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Upon receiving an offer for a controller position at a venture funded technology startup, what additional due diligence is recommended/normal?

I've researched the company online, checked out my network for related connections, and had a chance for Q&A with some of the executive team. I'm expecting a controller offer in the next few days. Would it be acceptable to ask to see the last audited financial statements and speak to someone on the team that would be reporting to myself? Are there other recommendated steps to take to evalute this opportunity? Thanks.

Answers

Anonymous
(consultant) |

Should ask to see audited financials and any management reports on internal control. This should reconfirm understanding of company ownership, financial strength and management quality. Expect company would want you to sign a confidentiality agreement to do that. Also, is reasonable to interview a couple of direct reports to better understand environment - - may be sensitive if current controller not aware of replacement or some of direct reports are also candidates.

Topic Expert
Mark Richards
Title: VP of Finance & Operations
Company: RBA Consulting
(VP of Finance & Operations, RBA Consulting) |

Here are four areas that I like to consider when looking at a start-up - will give you a good feel for the business and where to focus more attention.

Proformative blog post: "Considering a Start-up? Start with these 4 Considerations"

https://www.proformative.com/blogs/mark-richards/2011/07/15/considering-start-start-these-4-considerations

I also use the following checklist to help me make sure I've checked into each area to look for any holes in the business: https://www.proformative.com/resources/networking-tools-10-questions-understand-company

Hope this helps.

Mark

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