Venture Capital Chief Financial Officers
Chief financial officers are employed by venture capital firms (there are more than 1,000 in the U.S.), the portfolio companies of VC firms, and accounting firms that provide services to VC funds. In addition, CFOs work for other businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
Since it’s so difficult to land a job at a venture capital firm, many aspiring CFOs begin their careers working as accountants and auditors at accounting firms (preferably at one of the Big Four) that have VC practices, portfolio companies of VC firms, regulatory agencies such as the Securities & Exchange Commission, or the accounting/internal auditing departments of corporations. After obtaining a few years of experience, they can transition to entry-level accounting or auditing jobs at a VC firm.
You can learn about job openings by networking online (via LinkedIn, discussion boards of professional associations, etc.) and by attending in-person events held by trade organizations, your school’s career service office, and casual networking groups that list events on Web sites such as MeetUp.com.
A chief financial officer at a venture capital firm may be asked to become a partner or the managing partner. A few highly skilled CFOS start their own VC funds. Those employed by corporations or public accounting firms can advance to the positions of chief operating officer or chief executive officer.
Tips for Entry
Attend the annual National Venture Capital Association Strategic Operations & Policy Summit (https://nvca.org/strategic-operations-policy-summit) to network and participate in continuing education opportunities.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Join professional associations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association for Financial Professionals to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.