Successful Start-Up Airbnb Talks About What it Looks for in an Accountant

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Small tech start-ups have become one of the most fascinating phenomenons in business today, producing massive revenue quickly as the public catches on to a new app, website, or social media platform. A successful new piece of tech can turn a nobody into a billionaire almost overnight.

In an increasingly tech savvy culture, more and more businesses in the tech industry are popping up and they have the same accounting needs as any other business. Airbnb, an online company that allows people to rent out their homes to travelers from across the world, laid out what it looks for in a new accounting hire, reflecting the needs of tech firms across the industry.

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While they stated that experience at a Big 4 firm or in corporate accounting was an important factor, it is certainly not the only thing that they consider when hiring an accountant.

Carlton McMillan, Senior Manager of Revenue Operations at Airbnb, stated that his reason for entering the tech world was the lack of structure.

“There was a big opportunity to build things,” said Ashley Gilliland, a Senior Accountant agreeing with McMillan. Smaller technical companies do not have the long standing infrastructure that many large firms and business have. For some it is even an afterthought, unconsidered until an accounting professional walks in the door. The tech industry is place for people who enjoy building and developing their own systems rather than simply learning the ones already in place.

Simultaneously, because the industry grows and changes so rapidly and the systems are underdeveloped, the next most important thing is flexibility. In a company that experiences rapid growth, anyone from any segment of the business might suddenly be asked to fulfill a role or task that is not entirely in their wheelhouse. Being willing to change and be flexible is the most important part of working in a company like Airbnb.

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