SEC Filings, Analytics, Cloud Computing, Budgeting, Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, Forecasting, Human Resources, Change Management, Recruiting

Tools: Software as a Service (SaaS), Enterprise Software

Education: University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business, Lehigh University

Awards: Future Bay Area CFO of the Year, CalCPA Distinctive Service Award

Past Companies: Kruze Consulting, TrapX Security, Xero

Summary

As a senior Finance leader, I enable business initiatives and GTM strategies through the Finance function, while guarding enterprise metrics for efficiency and optimization of resource allocation and risk mitigation. I partner with my peers, mentor my team and collaborate with internal and external teams to create successful business outcomes.As a driven professional, I work tirelessly to deliver world-class support, CFO-level insights and results to the stakeholders to whom I am accountable. I've enjoyed creating organizational success through transformation of business processes and tools, re-alignment of business models, rigorous analysis of metrics and KPIs and team oriented execution that leads to achievement of common goals.As part of my ongoing responsibilities I endeavor to provide:
- Timely Financial, Operational and Board level reporting
- Strategic planning and execution
- FP&A rigor and insights
- SOX level internal controls
- Organizational policies, processes and standards that directly impact the bottom line
- Enablement of Corporate and Business Development efforts through M&A and Strategic Partnerships
I am passionate about enabling successful entrepreneurial ventures and thrive when working with energetic leaders who strive to deliver the very best customer experiences, products and financial results.I maintain my LinkedIn profile to foster deeper business relationships and connect with other entrepreneurial leaders. I can be reached at jim.gellas@gmail.com. You can also review my twitter feed @JGellas.

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Guy Anthony

CFO at David Powell

Burlingame, California

Services: Financial Analysis, Mergers & Acquisitions, Manufacturing, Venture Capital, Business Strategy, Strategy, Process Improvement, Corporate Development, Financial Reporting, Purchasing, Financial Modeling, Project Management

Tools: Quickbooks Online, Netsuite, Bill.com, Expensify

Education: Harvard Business School, Albion College

Past Companies: David Powell Financial Services, Medicalis, Cervel Neurotech

Summary

Guy serves as consulting CFO to a broad range of start-up ventures, efficiently assisting early stage growth and providing C-Level advice and analysis to CEOs and their Boards. Prior to his consulting engagements Guy had 14 years full time start-up CFO experience leading to 4 successful exits totaling over $400M. These ventures included Medicalis, Cervel Neurotech, Spectra7 Microsystems, Solaicx, Quellan and Stentor. Guy’s career foundation was laid in Intel Finance spanning 22 years across Intel Capital, M&A and Controllership. Guy actively volunteers in various non-profit organizations and in his local church. Guy received his MBA from Harvard Business School preceded by a BA in with majors in Economics and Computational Mathematics from Albion College.

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Steve Bennet

Angel Investor, Professor and CFO at

Palo Alto, California

Services: True Global Ventures, Bodega Partners, Rollbar, Xenio Systems, WaterSmart Software, San Jose State University, Sand Hill Angels, Cross Coin Ventures, Qvivr, Callisto Media, Menlo Incubator, AppBistro, Fliqz, Inc., TextDigger, Inc., iControl Networks, Pharmacy TV, Outlook Ventures, University of California, Berkeley, Stratex Networks, Arthur Andersen & Co., U.S. Department of the Treasury

Tools: Quickbooks Online, Netsuite, Bill.com, Expensify

Education: University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business, Lehigh University

Past Companies: True Global Ventures, Bodega Partners, Rollbar, Xenio Systems, WaterSmart Software

Summary

Steve Bennet is founder and managing director of Bodega Partners and is an active participant in the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem as start-up CFO, Angel Investor, and Professor.Over the past 25 years, he has been CFO, investor, and/or board member of over 100 technology start-ups, primarily in the software, Internet, and mobile sectors. CFO roles include Xenio Systems, Qvivr, Callisto Media, Revel Systems, iControl Networks (acquired by Comcast), Appstores (acquired by InMobi), Greystripe (acquired by ValueClick), Fliqz (acquired by VBrick Systems), Valchemy (acquired by IBM), GolfWeb (acquired by CBS Sportsline), Orbital Data (acquired by Citrix), TextDigger (acquired by Federated Media), and Pharmacy TV Network (acquired by RMG Networks). Some of these resulted in excellent financial returns to founders and investors, while others did not.Steve has a passion for both entrepreneurship and education. He has taught entrepreneurial finance since 1995 and is currently adjunct faculty at San Jose State University. Previously, he was a lecturer at U.C. Berkeley. His focus is on experiential education and has developed new courses at SJSU, including the Entrepreneurship Lab (ELAB), Venture Lab (VLAB), Startup Founders and Funders, and the Silicon Valley Experience. He is also on the Steering Committee for the Silicon Valley Center for Entrepreneurship and UCLA Venture Capital Fund. Prior to and concurrent with Bodega, Steve was a Founding Partner at True Global Ventures, Partner at CrossCoin Ventures, Venture Partner at Outlook Ventures, Board Member of Sand Hill Angels, Partner at Menlo Incubator and held various financial and management positions at Bay Logics, Digital Microwave, and Arthur Andersen.Steve earned an undergraduate degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA. He blogs at www.professorvc.com and tweets @ProfessorVC.

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Eliza Howard Trapp

Financial Consultant and Interim CFO for Start-Ups at

New York, New York

Services: Financial Modeling, New Media, Strategy, Business Development, Investment Banking, Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Competitive Analysis, Strategic Partnerships

Education: Columbia Business School, Duke University

Past Companies: Indicator Ventures, EHT Financial, CORE Media Group Inc., Endemol USA,

Summary

Eliza Howard Trapp works as a sort of rent-a-CFO for start-ups that do not yet need someone full time. The main focus of her work is building and updating financial/operating models but she also helps with putting together investor/board decks and offering strategic guidance and decision support as well as any day to day finance or analytical needs of the client. She works with companies in any industry, varying in stage from ideas that haven't launched to companies that have been through several rounds of funding.

Kruze Certified Badge

Adam Metzger

Managing Partner at ACM Consultants

Brooklyn, New York

Services: Trading, Derivatives, Fixed Income, Portfolio Management, Capital Markets, Valuation, Hedge Funds, Equities

Education: University of California, Berkeley

Past Companies: Seamless Payments, Harmony Labs, BetterPT, Civic Hall

Summary

Adam has almost 20 years of leadership experience in finance & capital markets, investment management, and business development. For the past several years, Adam has been working as a CFO/advisor for startups and growth-stage companies to provide them with strategic, financial, and operational guidance.

Startup CFOs - Partner with kruze

Kruze clients are industry leading, funded Delaware corporations - if you are an experienced startup professional who consults with fast growing companies let us know! We’d be happy to learn about your experience and see if adding you to our network makes sense.

What is "Kruze Certified"

Kruze works with hundreds of startups every year, helping with everything from taxes to payroll to accounting to fund raising. We’ve helped many of these fast-growing companies find part-time CFO help, and we once we are comfortable with a finance professional’s qualifications and experience, we add the “Kruze Certified” designation! If your company needs senior finance help, talk to us today!

Kruze Certified Badge

Startup CFO FAQs

What are the responsibilities of a startup CFO?

The main responsibilities of a startup’s CFO are to:

  • manage the startup’s financial reporting
  • build and maintain the startup’s projections and budget
  • execute capital raises, like venture capital rounds
  • handle legal and negotiations for the CEO, such as leases, insurance, etc

The CFO should be helping translate the company’s metrics into insight that the rest of the management team can use to make strategic decisions - important decisions like when to make additional hires, when to ramp up sales or marketing spend, how potential contract will impact unit economics, etc.

Learn more about what does a good startup cfo do

Should seed stage startups have a CFO?

Most seed stage startups do not need a full time CFO. While it’s tempting for a “business” founder to take a Chief Financial Officer title, this is probably not the most important role for most seed stage companies to have filled with a full time person (COO may be a better title for that business founder).

A part-time CFO or experienced accounting CPA firm is a better fit for most seed (and most Series A startups) because they can be an experienced, frugal way to get the output that you’d expect from a CFO without the cost.

When does a startup need a CFO?

Startups should consider hiring a Part-Time CFO at a minimum of one quarter before a new fundraise. (Note that for many startups, a part-time CFO is the right option vs. a FTE CFO.) Startup CEOs will be VERY busy during a fund raise. Having a CFO to work on the projections, prepare KPIs, answer financial reporting questions - and in the best case - come with existing venture capital relationships, will drive a lot of leverage for the CEO during this challenging time.

Part-Time CFOs work well for Seed, Series A-C Startups. Past Series D, a startup will usually hires a CFO to manage the now growing accounting department, but expect to pay $240K+. There are signs that your startup is ready for a CFO (even when your company is only at the Series A or B stage). Some of these signs include the CEO having to interact on an almost daily basis with the CFO, the CEO or COO having to work closely on multiple client contracts with the sales team, the CEO having to deal with multiple accounting questions a week, etc.

And if your startup will consider going public within the next 12 to 18 months, you need a full time, public company experienced CFO.

Learn more about when does a startup need a CFO

Client testimonials

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We're huge fans of Vanessa and the folks at Kruze Consulting. They set up our books, finances, and other operations, and are constantly organized and on top of things. As a startup, you have to focus on your product and customers, and Kruze takes care of everything else (which is a massive sigh of relief). I highly highly highly recommend working with Vanessa and her team.

Vivek Sodera
Vivek Sodera
Co-Founder @ Superhuman
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Kruze's financial infrastructure empowers me to focus on my team, our products, and our customers. As an entrepreneur I couldn't be happier.

Jake Lodwick
Jake Lodwick
Creator of Vimeo
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Avochato has been growing rapidly in the past year – in fact, too quickly for us to keep up with books, taxes, and budgeting for growth. Partnering with Kruze Consulting has been fantastic to manage, track, and analyze our finances while we continue focusing on building our customer base. Kruze’s team knows what startups need.

Alex De Simone
Alex De Simone
CEO @ Avochato
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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
CEO @ Viz.ai
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Kruze Consulting is the perfect Accounting, Finance and Tax partner for Los Angeles Startups. Kruze delivers exceptional monthly reporting and financial projections. When we need help with benefits or payroll, Kruze solves our problems. Kruze does our taxes for a fraction of what previous accountants have charged. Thank you Kruze for being a great partner.

Brett O'Brien
Brett O'Brien
CEO @ FLYR
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Being a repeat tech entrepreneur, I know how challenging it is to find the ideal CFO - not only is it often expensive to find the right one, but CFOs who combine expertise with scrappiness, market vision and perspective with detail orientation and 'roll up your sleeves' execution is near impossible for an early stage company. So I've been thrilled to work with Kruze Consulting, who not only provide all the ideal characteristics of a top-tier tech CFO, but also live and breathe entrepreneurship themselves. I've known Scott and Vanessa for many years and their deep personal integrity and strong reputation in the industry and made it an easy decision to work with them again.

Tina Fitch
Tina Fitch
CEO @ HobNob
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NIH, NSF, and SBIR grant compliance can add a lot of overhead for a start-up. The Kruze team makes it easy, so we can spend our time growing the business instead of shoveling paperwork.

Charlie Silver
Charlie Silver
CEO @ Mission Bio
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As a startup, it’s incredibly important to keep track of where our money is coming from and where it’s being spent. Kruze Consulting really helps keep our books and taxes in order so that we can focus on the core business. Extremely responsive and very professional, the accountants at Kruze Consulting are a pleasure to work with. We’d highly recommend their services.

Peter Lai
Peter Lai
CEO @ Emburse

About Us

A CPA Firm Specialized in Startup Accounting & Finance

A CPA Firm Specialized in Startup Accounting & Finance

Startups are our niche, and our passion. Our clients have raised over half a billion in venture capital financing in the past 12 months. We are one of only a few accounting firms that specialize in funded startups - we only offer financial and tax services to fast growing startups in the Seed, Series A, Series B and Series C stages.

The Right Accounting Partner for Your Startup’s Next Round

The Right Accounting Partner for Your Startup’s Next Round

We know how to de-risk your startup’s next venture capital round. Our team makes sure sure you are ready to fly through your next VC’s accounting, HR and tax due diligence. And when you use us as your bookkeeper, we set up and keep up-to-date a due diligence folder so you can get that next round of fundraising.

A Leader in Cloud Accounting Software

A Leader in Cloud Accounting Software

Our practice is built on best of breed cloud accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, Netsuite, Gusto, Zenefits, Expensify, Avalara, Brex iand Bill.com. Technology makes us more efficient, saving our clients money and letting us offer higher value services like FP&A modeling, 409A valuation and venture debt consulting. Startups deserve to work with CPAs using modern software.

Trusted by Top Venture Investors

Trusted by Top Venture Investors

Top angel investors and VCs refer Kruze because they trust us to give the right advice. Our clients are portfolio companies of top technology and Silicon Valley investors, including Y-Combinator, Kleiner, Sequoia, Khsola, Launch, Techstars and more. With us, your books and taxes are in order when it’s time to raise another round of venture financing.

What types of startups does Kruze Consulting usually work with?

What types of startups does Kruze Consulting usually work with?

Kruze Consulting works with a variety of funded Delaware C-Corps, but the majority of our companies have secured Seed, Series A, Series B and Series C. We look to partner with our startups, going beyond the typical accounting relationship and seeking to provide a higher level advisory role. We feel honored to be a part of making the world a better place, even if it’s one debit and credit at a time.

Accounting, Finance, Taxes, & Payroll all in one solution

Accounting, Finance, Taxes, & Payroll all in one solution

Startup CFO services, startup accounting and bookkeeping services, startup annual taxes, expense reports, payroll, benefits: we've got you covered. Custom tailored dashboards are provided weekly or monthly, depending on your preference. Startup founders are often too busy building their company that they don’t have time to take care of their finances. Traditionally, these startups have had to work with a basket of people to get their work done, including bookkeepers, accountants, AP clerks, CFOs, startup consulting companies, and tax accountants. Just coordinating the conversation between all these parties drained even more of a founder’s precious time. At Kruze Consulting, our founders have one point person to manage all startup accounting needs, which saves them time and money.

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