From Public Accounting to Tech Unicorn IPOs With Brandt Kucharski

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Blake chats with Brandt Kucharski, former chief accounting officer at GrubHub and current CAO at Ethos Life, about his career journey from public accounting to leading startups through IPOs. They discuss Brandt's pivotal role in taking GrubHub public as one of the first "unicorn" startups, the process of scaling accounting teams and controls, nonprofit work with the Holiday Heroes Foundation, and thoughts on increasing accounting talent amid growing complexity.

  • (01:06) - Welcome Brandt Kurcharski to the show
  • (02:38) - Early Career and Joining GrubHub
  • (05:08) - What was the first thing you did at GrubHub?
  • (05:42) - The Journey to IPO
  • (09:52) - What advice would you give a young controller going through an IPO
  • (11:30) - Let's talk about GrubHub's tech stack at the time
  • (15:27) - Building the Accounting Team at GrubHub
  • (18:04) - The smartest thing you did at GrubHub
  • (23:57) - Reflection on GrubHub's Success
  • (25:22) - Biggest mistake you made at GrubHub
  • (26:48) - Size of Your Accounting Team
  • (29:04) - The Merger with Seamless and Going Public Again
  • (31:10) - Let's talk Sarbanes-Oxley
  • (34:48) - The Journey of Grubhub's Second Public Listing
  • (35:55) - The Challenges of Merging and Going Public Again
  • (37:54) - The Role of Charity in Personal Growth
  • (41:05) - Accounting Challenges For a Charity
  • (43:20) - The Journey from Grubhub to Ethos Life
  • (47:36) - Accounting at Ethos vs GrubHub
  • (49:15) - The Impact of Accounting Standards on Business
  • (55:14) - The Accounting Talent Crisis and Possible Solutions
  • (01:01:12) - Thanks for Listening and Remember to Subscribe
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Creators and Guests

Brandt Kucharski
Brandt Kucharski
My background consists of 20-plus years of consulting experience working for Crowe Horwath/ Crowe Capital Markets and leading the IPO of Grubhub as CAO. My experiences encompass various industries, including manufacturing, professional services, technology, hospitality, retail, and financial services. At Crowe, I spent the first half of my career in the firm’s audit practice, managing public financial statement audits and performing Sarbanes Oxley 404 Consulting. I spent the remaining years at Crowe in the transaction services/investment banking group managing private placements and buy/sell side transaction services for private equity investors, lenders, and corporations. I was a key team member/lead the 2014 successful IPO of Grubhub on the NYSE. I am currently the CAO of a rocket ship that is completely disrupting the 150-year-old life insurance space named Ethos. During my tenure at Crowe Horwath/Grubhub, I have managed and led 50+ successful transaction services totaling over 5 billion in consideration and 6 executed IPOs. I am an industry expert in SAAS and frequently advise scaling SAAS companies on best 606 practices/scaling enterprise SAAS operations. I am passionate about helping kids and supporting our veterans.
From Public Accounting to Tech Unicorn IPOs With Brandt Kucharski
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