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Director of Revenue Recognition and Technical Accounting

Finance & Accounting | Alameda, CA | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

At Saildrone, we sustainably explore, map and monitor the oceans to understand, preserve, and protect our world.  Saildrone designs and manufactures wind and solar powered autonomous surface vehicles called Saildrones, which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We work with governments, civic agencies, foundations, universities, and private companies around the globe to drive better information about our oceans and seas - be it in sailing drones into the eye of a Category 4 hurricane to obtain new scientific storm data, mapping out the ocean floor, collecting new CO2 data in hard-to-reach areas, counting biomass to establish fishing quotas, or detecting and stopping illegal fishing and drug trafficking.  As a result of our work, we have been selected as one of the "Forbes Top 10 Wonders of 2021", as well as the Smithsonian Institute's "Top 10 Ocean Stories of 2021", New York Times' "Top 21 Things that happened (for the first time) in 2021", and Popular Science's "100 Greatest Innovations of 2021".   We are based in Alameda, CA, with offices in Washington DC and St. Petersburg, FL and operate our missions worldwide.  We are backed by top-tier investors in the frontier-tech and sustainability sectors, including Social Capital, Capricorn, Lux Capital, BOND Capital, and Emerson Collective.

This is an exciting opportunity with a fast-growing team at the cutting-edge intersection of big data services and autonomous hardware. You will be an integral part of a high-performing multi-disciplinary delivering high impact for humanity and future generations.


The Role

Saildrone is searching for a Director of Revenue Recognition and Technical Accounting to serve as a key technical accounting resource within Saildrone’s finance team.  They will be responsible for conducting accounting research and preparing memos/position papers primarily related to the Company’s revenue recognition process as well as other technical matters (e.g., operating leases, warrants, new accounting guidance, etc.).   The Director of Revenue Recognition and Technical Accounting serves as a peer to Saildrone’s Controller, and is therefore responsible for a material portion of the company’s monthly close, including all revenue-related accounting entries and reconciliations, as well as associated functions including invoice generation, customer payment application, AR management, and deferred revenue maintenance. 

The Director of Revenue Recognition and Technical Accounting will also assist with a variety of additional technical accounting matters affecting the company, including the adoption of new accounting standards as well as technical accounting matters related to operating leases, warrants, and other ad hoc matters as they arise. This role collaborates extensively with Saildrone’s Controller, Director of FP&A, as well as the sales and marketing, product management, and mission management organizations.

What You Will Do

  • Analyze the accounting treatment of new contracts, including both routine and non-routine revenue transactions, and prepare accounting memoranda for each such transaction (current volume <20 annually but expected to grow).  These can involve standard “mission-as-a-service” contracts, grants from non-profit or government organizations, collaborative research and development awards, as well as non-drone (data-only) projects
  • Conduct all revenue-related transactions for all period close cycles (monthly, quarterly, and annual periods), including invoicing, cash payment application, revenue recognition, deferred revenue maintenance, credit memoranda, and all related account reconciliations 
  • Assist in the preparation and review of monthly, quarterly, and annual Close reports, including budget-to-actual variance analysis related to revenues, customer revenue collections, and deferred revenues, and ensure accuracy and consistency of such materials 
  • Collaborate with the Director of FP&A to assist with revenue forecasting activities, including estimating mission revenue recognition timelines based on available information from Mission Management and Sales/Business Development 
  • Assist Saildrone’s Controller with the efficient completion of the company’s annual audit process (currently conducted by Deloitte using PCAOB standards), including providing reconciliation schedules, customer contracts and related analysis, revenue and deferred revenue schedules, audit testing samples, updates to footnote disclosures, and other revenue- or technical-accounting tasks that may be required.
  • As Saildrone expands its product offerings and develops new revenue models, the Director of Revenue Recognition & Technical Accounting will lead the accounting analysis for such products or revenue models, and will update the company’s Revenue Recognition Policy, its NetSuite ARM module rules, and its relevant audit footnote disclosures to encompass these new revenue elements
  • Lead or participate in the implementation of new non-revenue accounting standards, and ensure that such standards are reflected in the Company’s audited financials and footnote disclosures. 
  • Ensure appropriate internal controls and procedures are in place and maintain compliance with SOX requirements for applicable processes.
  • Complete special projects and prepare analyses for senior management requiring technical accounting research and analysis of financial information as requested.
  • Monitor communications from regulatory bodies, accounting firms and other external sources to remain apprised of new accounting practices and regulations, frequent areas of SEC staff comment, and interpretive accounting and disclosure guidance (particularly those impacting revenue recognition) and provide guidance to Saildrone’s CFO regarding potential impacts.

    Desired Skills and Experience
  • Undergraduate or Graduate degree in Accounting required.
  • CPA required.
  • 5+ years of relevant experience in a Big 4/national public accounting firm and/or a publicly traded multi-national software or hardware company. A combination of public accounting and on-premise industry accounting experience is preferred.
  • In-depth knowledge of and hands-on experience with the application of US GAAP and SEC reporting rules and regulations.  Experience in a public company setting a plus
  • Strong technical accounting research skills and experience, including a demonstrated ability to analyze and interpret complex revenue and technical accounting matters or other financial issues and to effectively summarize and communicate research results.
  • Self-starter with outstanding organizational skills, strong critical thinking skills, immaculate attention to detail and a strong personal commitment to meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to take ownership of projects and drive them through to completion.
  • Ability to effectively manage multiple projects amidst competing priorities.
  • Ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced, dynamic and changing environment.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across all levels and functions of the organization, as well as with external stakeholders.
  • Strong interpersonal and verbal/written communication skills.
  • A results-focused and action-oriented attitude.
  • Team-oriented, mature and able to resolve conflict.
  • Must demonstrate sound judgment and integrity beyond reproach in all situations.

Location: This position is in Alameda, CA. Only candidates with proper permits to work in the United States can be considered. Our waterfront office offers beautiful views of San Francisco Bay in always sunny Alameda. Even our walls have good karma, our offices mix software development with a hardware production line in the former airplane hangar used to film 'The Matrix'.


  • Medical, dental and vision plans for you and your dependents.

  • Short and relaxing ferry ride from the Ferry Building for SF residents

  • Enhanced paternity / maternity programs

  • Competitive benefits including excellent medical, life insurance, 401k plan


Catch up on the latest news about us:


We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.


In accordance with Saildrone’s mandatory employee COVID-19 vaccination policy, please be advised that all employees are required to be vaccinated and boosted to safeguard the health of our employees and their families, our customers and visitors and the community at large.


Any unsolicited resumes/candidate profiles submitted through our website or to personal email accounts of employees of Saildrone are considered property of Saildrone and are not subject to payment of agency fees.