Accounting & Finance
San Francisco, CA, USA
Posted on Saturday, January 6, 2024

Everyone is welcome at Handshake. We know diverse teams build better products and we are committed to creating an inclusive culture built on a foundation of respect for all individuals. We strongly encourage candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, historically marginalized or underrepresented groups to apply.

Your impact

Our mission at Handshake is to give people the chance to build the career they want, no matter where they're from or what school they attend. That means we take an unconditional approach to fulfilling the dreams of students everywhere. Inside and out, Handshake is the place where anyone can start, restart, or jump start their career. No connections, experience, or luck required.

Handshake’s unique value comes from the intersection of students, employers, and universities in our talent marketplace – the number one place for students to find internships and first jobs.

About this role:

Finance at Handshake plays a pivotal role in defining our roadmap (“Where are we going?”), enabling cross-functional alignment and knowledge sharing (“How are we doing now?”), and facilitating agile decision-making (“What do we need to do/change to get to accomplish our goals?”).

Our core value is trust – we earn trust at all levels in the company by being eager problem solvers and reliable partners. We are scrappy, objective, analytical, and knowledgeable; leadership relies on our analysis and perspective to make decisions and proactively identify risks/opportunities.

The Controller will play a pivotal role in steering the financial course of Handshake during this critical phase of growth. Reporting directly to the VP of Finance, the Controller will be responsible for overseeing and owning key financial functions, including accounting, payroll, treasury management, audit processes, and IPO prep.

Key responsibilities:

Financial Leadership: Provide strategic financial leadership, collaborating with cross-functional teams to ensure alignment with overall business objectives. Develop and maintain accounting policies, procedures, and controls in accordance with industry standards and regulatory requirements.

Accounting Operations: Oversee day-to-day accounting operations, including general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and month-end close processes. Ensure accuracy and timeliness of financial reporting, including the preparation of financial statements and related disclosures.

Payroll Management: Manage payroll processes, ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Collaborate with HR to address payroll-related issues and implement best practices.

Treasury Management: Develop and execute treasury strategies to optimize cash flow and maximize liquidity.

Audit Preparedness: Coordinate external audits and liaise with auditors to ensure smooth audit processes. Implement and maintain internal controls as needed to safeguard company assets and enhance financial integrity.

IPO Preparation: Lead the financial preparation for a future IPO, collaborating with legal, compliance, and other teams to ensure a seamless transition to a publicly traded company.

Your experience:

At Handshake, the controller's role is not just about managing numbers – but actively contributing to the company's success and sustainability. The ability to balance strategic thinking, operational efficiency, and financial compliance is key for success in such an environment.

Specifically, candidates should have the following attributes:

  • Adaptability: Ability to thrive in a rapidly changing environment and adjust financial strategies and processes accordingly.
  • Strategic Thinking: Align financial activities with overall business goals and contribute to strategic decision-making.
  • Communication Skills: Effectively convey financial information to non-finance stakeholders and collaborate with cross-functional teams.
  • Technology Proficiency: Utilize financial management tools to streamline processes and provide real-time insights.
  • Leadership: Lead and manage a finance team, set priorities, and guide the team in a high-paced and dynamic startup setting.

Our ideal candidate would have the following experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or Finance; CPA designation preferred.
  • Proven experience in a senior accounting or financial leadership role, preferably in a SaaS or technology company.
  • Strong understanding of US GAAP and SEC reporting requirements.
  • Experience managing treasury functions, payroll, and audit processes.
  • Prior involvement in IPO preparation and execution is highly desirable.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate across departments.

Compensation range

  • $210,000-$230,000 per year

For cash compensation, we set standard ranges for all U.S.-based roles based on function, level, and geographic location, benchmarked against similar stage growth companies. In order to be compliant with local legislation, as well as to provide greater transparency to candidates, we share salary ranges on all job postings regardless of desired hiring location. Final offer amounts are determined by multiple factors, including geographic location as well as candidate experience and expertise, and may vary from the amounts listed above.

About us

Handshake is the #1 place to launch a career with no connections, experience, or luck required. The platform connects up-and-coming talent with 750,000+ employers - from Fortune 500 companies like Google, Nike, and Target to thousands of public school districts, healthcare systems, and nonprofits. In 2022 we announced our $200M Series F funding round. This Series F fundraise and valuation of $3.5B will fuel Handshake’s next phase of growth and propel our mission to help more people start, restart, and jumpstart their careers.

When it comes to our workforce strategy, we’ve thought deeply about how work-life should look here at Handshake. With our Hub-Based Remote Working strategy, employees can enjoy the flexibility of remote work, whilst ensuring collaboration and team experiences in a shared space remains possible. Handshake is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Denver, New York, London, and Berlin and teammates working globally.

Check out our careers site to find a hub near you!

What we offer

At Handshake, we'll give you the tools to feel healthy, happy and secure.

Benefits below apply to employees in full-time positions.

  • 💰 Equity and ownership in a fast-growing company.
  • 🍼 16 Weeks of paid parental leave for birth giving parents & 10 weeks of paid parental leave for non-birth giving parents.
  • 💝 Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision policies including LGTBQ+ Coverage. We also provide resources for Mental Health Assistance, Employee Assistance Programs and counseling support.
  • 💻 Handshake offers $500/£360 home office stipend for you to spend during your first 3 months to create a productive and comfortable workspace at home.
  • 📚 Generous learning & development opportunities and an annual $2,000/£1,500/€1,850 stipend for you to grow your skills and career.
  • 💰 Financial coaching through Origin to help you through your financial journey.
  • 🛜 Monthly internet stipend and a brand new MacBook to allow you to do your best work.
  • 🚃 Monthly commuter stipend for you to expense your travel to the office (for office-based employees).
  • 🥗 Free lunch provided twice a week across all offices.
  • 🤝 Referral bonus to reward you when you bring great talent to Handshake.

(US-specific benefits, in addition to the first section)

  • 🏦 401k Match: Handshake offers a dollar-for-dollar match on 1% of deferred salary, up to a maximum of $1,200 per year.
  • 🏝 All full-time US-based Handshakers are eligible for our flexible time off policy to get out and see the world. In addition, we offer 8 standardized holidays, and 2 additional days of flexible holiday time off. Lastly, we have a Winter #ShakeBreak, a one-week period of Collective Time Off.
  • 🍼 Lactation support: Handshake partners with Milk Stork to provide a comprehensive 100% employer-sponsored lactation support to traveling parents and guardians.

(UK-specific benefits, in addition to the first section)

  • 🏦 Pension Scheme: Handshake will provide you with a workplace pension, where you will make contributions based on 5% of your salary. Handshake will pay the equivalent of 3% towards your pension plan, subject to qualifying earnings limits.
  • 🏝 Up to 25 days of vacation to encourage people to reset, recharge, and refresh, in addition to 8 bank holidays throughout the year.
  • 🤝 Regular offsites each year to bring the team together + opportunity to travel to our HQ in San Francisco.
  • 🛍️ Discounts across various high street retailers, cinemas and other social activities exclusively for Handshake UK employees.

(Germany-specific benefits, in addition to the first section)

  • 🏝 25 days of annual leave + we have a Winter #ShakeBreak, a one-week period of Collective Time Off across the company.
  • 🤝 Regular offsites each year to bring the team together + opportunity to travel to our HQ in San Francisco once a year.
  • 🧘 Urban sports club membership offering access to a diverse network of fitness and wellness facilities.
  • 🛍️ Discounts across various high street retailers, cinemas and other social activities exclusively for Handshake Germany employees.

For roles based in Romania: Please ask your recruiter about region specific benefits.

Looking for more? Explore our mission, values and comprehensive US benefits at