Venture Capital Accountants and Auditors
Accountants and auditors are employed by venture capital firms, which are headquartered throughout the United States, but especially in cities and states with strong start-up communities such as New York, Boston, and California. They also work for public accounting firms (including the Big Four: Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers) that provide services to VC firms. Additionally, there are many employment opportunities for accountants and auditors outside the alternative investments industry—with Fortune 500 companies, small- and medium-sized business, at nonprofits, and at government agencies such as the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Many aspiring VC accountants and auditors break into the industry by first working at a public accounting firm (such as PricewaterhouseCoopers) that provides services to the VC industry. Pursuing this strategy will provide you with good experience before you seek out job opportunities at VC firms.
To learn about employment opportunities, visit the Web sites of public accounting firms. At some Web sites, you can even apply for jobs. Many firms have a strong presence on college campuses via career fairs or through career exploration programs. They also offer internship programs, during which you can try out accounting jobs and make networking contacts that can lead to a permanent position.
Check out the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Web site (https://www.thiswaytocpa.com/segmented-landing/recruitment) for information on job-search strategies, career paths, writing effective resumes and cover letters, and preparing for and performing well during job interviews.
Large venture capital firms and public accounting firms provide the best advancement prospects because they employ a large number of accountants and auditors, and provide a clear-cut promotion path to their employees. At a VC firm, an experienced accountant can advance to the position of chief accountant, and then to controller, and chief financial officer (CFO). Highly experienced and skilled CFOs may be offered a partnership stake. Accountants and auditors at public accounting firms can advance to managerial positions and then to executive-level careers such as chief financial officer, CEO, or chief operating officer.
Tips for Entry
Become a certified public accountant. It will give you an edge over other applicants.
Check out "This Way to CPA" (https://www.thiswaytocpa.com) for information on education, licensure, work experience, and other resources geared to students interested in the accountant profession.
Use LinkedIn to network with people in the venture capital industry.
Become active in your school’s business or finance club.