I’m feeling equal parts excited and anxious. I’ve just started to raise my seed round for a new startup. I’ve secured a lead investor and it appears that we’ll close the entire $3m in the next two months. Should I be recruiting a CFO now? I am an experienced Entreprenuer with a background in marketing and general business administration, but I’ve never raised significant capital before. If not a CFO, any prescient advice?

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I have a Masters in Accounting and a Masters in Taxation, and I personally would recommend against hiring a CFO at this point. It’s incredibly difficult to find someone who has real world, detailed experience in both accounting and tax, and who is also on top of regulatory issues.

They likely won’t have the time to perform all this work, so you’ll have a huge salary on the payroll and still have to outsource a substantial amount.

I would recommend instead getting a controller and maybe a VP of finance later, and hire an accounting firm to consult (vs tax attorney).

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Can you hire a part-time or outsource the CFO service?

I’m assuming your seed round is all about establishing product market fit and getting early adopters.

Most of your money should be put towards that. Hiring a part-time CFO will be sufficient

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Here are a few questions to get you started - What are the core responsibilities you want the CFO to take on now? What would they be derisking? If you brought in a cfo now, would they be the right fit 3 raises from now? And finally, do your investors want you to have a cfo?

Door dash. The areas driving this question that I want to make sure I get right (we’re a B2C business anticipating high transaction volume)

1: establishing banking and payment relationships and infrastructure

2: we’ll use carta, but I’ll need help with managing shares, cash burn and investor communication.

3: internal financial system setup and SOP’s.

4: we’ll likely have third party help, but I’ll need them to coordinate tax and regulatory issues.

I feel like this is a pretty heavy lift so the person I would bring in now would indeed be able to keep up through 3 raises.

Your final question hasn’t come up yet, but I have to expect it will right? It’s one of the reasons I’m thinking of getting ahead of it by at least starting conversations with candidates

Congrats on the raise! Get a part time/contract CFO familiar with startups to help on the investment side. If you’re going to have a lot of transactions get an accountant or controller right away to keep the day to day books.

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