Berlin is an attractive home for many of Germany’s startups. Its relative low cost of living, its artistic and cultural reputation, its linguistically diverse and young labor force, and its status as the country’s capital are among the factors that have contributed to this rich ecosystem. Market-disrupting brands such as the digital bank N26 (valued at 2.7 billion USD) and the tourism and tour bookers GetYourGuide (170.5 million USD) already call Berlin their home. According to KPMG’s Deutscher Startup Monitor 2018, Germany is answering the call with a number of supporting programs, including those designed to provide capital for especially promising growth-phase startups.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, financial management infrastructure – the systems and tools for accounting, tax, and regulatory matters – is an afterthought for many startup leaders. In the pursuit of visionary ideas and innovations, these founding entrepreneurs are more focused on the hiring of their programmers and designers than controllers and treasurers. Nevertheless, sound financial management policies and practices are as vital for startups as they are for established companies of all sizes. Moreover, attracting lenders and investors – especially to gain capital for forays into international markets in the next phase of growth – requires that entrepreneurs either become experts in financial management and accounting systems or in hiring the right consultant partners to do the same. Not doing so in timely, useful, and reliable ways can endanger the company and jeopardize the fragile balance of the startup ecosystem.
With our home base amidst Berlin’s startup scene, the CFRA is uniquely positioned to understand and contribute to emerging research in entrepreneurial accounting and financial management. Our deep knowledge of banking, finance, and investment systems coupled with our experience in educating accounting and auditing practitioners provide early-stage companies with the proper insight and perspective on the value of accurate financial documentation, integrated accounting systems, and regulatory compliance.