People have misconceptions that tech companies & startups only hire developers or engineers. I’ve been lucky to have accounting jobs at big companies such as Netflix & small-scale startups that went IPO.
A lot of my friends have asked how I got the job, what I do and what roles could they join after their public accounting career. I’ve tried my best to do a high-level overview. I hope this helps the subreddit.
- General Ledger (GL) / Corporate Accounting Team
- This team’s goal is to maintain & report accurate company financials. They ensure the financial and operational activities of the company are accurately recorded, controlled & monitored.
- They maintain accurate financials by recording journal entries, reconciling balance sheet accounts, & perform flux explanations.
- Most GL teams are broken up by Controller -> Director/Snr Manager -> Manager -> Senior -> Staff Accountant.
- GL accountants are typically in charge of a business area. For example, a Senior Accountant may be in charge of Legal costs & Fixed Assets. They’ll make sure any legal invoices are accrued for in the proper period, whether FA is capitalized properly and within the company thresholds, post depreciation & reconcile ‘Accrued Legal’ & all the related FA BS accounts (asset, accum depr).
- Requirements for joining these roles vary per company. Usually the bigger the company (think Google, Apple) – they’ll require Big 4 & CPAs if you don’t have any experience going through a full close in a similar company. If you have lots of experience in a corporate setting already, you can forgo the public accounting requirements at some companies.
- There’s a lot of nuances & different types of roles so I’ll make a separate, more detailed description in a separate post if people find this post useful.
- SEC / Technical Accounting
- This team oversees the company’s external financial reporting process, including SEC reporting (Form 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K etc.), quarterly and annual census reporting, and other financial and governmental statutory reporting. They also help ensure the proper implementation of new accounting pronouncements into financial statements & compliance with all SEC and GAAP and disclosure requirements
- Publicly listed companies or Pre-IPO teams will have this department. Smaller private startups or companies usually do not have these roles.
- Experience in a Big 4 environment is usually highly preferred or required for these roles.
- Internal Audit
- IA’s goal is to provide management an objective source regarding the accounting org’s risks, control environment, operational effectiveness, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- They perform tests and evaluate the General Ledger’s processes to ensure there are no deficiencies and often work in tandem with external auditors.
- Most large publicly listed companies have a small IA team. For the most part, they do hire outside consultants to work with their IA team.
- Experience in a Public accounting firm is usually required & most tech companies prefer Big 4.
- Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable
- AP is in charge of handling supplier invoices, paying them on a timely & accurate basis.
- AR is in charge of collection of payments for the companies goods and services.
- This is a great entry-level job if you did NOT go through the public accounting route.
- These roles usually value years of experience vs any certifications (CPA, etc..)
- Corporate Tax
- Corporate Tax teams usually file various local, state and federal tax returns. They also keep up to date with current tax procedures and developments, as well as assist companies during internal audit processes.
- This involves reviewing financial statuses and operating procedures to ensure that businesses adhere to corporate procedures. Corporate tax accountants also analyze a company’s structure and help determine a budget.
- With many large companies – there are usually tons of smaller entities that roll up to the parent org. In these cases, the tax situations are usually complicated and require a large tax team.
- Experience in a tax setting at a Public accounting firm is usually required. You can sometimes skip this by working in a corporate tax setting at similar-sized companies.
- Payroll teams file and track employee compensation data like money withheld from each paycheck and taxes and benefits the employee receives.
- No public accounting experience is needed. There are a few payroll-related certifications that will help with getting at a big tech company.
Where to look for accounting jobs at tech companies, in no particular order:
- Glassdoor. This is a great place to read employee reviews on companies. I would say this is mandatory reading when picking between offers. You don’t ever want to join a company without reading what employees have to say about their culture.
- Linkedin: Social network to show your job experiences. Probably the gold standard for networking. Recruiters from tech teams will often reach out to you here based on your Linkedin profile.
- Awesome.Accountants: This is the website I created after searching for tech jobs myself. Oftentimes, these other websites are geared toward engineers/developers & finance roles are an afterthought. I created this website specifically for accounting jobs at tech companies with filters built specifically for accountants (CPA requirements, Big 4 preference, etc..). Mods – please remove if this violates anything!
- Builtin: Great resource to find tech companies and read about their benefits, perks, & culture!
- RemoteOK: Remote-only jobs. Garnered toward tech-related roles – but some gems on here if you’re specifically looking for remote roles.
Let me know if these overviews are helpful and if they are – I’ll continue some deep dives on this subreddit. Have any further questions, happy to answer to the best of my ability!
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Author Of this post: /u/awesomeaccountants