The startup CFO's road map to success

A guide designed to help financial executives, CEOs, and board members establish the CFO role in their startup organization.

Conor Moore

Conor Moore

Partner, National Leader, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG US

+1 415-335-8401

Salvatore Melilli

Salvatore Melilli

Partner, National Audit Leader, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG US

+1 212-872-6030

Brad Sprong

Brad Sprong

Partner, National Tax Leader, KPMG Private Enterprise, KPMG US

+1 816-802-5270


At some point in every successful venture capital–backed company’s path, the board and management team have to hire a CFO or senior finance professional. It is a critical point in a growth company’s journey—usually around the time that VC funds and other institutional investors are considering more significant funding. Roles and responsibilities are being formalized, processes and controls are being implemented, and cultures and capabilities are being transformed.

For a new CFO, this is a time of tremendous opportunity. The role is not just about making the finance function run effectively; it is also about clearing a path for growth, forming new relationships and partnerships, generating measurable value, and establishing and improving key processes and reporting requirements.

We sat down with more than a dozen experienced CFOs to find out what their biggest challenges were when they started their new role, what they learned, what they might do differently the next time, and what they wish they had known. As a result of the extensive interviews, and leveraging KPMG Private Enterprise’s experience working with CFOs and growth company leaders, this guide was developed to offer guidance and a potential road map to help new CFOs drive measurable value for their organizations.

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