Funded Startups

Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Family Office Funded Startup CPA Firm

VC and other funded startups have unique challenges that aren’t seen in other businesses. The VC or other Institutional Investors will expect you to provide proper financials for their analysis and review, far in excess of what a small business at similar levels of revenue growth would expect. Additionally, you have challenges with stock options and convertible debt instruments, which have made startup accounting a more specialized niche. Bette’s first startup accounting gig was right out of MIT for an MIT Startup, and she has worked with technology and startup companies ever since. As the founder of a startup CPA firm, Bette has volunteered as a mentor at Incubate Miami, one of the first attempts at building south Florida’s startup scene. We handle the accounting and tax needs of funded startups, making sure that the options are properly accounted for. If you involve us early while the lawyers are drafting the agreements, we can make sure that all your business and tax issues are addressed in your legal paperwork, issues that may not be fixable if not addressed early.

R&D Tax Credit

Getting the Research and Development Tax Credit

Congress has created tax credits for companies that conduct R&D, and their definition of R&D is broader than you may think it is. By properly documenting things like software development or initial product creation, we can maximize the tax credits. Even if your startup does not expect profits for many years, those tax credits provide a tax shield that is a company asset, making you more valuable in an exit. More recent legislation allows for R&D credits to offset payroll taxes, allowing startups to cash in on those credits immediately.

Foreign Founder?

Foreign Ownership is Our Specialty

If you have foreign ownership in your start-up, you may have unique reporting needs. For example, failing to properly file Form 5472, if required, can end up with a $25,000 penalty, which is absurdly large for not filing one form. Additionally, the need to do Federal Withholding on payments to foreign owners may depend on the specifics of the tax treaty with the owner’s country, requiring us to review the documents and establish a policy. While we may need a tax attorney for particularly difficult cases, many of these situations are routine for our firm but would be virtually unknown to a neighborhood tax firm. If you have foreign owners, please engage us as quickly as possible so we can work with your business attorneys during the business formation (or soon thereafter) phase, so we can ensure compliance with all requirements, and hopefully guide you in the most advantageous structure possible.

Stock Options are Complex

Have a CPA Firm that Gets Them

While your tax treatment ultimately comes down to IRS paperwork, which paper to file is somethings that a good startup CPA can help you with. The IRS has information on Stock Options, but the rules governing statutory stock options and nonstatutory stock options can be complicated. We’ll meet with the founders and the business attorney to help you structure your paperwork to minimize the tax burden from the stock options.

Founder/Employee Stock Options

Tax Elections for Founders and Employees

Most entrepreneurs know vaguely that stock options are income, but income in the future so therefore ignore it. However, if setup properly, we can massively reduce your future tax burden very inexpensively at this time. The tax code allows you to either be taxed on sale or on receipt, as well as let you set your holding dates despite different vesting schedules.

For later round employees, a poorly chosen election can result in a massive tax bill on a speculative option. For founders and early round employees, a poorly chosen election may result in a massive tax bill on exit.

In High Tax States, The Impact is Huge

The difference between regular income rates (as high as 37%) and long term capital gains (capped at 20%) can be substantial for founders who may be looking at a multi-million dollar payday in the future.

In high tax states like Massachusetts, California, and New York, the consequences can be even more severe. We have extensive experience guiding founders in their stock option tax election, helping them make the right decision and filing the relatively obscure paperwork with the IRS. Many startup founders, used to doing things themselves with Turbotax, may find that they owe millions of dollars more by failing to properly document this process.

Profitability is Important

Even Startups need to plan for profitability

Startups may be expected to lose money for years, with an anticipated burn rate. However, there is “good burn” where you are developing assets to produce future income, and “bad burn” where your poor controls result in losing money without an expected ROI (Return on Investment). As a startup-centric CPA firm, we understand the difference, which may not be apparent to your neighborhood CPA that specializes in W-2 employees and local businesses. We can work with you to implement profitability processes via Profit First so that your actual revenue generating projects produce gross profits, even if the company is generating losses. This will help contain your burn rate, and make your pro forma income statements look better, helping with valuations for future funding or exits.

Profit First for Startups

Startup Focused CPA Firm that adapted Profit First

Most Profit First professionals are not equipped to advise startups, but our unique experience working with Technology and Biotech Startups as well as local businesses helps us use those methods to help our startups increase their valuations through better financial controls. We’ll help you make certain that your business’s services are profitable, even while the business is burning capital in rapid growth mode. This will make the transition to profitability smoother as you grow towards your eventual acquisition, IPO, or unicorn status.

Your CPA Firm

We work for you, not your investors.

Startup founders aren’t often interested in the details of accounting and finance, they are product people that want to change the world. It’s tempting to use the startup CPA firm your investors recommend. However, there is a conflict of interest if your CPA firm depends on your investors for more business. We work for you and your management team, to help you grow your business for all shareholders, not just the investors.

Startup Expert CPA – More Info

Forward Looking

We’ve been cloud based for 7 years, we’re fully on SaaS systems, we get your world, we operate in your world.

Intelligence

Junior work is done by junior staff to keep your bill down, but all the higher level discussions are with Bette, who studied engineering at MIT and has a Masters Degree in Accounting, she can keep up.

Firm Structure

Bette was a mentor on Incubate Miami, and works with startups in Boston, New York, and Miami. Need accounting, advisors, or an independent director? Bette can help.

Startup Companies need the right CPA Firm

Let’s see if we’re compatible, schedule a Zoom Meeting.

Startups are unique companies, with specialty needs. You also need a CPA Firm that works for you, not your investors. We’ll help you through each stage of your business, from pre-revenue tax concerns, through KPI development as you aim for unicorn status. If the right suitor comes along, you’ll feel confident entering your exist negotiations knowing that your company financials are in great shape and ready to present to the data room. Don’t let the choosing the wrong accounting firm undermine your startup success, schedule a Zoom Meeting with Bette now.

Success doesn’t just find you. You have to go out and get it.

Your Success is Our Success!