Unlocking growth: Using accounting, relationships and culture to propel your startup 

In today’s competitive startup landscape, entrepreneurs are often seeking advice and guidance on how to leverage accounting and finance to fuel business growth. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Henry “Monty” Montgomery at our Plexal Stratford coworking space. 

Monty is a seasoned CFO and founder of a successful accounting firm Montpac, which specialises in accounting for SaaS companies and other startups. With extensive experience in scaling startups and expanding into the US market, Monty shared valuable insights on the strategic role accounting and finance play in driving business success. Read on to discover the key takeaways from our conversation. 

Choosing the right US expansion strategy 

When considering expansion into the US, startups often face the decision of setting up a US subsidiary or relocating their entire operation. According to Monty, several factors should guide this decision-making process in addressing this very large market.  

  • Do you have US customers already? 
  • Does your product market fit in the UK also work in the US? 
  • Do you need to form a subsidiary? 
  • Who will be relocating to the US and how will that impact the company? 
  • Where in the US are the customers and where do you want to live?  
  • Are you capitalised well enough for this expansion? This can be a big expense. 
  • Even think about the weather!  

Monty found Northern California to be an excellent location, given its vibrant startup ecosystem and access to top-tier talent. And personally, as a surfer, Monty loves the proximity to the sea – as well as the relatively short drive to the mountains for skiing!  

Building a growth infrastructure 

From early-stage startups to thriving unicorns, Monty’s firm caters to companies of all sizes. He emphasised the significance of establishing a growth infrastructure to support scalability. In an earlier business, Monty recognised one of the barriers to growth was the lack of forecasting and inadequate financial reporting that made key decisions about the business a challenge. Building the financial infrastructure for growth with the management team both helped guide the company’s strategy but was also able to handle the eventual growth.  This led to a successful exit.  Now at Montpac, Monty has benefitted from working with great entrepreneurs and how they’ve scaled their companies.  As a people-centric business, he recognises the need to develop internal talent which strengthens the company culture and helps with customer management and satisfaction. He hired a full-time learning and development professional to nurture the career growth of his 300 plus finance and accounting personnel who are largely based in the Philippines. Monty also engaged with local universities to encourage graduates to consider alternative paths as well as ensuring a sustainable future talent pipeline for the business. 

Fostering long-term relationships 

Monty’s firm takes pride in its longstanding relationships with both clients and team members. By emphasising career progression opportunities, the company has achieved impressive employee retention rates. With over 600 clients, including 75 SaaS companies, the team has cultivated a reputation for delivering excellence in property management accounting. Additionally, Monty’s commitment to social impact led to the establishment of a non-profit organisation in the Philippines, dedicated to supporting local families. 

Building ‘the Ship of Theseus’ 

Expanding into new territories requires bridging cultural gaps effectively. Monty highlighted the importance of preserving the company’s core culture while adapting to local customs and practices. Although it’s been many decades since earning his philosophy degree, he referred to the Ship of Theseus idea inspiring him to think that if you create a company culture strong enough, even though every part changes over time, it remains the same at the core which enables fast growth. With this in mind, Monty has fostered a culture of sharing, supporting, and empowering employees, believing a balance between ‘learning, growth, and fun’ is essential to building a thriving work environment. 

The value of strategic accounting 

Monty says accounting is often overlooked in startup environments, viewed largely as an expense. However, he stressed its significance in helping startups anticipate challenges and navigate future uncertainties. By presenting financial information in a format familiar to larger companies, you can enable faster analysis by potential investors, increasing the likelihood of securing VC funding and ultimately successful exits 

The forward-looking vision – and use of AI 

Monty’s passion for his work stems from a desire to make a lasting impact. He envisions incorporating AI into financial analysis to empower human accountants and enable them to provide enhanced insights. Monty’s approach is driven by a commitment to customer service, with a focus on understanding and transforming clients’ businesses through sound financial strategies. 

If you have any questions or would like to delve further into the intricacies of accounting and finance for startups, we invite you to arrange a free one-on-one meeting with Monty Montgomery. His expertise and guidance can help you navigate the complexities of financial management and set your business on a path to sustainable growth. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to tap into Monty’s wealth of knowledge. Whether you’re planning to expand into the US market, seeking VC investment, or aiming to optimize your financial strategies, Monty is here to provide valuable advice tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and take your startup’s accounting and finance practices to new heights. 

Remember, accounting and finance are not just expenses but powerful tools that can unlock tremendous growth potential for your startup.