VP, Corporate Controller

| Chicago
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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.

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Our office is located in Chicago's West Loop. We are close to public transportation and restaurants galore.

An Insider's view of Upwork

What's something quirky about your company?

The best part of our company culture is our Work Online Wednesdays, it gives me a better understanding of the experiences many clients and freelancers have using Upwork to grow their business. It's also important to me that Upwork values championing the future of work by empowering its employees to work flexibly each week.


Mid Market Account Executive

What's the biggest problem your team is solving?

The Enterprise team is solving for how organizations engage talent and how talent finds opportunity. In an "on-demand" economy, technology has changed the way we commute, lodge, and shop. The workforce is rapidly evolving and technology is fundamentally changing work now, too.


Enterprise Account Executive

How has your career grown since starting at the company?

I started my professional life in HR and due to the shifting labor market, I saw an opportunity to be part of something special with Upwork. I took a leap into the unknown as the second sales rep in the Chicago office. Fast forward a year and a half later, I’ve been able to grow my career from sales rep to leading the first Mid-Market sales team.


Sales Manager

How do you make yourself accessible to the rest of the team?

Making myself available before and after working hours demonstrates commitment to seeing them grow and succeed. Casual sit downs over coffee outside the office to get to know individual contributors and managers on a more personal level allow me to further understand what drives and motivates them inside and outside of work.


VP, Enterprise Solutions

What are Upwork Perks + Benefits

Upwork Benefits Overview

Upwork proudly offers a comprehensive set of benefits to ensure employees are able to bring their whole selves to work. To allow for that, we aim to deliver world-class offerings and perks that cover your medical, dental, vision, emotional and family well-being. If you are an active, regular, full-time employee working a minimum of 20 hours per week you are eligible for all lines of coverage.

Health Insurance & Wellness Benefits
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Upwork provides an annual HSA contribution. You may also contribute pre-tax dollars to a Health Care FSA and Dependent Care FSA account.
Disability Insurance
Upwork offers both short term disability (STD) and long term disability(LTD) insurance.
Dental Benefits
Upwork provides your dental coverage through MetLife with a PPO plan offering.
Vision Benefits
VSP Vision offers a broad array of services for employees at Upwork.
Health Insurance Benefits
We offer Anthem Blue Cross PPO and HSA plans and you may choose the best plan for you and your family.
Life Insurance
Life Insurance coverage of 2X up to $300,000. Employees can also purchase coverage for a Spouse/DP and child(ren).
Pet Insurance
Nationwide Pet Insurance now provides coverage to all pets within your life!
Wellness Programs
Upwork offers an on demand mental health platform, Ginger.IO, along with a parenting support tool, Cleo.
Onsite Gym
Retirement & Stock Options Benefits
Upwork offers a traditional pre-tax 401(K) along with an after-tax Roth IRA option.
401(K) Matching
Upwork matches 50% of every dollar contributed by employees into their 401(k) up to $5,000 per year. Employers match is fully vested after 1 year of service.
Company Equity
Upwork offers equity as part of our standard compensation package.
Employee Stock Purchase Plan
We allow qualified employees to purchase company shares at a discounted price.
Performance Bonus
Child Care & Parental Leave Benefits
Child Care Benefits
Upwork offers dependent care flexible spending accounts. In addition, we offer a $100 monthly credit from Trusted for backup and emergency child care services.
Generous Parental Leave
Upwork provides employees time to bond with their newborn and family. We offer up to 12 weeks of fully Paid Parental Leave.
Remote Work Program
Upwork encourages a healthy work-life balance. For your convenience we allow you to work from home on Wednesdays.
Adoption Assistance
Upwork will reimburse up to $3,000 for eligible fertility or adoption related expenses per plan year.
Vacation & Time Off Benefits
Unlimited Vacation Policy
Upwork provides an Unlimited Time Off policy to further enhance our culture of trust and empowerment.
Generous PTO
Paid Volunteer Time
The Upwork Foundation has asked that 1% of employees time be used for giving back to the community and volunteering.
Paid Holidays
Upwork offers all employees paid time off to observe all major holidays.
Paid Sick Days
Perks & Discounts
Beer on Tap
We offer a variety of Beer and Wine.
Casual Dress
Commuter Benefits
You can elect up to max of $260 pre-tax for transit and parking. Upwork will match 50% of your pretax contributions each month.
Company Outings
Free Daily Meals
Upwork provides lunch on a daily basis from local Chicago restaurants.
Game Room
Stocked Kitchen
Upwork has a fully stocked kitchen including unlimited snacks, coffee, tea and all of the flavored LaCroix you can handle.
Happy Hours
Pet Friendly
Fitness Subsidies
We reimburse employees up to $50 per month for fitness related expenses. We have a corporate partnership with 24 Hour Fitness, but you can apply to your preferred gym or approved wellness expense.
Professional Development Benefits
Job Training & Conferences
Diversity Program
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging is critical to the success of our business and our ability to further our mission of creating economic opportunities so people have better lives.
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