Financials are both one of the most important and most overlooked parts of being a startup. You need to show impressive financials (current and projected) if you have any hopes of attracting investors, but CFO is generally seen as an extraneous position until your startup gains significant traction. The idea is that founders work together to fill in the gaps, but if no one on your team has a strong financial background, you could be shooting your startup in the foot.
Inspired by the struggles Atlanta startups are facing trying to juggle smart accounting with their limited time and resources, Accounting Now is launching C-Suites early next year. C-Suites connects startups with accounting resources and experienced financial minds.
Marc Pilgrim is an entrepreneur and intra-preneur whose experience within Atlanta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem sparked the idea. Startups tend to focus on the need for funding while not establishing a firm financial foundation that helps the company grow. C-Suites is dedicated to helping Atlanta become the most financially prepared startup community in the United States with their launch in early 2015.
What’s the story behind C-Suites?
Accounting Now is next to Atlanta Tech Village and several folks from our office attended the monthly Startup Village pitches. I’m a member of ATDC at Georgia Tech and I noticed that oftentimes startups stay in that startup space. They made connections with how to develop a startup, what to do once they want to do some manufacturing, even some customer discovery. What I didn’t see was a company that was providing startups access to C-level people who could help them develop the financial and accounting sides of their startups–people who could work with them as a company and help them forecast. I spoke to my supervisor and came up with a plan for how could we service an underserved community.
What have been the most rewarding and difficult parts of growing C-Suites?
The most rewarding part is being able to learn more about startups and their needs. As we went through customer discovery and talking to folks, we were able to take their current problems and craft a solution for them. Oftentimes, companies try to give their clients a one size fits all solution, but we’re small enough to take the time to understand what our target market looks for and how we can help build startups.
The biggest challenge is helping startups understand that (1) this is a critical piece of your longevity and (2) we can provide the level of talent they need at an affordable price. There’s a perception that it’s outside of a startup’s budget. They either have a friend do their books or they don’t focus on projections and handling that piece of the business. This is something startups need to spend time focused on—just like customer discovery, just like developing the flow of your product—and we provide that at a reasonable price.
What’s the vision for C-Suites?
My big vision for C-Suites is that when a company is in that initial phase of growth—before they bring someone on full-time—they see this as an opportunity to utilize talent here and in other growing markets around the country. Startups are able to utilize experienced CFOs and accounting managers to help the forecast and plan their business. We want to see companies grow and know that we’re helping them go from infancy to seeing them make a mark on the community.
Connect with Accounting Now through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and through phone at (404) 585-5700. Offices are located at: 3340 Peachtree Road Suite 605, Atlanta 30326
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The Author: Kristine Santos. Entrepreneur. Anthropologist. Writer. Runs social media and blogging for Atlanta-based startup PEAR’d, a virtual collaboration ecosystem for entrepreneurs. A vegetarian who’s learning how to sew and wants to know all about your startup. Let’s talk on Twitter@PEARdUP