Startups & Early Stage

We love Startups. In fact, Marpé was founded to meet a specific unmet need in the market – to serve startups through the entire early growth phase, from seed to IPO.

Before Marpé, there was not a good solution for accounting and finance support services for early stage startups. Often firms would need to engage three or four different firms to try to meet their needs for support in bookkeeping, accounting, tax compliance, 409A valuation and strategic finance support. Marpé is a true one-stop shop for startups for all accounting, tax, finance and valuation support services.

Before Marpé, startups were forced into receiving low quality accounting services at overpriced rates. Startups don’t get any love at all from the Big 4 accounting firms. (But once an M&A or IPO transaction is in site, the big firms are all over them.) So startups were forced to: (i) use low-end service providers, which really are not qualified to meet the needs of VC-backed startup companies; or (ii) overpay for services, if they chose to use larger regional CPA firms – and often the service quality also would be poor, because startups aren’t a priority for those firms.

Marpé was founded with the vison of providing world-class accounting and finance support services to startups at pricing tailored especially for startups. We charge early stage startups very low rates. Startups can get highly sophisticated services from CPAs, MBAs and EAs for the price of bookkeepers. We very gradually increase rates as companies grow and become more complicated and enter into complex transactions, such as mergers & acquisitions and IPOs. But even for IPO consulting, our rates are about half of what other IPO consulting firms typically charge. We keep overhead costs very low (we are keenly focused on client service to the exclusion of peripheral activities), and we pass on those savings to our clients. Our most important core value of client service is that we want our clients to love us. And we want them to feel really good about paying our invoices, because they know they’re receiving tremendous value from Marpé.

Startup founders are almost universally brilliant, highly energetic and very ambitious. You could do anything you wanted to do. If you wanted to learn about accounting and taxes, you certainly could. But that would not be the most valuable use of your time. Your time is much more valuably spent building your business – developing your products, managing your people and serving your customers. We can take all the headaches related to payroll, bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, valuation and so on, and deliver solutions to you wrapped with a bow. Relieving you of headaches is our desire. Let us take care of your finance & accounting headaches, so you can focus on something more important – your business.

We understand you want a business partner, not just an accountant. We also understand that it is the role of finance and accounting to support sales and operations, not the other way around. Yet at the same time, financial shrewdness and regulatory compliance are essential to the success of your business. We know how to balance these competing priorities.

Glenn Ballard, CPA is the leader of Marpé’s startup practice. Glenn got an MBA from Berkeley for the express purpose of pursuing a career in the entrepreneurial world. After earning his MBA, Glenn worked for a boutique IPO consulting firm, having done IPO consulting for several years previously in his career. Glenn’s experience at the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, as well as his experience in IPO consulting, helped to form the vision of what has become Marpé.