In our blog series “Life in Adtech” we’re showcasing the different ways in which StackAdapters are driving innovation in adtech, and creating a progressive tech culture. From using modeling and data to create advanced algorithms to building stylish and robust user interfaces, everyone at StackAdapt is contributing to evolving the StackAdapt platform and providing the best product and service to our clients.
This month features Kim Stedman, Director of Accounting in Finance at StackAdapt. Kim shares her journey into adtech, what her role entails, and how the Finance team supports the growth and success of StackAdapt.
Can you share a bit about your journey into working in accounting?
I began my career working in public accounting for small to mid-size accounting firms. In those roles I focused on audit, and eventually earned my public accounting license in 2012. I then started a role as a financial controller at a high-growth real estate company. This was super exciting for me because it was my first industry experience working in such a fast-paced environment.
I continued in real estate for six years, but eventually took a new opportunity in a different industry, cannabis. I wanted to broaden my experience in different industries, and cannabis was attractive to me because it’s forward-looking and high-growth in nature. That job was a nice segue into tech, because tech is also innovative and growing rapidly.
When I started at StackAdapt in April 2021, my role was different than it is today; I started when the entire finance group was 10 people and we had 1 reportable financial entity. Just a year later, I now work alongside 5 other financial directors, with a finance group of 34 staff, overseeing the accounting of 5 reportable financial entities!
Tell us about your role, Director of Accounting. What does it entail?
I oversee the controllership function at StackAdapt. Controllership is mainly focused on tracking and processing inputs from accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll, and then transforming them into financial statements. Those financial statements are then analyzed by various teams.
For example, the Financial Planning and Analysis team reviews financial statements to uncover trends and insights that are relevant to StackAdapt, and senior leadership uses this information to measure success and drive future business initiatives.
As StackAdapt grows, our accounting has to adjust to accommodate changes and financial impact. A lot of our time has been dedicated to implementing new systems and platforms, adjusting processes and policies, and hiring and training staff to meet the accounting needs. My team also gets involved in helping to execute tax strategies, implement internal controls, and mitigate risk.
How does the Finance team contribute to the growth and success of StackAdapt?
A large focus of my team lately has been establishing operations in new global markets, like APAC. This means setting up corporations local to those new markets, opening bank accounts, and working with our tax partners and external consultants to implement strategies that minimize any risks.
For example, in late 2021, we successfully opened subsidiaries in Singapore and Australia! The expansion efforts are continuing and we hope to be operating in new countries within Europe and Asia before the end of 2022. Another focus is having confidence in financial records. We are building a strong accounting infrastructure to produce reliable, accurate results for forecasting growth and sustaining our success.
Could you share a bit about your process and approach to leading the accounting team?
When I started at StackAdapt my main goal was to get our accounting operations to a scalable point by improving automation, leveraging finance tools and platforms, and ensuring we had the correct people in place to do it. As StackAdapt continues to grow and more opportunities for improvement come our way, this continues to be our main goal!
Another aspect of my role is monitoring profitability, finding areas of inefficiencies or opportunity, and stabilizing our operations. I focus a lot of my time on process improvement through automation. Tech is our best way to innovate, because the more tools we find for automating tasks, the more time we have to spend analyzing the output of those automated functions. Automation makes us more efficient, which is super valuable for growth in tech.
It’s also so important to emphasize that everything my colleagues and I do is a team effort. We rely on expertise from within our team, but also on the expertise of colleagues from different departments across StackAdapt. Strength in numbers!
What is the most exciting part about being Director of Accounting at StackAdapt?
Being in senior leadership has empowered me to lead with flexibility and creativity. I have the freedom to mold StackAdapt’s financial operations in the way that I determine is the most efficient and effective.
The strategic side of this is really exciting for me. I get to reinvent processes, redesign policies and implement strategy, almost daily! This started from day one here at StackAdapt and continues to be a theme. Thanks to the evolving adtech landscape, our global expansion, and our organic growth, StackAdapt challenges me everyday, in a good way!
Interested in joining StackAdapt? See our open roles and apply, here.
In each new addition, we will be highlighting our teams and team members in our “Life In Adtech” series—stay tuned for more!