Kruze Consulting has helped clients secure billions of dollars in seed and venture funding with Top tier VCs. Also helps startups save millions in cash expenses from their R&D tax credit work. Looking for the best startup consultants? Vanessa Kruze, the CEO and founder of Kruze Consulting will be sharing more details with us in this interview.
Please tell us your name and about yourself?
I’m Vanessa Kruze, the Founder and CEO of Kruze Consulting, CPA and big-four alum. I’ve helped startups raise more than $500 million in funding over the last 12 months and am an early adopter of cloud accounting solutions at scale.
My team and I pioneered the use of cloud accounting technologies to deliver quality accounting and innovative consulting services using a highly automated process. By weaving together services like QuickBooks Online, Gusto, Bill.com and Expensify, we’ve been able to automate a significant amount of the accounting work so I can focus on delivering rock-solid client experiences and expert guidance. Since 2012, I’ve leveraged these new, unique dynamics to service hundreds of startups in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York, and other major startup hubs. Kruze Consulting has been lucky enough to contribute to the success of unicorns like Calm.com, darlings like Superhuman, Fleetsmith, Viz.ai, and hot new disrupters like Well Health, and Drone Seed.
I’m also a new mother, an avid Peloton spinner, and voracious Quora contributor/reader.
What is Kruze Consulting?
Founded in 2012, Kruze Consulting provides startup CFO consulting to over 170+ startups in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, New York, and other major startup hubs. We are completely focused on serving funded startups. Kruze’s clients have raised over $500 million in venture capital in the last 12 months, and are market leading Saas, software, eCommerce, eHealth and FinTech startups.
Companies funded by venture capitalists have very particular needs, and Kruze Consulting is designed to deliver the financial metrics, HR systems and tax compliance funded startups (and their boards) require. Our team handles all things accounting, tax, finance, & HR. Everything from interim CFO Consulting, financial modeling, startup tax returns, venture debt consulting, 409A valuations, bookkeeping, AR/AP, and Seed/Series A/B Fundraising Preparation can be seamlessly handled by the professionals at Kruze. Visit https://kruzeconsulting.com/ to learn more.
What makes Kruze Consulting the best startup CFO consulting firm in this industry?
Our focus, our team, and our systems make Kruze Consulting the best startup CFO firm in Silicon Valley and beyond. Because we only work with startups, we know how to handle the intricacies that come with running high-growth, VC-backed businesses. Kruze Consulting understands the complexities CEOs deal with while managing a board of directors full of experienced, professional investors. We get the challenges of managing HR systems for companies that need rapidly to double, triple or quadruple headcount. Kruze’s tax experts understand how to use R&D tax credits to reduce a startup’s burn-rate. Startups are all we do.
I believe that Kruze Consulting has the best team of accountants, CFOs, tax experts and operating executives available to VC funded companies. We have former IRS agents who used to audit tech companies, we have former venture capitalists and venture debt investors, we have former operating executives – and some of the best junior accountants out there. We get the stresses that our founders face. And, since we have worked with hundreds of companies, we likely have seen most of the situations facing our clients, so can offer sound, experienced advice.
Finally, Kruze Consulting is a pioneer in SaaS and cloud accounting solutions. We were one of the first firms to see the value of integrating and automating accounting, HR, payroll and other back-end systems. These highly automated systems allows startups to have access to seasoned experts at competitive prices. That allows me to focus on the human elements of high-quality, expert guidance – and that’s what sets Kruze apart from the rest of the competition.
Could you briefly guide us through the process of your Accounting, finance, taxes, & payroll all in one solution?
The typical process for a Kruze Consulting client would start with a customized onboarding process. We have a checklist that we use to make sure that our clients are going to be ready for their next fund raise, since almost all of our clients are expecting to raise another round of venture capital. This checklist helps us understand where we need to gather or update the startup’s data, and also helps us know where the client might need additional help with its systems. Kruze Consulting will also help set up the right back-end systems for smooth HR, accounting, expense management and more, so that our startup client is ready for rapid hiring, revenue growth, etc.
In addition to delivering reliable monthly books, we’ll work with our clients to make sure they are ready to be successful during tax season. Many non-startup focused CPAs do not realize that there are many tax incentives available to unprofitable startups. This year, our startups will reduce their expenses by over $3 million due to our expertise on the startup tax code.
Finally, Kruze Consulting offers a variety of specialized services, such as part-time CFO help, that many of our startups use. We can assist clients during a venture capital process, help them work with many of the venture lending groups or even manage an internal budgeting exercise with their management team.
Kruze seems to be the right accounting partner for startups, what types of startups do you usually work with?
We specialize in funded tech startups across seed through series C funding across almost every vertical. Some of our specialties include consumer, enterprise, health and bio technologies as well as SasS and subscription service companies. No matter what market a startup targets, we’ve got someone with years of experience to help founders navigate their way through successful funding rounds.
Kruze uses cloud accounting software for your services, could you tell us more about this, how it works and the benefits?
We are one of the first companies to embrace new technologies and bring the benefits to our clients. We are constantly on the lookout for new technologies that make what we do better, cheaper and faster. Combined with the expert touch of knowledgeable executives, these tools can be harnessed for enormous impact. We’re a Gusto Gold Partner and have been named Firm of the Year by Expensify, so our technology roots run deep. Unlike many old-school accounting firms, we have a software development team that helps integrate cloud technologies to make what we do better, faster and cheaper to our clients.
The driving purpose of pursuing technology so aggressively is that it allows Kruze Consulting’s clients unprecedented access to the professionals they seek guidance from. Technology allows our seasoned industry veterans to focus on being partners and advisors to founders at prices that startups can afford. Because we’ve driven so much automation, our team has more time to make sense of the numbers and offer value added advice.
What successful companies have you worked with, could you share some of your success stories with us?
Calm, Nadine West, Superhuman, Vimeo and Fleetsmith are the first to come to mind. Superhuman, Calm and Fleetsmith have all raised tens of millions of venture capital funding in the past couple of months. One customer story that really crystallizes what we do at Kruze is
Nadine West. Like many startups, they faced a significant amount of growth over a short period of time. Without the organization that Kruze brings to these types of situations, things can get start getting complicated quickly. Nadine West has a great CEO in Ben Munoz though, and he saw this dynamic coming. Working with Kruze, Nadine West was able to scale operations to grow from just a handful of employees to over 100 in just a few years. They’re HR and accounting systems are built to scale and Nadine is poised for significant (and manageable) growth over the coming years.
Kruze Consulting offers outsourced CFO services for startups, how does this work and what are the costs?
Founders come to Kruze Consulting looking for a partner they can trust to handle the financial side of their business. Founders of growing companies can rarely handle the workload themselves and finding a seasoned, trusted professional for an internal hire is usually prohibited by both cost and time. When startups first come to us we run them through an onboarding checklist to make sure that they will be ready for their next fund raise, and to assess their particular needs. After we complete the checklist, we make sure their back-end services, like HR, payroll, expenses, benefits, etc. are on highly automated and integrated systems. By removing these time consuming tasks, we’re able to not only free up the time of Founders, but free up the time of our accountants and CPAs.
Sometimes, our clients grow to the point where they start to need more exert financial advice – such as repeated analysis on growth or profitability, or advice negotiating the payment terms in a sales contract. These are activities that a CFO would typically handle. Kruze Consulting has access to a network of part-time, startup specialized CFOs. This gives our clients the ability to afford the CFO-level advice they start to need, but saves them time recruiting and saves them the salary of a full time CFO.
What makes Kruze special?
Technology as part of the Kruze DNA from the beginning. Early in my career I recognized the transformative power technology could have on not only the workflow, but on the culture of the business. Because we’re masters of automation at Kruze, we are able to spend more time analyzing our clients business and offering professional guidance. This builds lasting relationships and trust that benefit both the clients and my team as well. We’ve done this with copious amounts of startups, so we know exactly how to guide companies through some of the most confusing and tumultuous times.
For more information, visit: https://kruzeconsulting.com/