VP, Corporate Controller at Upwork
San Francisco, CA, US

Upwork ($UPWK) is the leading tech solution for companies looking to hire the best talent, maintain flexibility, and get more done. We’re passionate about our mission to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. Every year, more than $2 billion of work is done through Upwork by skilled professionals who want the freedom of working anytime, anywhere. Top companies connecting with extraordinary talent around the globe? Upwork is how.


The VP Controller will report to the CAO and work closely with the CFO, the Executive leadership team and various business partners to continue building the best-in-class Controllership.  The Controllership owns not only the traditional technical and operational accounting functions but also manage Upwork Escrow function which is an essential to the Upwork business.  The VP Controller will be a key collaborator with our other financial leaders in the FP&A, Finance Systems, Investor Relations and Infomation Security functions in helping the CFO organization to scale for growth and be World Class.  In addition, the VP control will be the primary representative of Upwork Finance in working with the Product and Engineering groups to operationalize new service offerings and platform features that impact our financial statements.  To be successful, you must be a change agent not only to manage the Controllership function but also be a change agent leading the Upwork Diversity program. 


Leadership:  Includes hiring great talent, setting aggressive goals, and motivating and developing employees and internal freelancers. This role manages a team of approximately 25 full-time employees and 13 freelancers with responsibility for Technical Accounting & SEC reporting, Accounting Operation, Revenue Operation, Escrow Operations, Enterprise Billing, Payroll & Stock Administration.  Lead an annual audit as well as a quarterly audit, risk, and compliance committee meeting.


 Monitoring:  Expected to monitor the month-end and quarterly close process including all aspect of the SEC reporting as well as the SOX compliance program.  


 Financial Reporting/Accuracy: Partner with the FP&A Organization to ensure that we maintain accuracy of the financial statements through a monthly executive review of revenue, expenses, assets and liabilities making sure the recorded figures are verifiable and accurate. Responsible for providing guidance and training of the new accounting guidance including the SEC regulation changes to the FP&A and other cross functional organizations within the CFO organizations. Many of these documents require that the CEO/CFO sign their names, testifying to its accuracy.  Be expert on the U.S. GAAP and guide the members of the Controllership.


 Compliance Management: Be responsible for the financial reporting and payment related compliance management.  The scope includes, but not limited to, SEC regulatory requirements, statutory requirements, escrow laws and regulations, and labor laws impacting payroll and Upwork equity plans.     


 Build Operational Excellence: Continue building a culture of continuous process improvements and automation to build a scalable and best-in-class finance organization.  The automation includes, but not limited to, to lead Robotic Process Automation where applicable


Your Responsibilities:


Lead, motivate, coach and build a strong team of finance professionals to drive predictability in Upwork’s business

Responsible for the Technical accounting, SEC reporting, Accounting, Revenue, Treasury, & Escrow operations, Enterprise Billing, Payroll, and Stock Admin functions.

Drive the monthly and quarterly close, SEC reporting and Earnings release cycle including a monthly controller book review as well as reduction of the close cycle

Responsible for maintaining accounting procedures, internal controls and SOX 404 compliance efforts

Guide the Technical accounting group to create Technical and Operational accounting policy library

Lead continuous process improvements including automation and optimization of the finance systems as well as Robotic Process Automation efforts

Responsible for ensuring compliance with various rules and regulations including, but not limited to, SEC, US GAAP, SOX, and California Escrow Laws and Regulations

Responsible for preparing and presenting the materials to the Audit, Risk, and Compliance committee

Assist the FP&A function for a monthly and quarterly variance review as well as budget and forecasting cycle

Develop  relationships with internal business leaders across the organization and establish critical interface between the finance organization and cross functional team outside of the CFO organization

 with the internal business leaders to provide insights, build business plans, build out scenarios and forecast results from key revenue driving and other strategic driving initiatives

Collaborate with partnership team and the business leaders on deal modeling and key negotiations with our largest vendors and external partners

Collaborate with HR and legal functions to ensure company alignment around real estate,  bonus compensation, sales commissions, headcount and freelancer hiring process and policy

Ensure financial policy and process are created to ensure accuracy and compliance of key accruals and activities, such as sales compensation and Enterprise pricing



What it takes to catch our eye:


Passion for Upwork’s mission

20+ years of experience, and you’ve learned from your successes and missteps

Experience in both Big 4 as a CPA and public companies

High integrity

Structured thinking: comfort with numbers, details, and ambiguity

A collaborative working style and ability to work cross-functionally internally and externally

You love leading and seeing those who work for you grow and succeed

Communication skills and presence: Ability to express oneself clearly and concisely

Strategic thinking: Ability to work independently and to solve problems with minimal supervision

Ability to work in a highly dynamic environment where your voice will be heard, and your decisions will have a significant impact

Passion for or familiarity with marketplace business

A leadership background in with a public company and experience with Marketplace, B2B, Fintech or SaaS businesses

Managed distributed workforce including outsourcing, offshoring, or managing freelancers

Involvement in the diversity program, employee resource groups, or community activities





Come change how the world works.


At Upwork, you’ll shape talent solutions for how the world works today. We’re a remote-first organization supported by offices in Santa Clara and Chicago, working together to create exciting remote work opportunities for a global community of professionals. 


Our vibrant culture is built on shared values and our mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. We build amazing teams, put our community first, and have a bias toward action. We encourage everyone to bring their whole selves to work and grow together through development opportunities, mentorship, and employee resource groups. Oh yeah, we’ve also got amazing benefits.


Check out our Life at Upwork page to learn more about the employee experience.   


Upwork is proudly committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, we never discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.