Building Your Brand & Wearing Multiple Hats

November 28, 2022

By: Stephanie Ananian

F Suite Event Stage 06
Keynote with Gautam Gupta, GP @ A*/Former CFO, Opendoor

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Notes from F Suite Virtual Clubhouse | Building Your Brand & Wearing Multiple Hats


Co-hosted by Raghunand Makonahalli (Genies Inc.) & Josh Sroge (HBAR Foundation)


How does ownership and cross-functionality as a company advances?


• Earlier stage; often owning non-finance functions (real estate, IT, operations, sales, business development, procurement) and “easier” to partner cross-functionally with other groups


• Later stage; hire for those non-finance functions so you can focus on core CFO functions, but partnering with other operating groups may require more proactiveness


How can you be seen as more than just the CFO and drive operations?


• Implementing analytics, improving operations, analyzing efficiency metrics

• Be generous with time to other employees (“consult for them”)


• Be a problem solver for the CEO


When wearing multiple hats, what are the top responsibilities that a CFO should still prioritize?


• Hire a strong controller; startup accounting can be complex, particularly around equity compensation and tax considerations


• Compensation; there’s a lot of mechanical work that needs to be done when hiring rapidly (ensure their compensation is clean, equity is being distributed correctly, shows up in Carta correctly, etc.)


• Budgeting; implement processes in T&E, software, hiring, events, etc.


How should you handle an earlier-stage company with a unified FP&A/Accounting team?


• At a smaller company, give reports exposure to both sides


•The sooner they can be bifurcated the better; allows for better corporate “hygiene”, e.g. if a complex tax matter arises which requires an external consultant, better to have a full-time accountant focus on that versus building a projection model