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Forget about learning to code—to get rich in tech, become an accountant

Interesting article and if I read this correctly: • They seem to be implying that CEOs are normally wealthier than CFOs, but this is not because of salary, but stock options. • What many of these finance chiefs often have in common is public-company experience, with previous IPO experience an especially hot commodity.. A CFO who’s managed a successful listing is often tapped to do several more. • Bloom says he has placed CFOs in finance departments that were “not fit for purpose,” even when the companies were on the cusp of an IPO. Introducing the systems and processes needed to go public can “really upset the apple cart in terms of culture,” • CFOs’ leadership skills will be tested as much as their accounting acumen. This is increasingly true for CFOs in general, not just at pre-IPO companies. • Founders .. hire dedicated finance staff only after their companies reach a certain size. This is sometimes done grudgingly, as there can be resistance to the structure and discipline imposed by finance managers on a freewheeling startup. • But if an IPO is on the horizon, structure and discipline is precisely what’s needed if a company hopes to get investors on board. I also find it interesting that : • If all goes to plan, there are few better-paying jobs for finance-savvy managers. The basic salary for a CFO at a pre-IPO company is generally around $150,000 to $200,000, says Bloom, with stock awards ranging from 0.5% to 3% of a company’s equity. Final point - Many finance chiefs leave the companies they take public not long after their options vest. What's your take? This is well worth a discussion... http://qz.com/203587/forget-about-learning-to-code-to-get-rich-in-tech-become-an-accountant/

Answers

Bryan Frey
Title: VP Finance/Corp Controller
Company:
(VP Finance/Corp Controller, ) |

I was interested to read about the revolving door. IPO-ing as CFO is a real specialty now, and it looks like many companies just bring in a CFO gunslinger for the IPO and then swap out for a long-termer afterwards. The practical implications for that are: a)early stage CFOs getting let go 18-24 months prior to IPO in favor of the "IPO gunslinger CFO" (I'm trademarking that), b)bringing in the gunslinger, and c)hiring a long-term CFO who will operate the company post-IPO. That's one heck of a lot of disruption for CFOs. It's also specialization that provides opportunity for those with the right skills.

Very interesting. Thanks, Wayne, for bringing that article to my attention!

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