Episode 48

Jozef Vogel From Ether.Fi on Becoming a Web3 CFO

Jozef Vogel From Ether.Fi on Becoming a Web3 CFO

What We Discuss With Jozef Vogel

This is the 2nd episode of a new series I started called ‘Becoming a Web3 CFO’ – where I dive into the inspiring stories of accounting & finance professionals who transitioned from traditional finance to web3.

In Episode 48, I speak with Jozef Vogel, the newly appointed VP of Finance and Operations at Ether.fi, a decentralized non-custodial ETH staking protocol.

And previously Jozef had been the Financial Controller at Aave,  one of the most well-known decentralized lending & borrowing protocols.

Jozef is a highly sought-after crypto accountant as he has proven he can marry the best of both worlds in setting up the finance function of a web3 startup , that is using a combination of digital asset tracking tools and traditional ERP, payroll and treasury management solutions.

Connect with
Jozef Vogel
VP of Finance & Operations @Ether.Fi

[00:00:00] Umar: Welcome to The Accountant Quits, brought to you by the Web3CFO Club, a community of Web3 CFOs, sharing best practices on web3 operations. And Cryptoworth, a crypto accounting solution to help you automate your crypto bookkeeping. On this podcast, we discuss how blockchain will impact the accounting profession and how accountants should prepare themselves for the future of work.

[00:00:26] Umar: My name is Umar, your host, and even if some might refer to me as the accountant gone rogue, my job is to provide you with the blockchain knowledge you need that will be relevant for the accounting industry as a whole.

[00:00:39] Umar: Welcome to Episode 48. This is the second episode of a new series I started called Becoming a Web3 CFO, where I dive into inspiring stories of accounting and finance professionals who transitioned from traditional finance to web3. To all the accountants, financial controllers, CFOs, who have been following this show for the past two years, blockchain opens up new avenues to upskill yourselves. In my role managing the Web3CFO Club, which boasts more than 600 members today, I’m always inspired to see how many accountants have self-taught themselves crypto accounting. It really involves having a relentless sense of intellectual curiosity.

[00:01:19] Umar: Today I’m very excited to have Jozef Vogel, the newly appointed VP of Finance and Operations at EtherFi, a decentralized non-custodial Ethereum staking protocol. And previously Jozef had been the financial controller at Aave, one of the most well-known decentralized lending and borrowing protocols.

[00:01:39] Umar: Jozef is a highly sought after crypto accountant, as he has proven he can marry the best of both worlds in setting up the finance function of a web3 startup, that is using a combination of digital asset tracking tools and traditional ERP, payroll and treasury management solutions. In this episode today, Joseph will share his personal story falling into the web3 rabbit hole, how he self-taught himself accounting of on chain transactions, his suggestions for a CFO dealing with web3 treasury management, the web3 financial stack for the CFO and much more. Jozef, welcome and thanks for making the time to be here.

[00:02:20] Jozef: Yeah, yeah, I’d love to be here. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:23] Umar: Before we go into how you discovered blockchain, can you take us back to the journey becoming a CPA and how those early years working at BDO eventually shaped or rather, would provide you with a foundational accounting knowledge and skills?

[00:02:39] Jozef: Yeah, so I grew up basically in a smaller town in Western Canada, which is where I went to school, articled with BDO . So every accountant probably has their stories from their articling days, some being horror stories. But I actually really enjoyed mine and the audit times as well. I mean, BDO is relatively one of the, I guess, smaller accountant firms relative to the Big4.

[00:03:00] Jozef: Plus I was in a smaller market. So I just had the chance to see a ton of different industries through audit and, and converse with a bunch of different executives in day-to-day. And then also being put into managerial positions at quite an early stage really helped to propel my career through. So I think those early days of audit where you work a million hours and have to hit all those billable targets are actually crucial as, as horrible as they might be, and something I think that will always stay with me.

[00:03:25] Jozef: I mean, I’ve built up a deep understanding of accounting policies, internal controls. And it’s just funny how these and proper segregation of duties like that whole realm, accountancy continues to come up everywhere in day to day. And this isn’t just in like finance related stuff, although it is in treasury policies and proper key segregation, but it also comes down to how you structure your operations within your company.

[00:03:47] Jozef: So that time was just a total consumption of foundational info. I can’t really stress enough importance on, so coming from a smaller market, I really want to experience like a mammoth of a financial sector. So I thought I’d check out hedge funds in Cayman. That seemed to be one of the biggest industries I could possibly think of.

[00:04:05] Jozef: So, which is where I landed shortly after I got my designation. And that was with MUFG. Funds were a totally different challenge I hadn’t seen before. Subscriptions, redemption documents, all this stuff, and understanding the flow of funds with more zeros than I had ever really experienced in my life.

[00:04:20] Jozef: So that was a big eye-opener as well. And it was just a total lifestyle change. I mean, moving from Canada to the Caribbean was a completely different life. So that on top of everything was just a really big cultural experience, I would say, within my career progression. So I mean, yeah, really the theme for me early on was to get out and try everything.

[00:04:37] Jozef: I had no idea what I wanted to focus in or what interested me, but I was definitely finding areas that I didn’t have a passion for early on. I was also trying new jurisdictions as well. It’s not for everyone, but living and working in a new place opens up a whole new world of perspective and possibilities for cultures, efficiencies, how others work.

[00:04:54] Jozef: I think that’s also a really crucial element of career progression. I also didn’t have positions in Canada that were as global or dealt with different jurisdictions the same or dealt with digital assets the same. Maybe they exist, I just wasn’t necessarily exposed to them. So I think the corporate restructuring and everything, I really started to develop once I actually left Canada as well and and tried a different area.

[00:05:16] Jozef: So I don’t think a lot of that can necessarily be taught in schools. So I think that was kind of a longwinded way to my early days and where I kind of progressed to now.

[00:05:26] Umar: Now, how did you first get interested with blockchain? Like as an accountant? What was it about blockchain that got you curious and in the beginning, like where would you be spending most of your time, let’s say?

[00:05:39] Jozef: Yeah, like I don’t really know that I had like a red pill moment or something that just kind of like sparked my interest. I think I like, I was just generally looking more at the accounting industry and trying to get an edge and figuring out where this edge might be, and I felt like I had a reasonable grasp on the core accounting concepts, finance concepts.

[00:05:56] Jozef: So I wanted to learn initially some coding skills, kind of try to just see if maybe that sparked my interest or see what I could develop from that. And it just felt like there’d be synergies as it kind of progressed in my career on the technical pieces. So when it came to digital assets in the beginning, I mean just like any other accountant, I think I was just trying to figure out what the hell was going on.

[00:06:15] Jozef: I don’t really know. Yeah, I mean, in Canada, like I said, blockchain had never really crossed my mind. And, and I don’t think anybody necessarily knew about it. I surely didn’t anyways back then. But in Cayman it was becoming more prevalent. And at the time I remember seeing a job opening and I thought I’d do a bit of research for the role, put in my application and just see what happened.

[00:06:35] Jozef: Seemed like a new challenge at the time. So I mean, obviously like a lot of people, I think a little bit of research ended up into like full tilt cramming because you just keep pulling on threads that just spark your interest and then you end up in like a full, I don’t know, week long study session where you feel like you don’t know anything, but realistically you’ve advanced a lot of your knowledge.

[00:06:54] Jozef: You’ve just opened up more doors to learn more as you kind of progress. So I just ended up spending all my free time messing around with a bunch of different protocols. Losing a significant amount of money on gas and doing awful trades. And I think like many accountants starting in this space, my initial job maybe wasn’t as accounting focused as, or as more accounting focused, wasn’t as blockchain focused as I necessarily liked.

[00:07:16] Jozef: I wasn’t, I wasn’t deploying smart contracts or anything, but I just kind of kept researching and just trying to basically form a valid opinion that I kind of felt would help me really structure my thought process toward the industry and also towards potentially how accountants or finance professionals can fit into that.

[00:07:36] Umar: So you are in the Cayman Islands, I think you alluded to it, that company that you wanted to join, which I think is Tal. So the company providing Bitcoin mining solutions, is that so?

[00:07:47] Jozef: Yeah. Yeah. That was the initial one that I kind of transitioned from like the typical big structured corporations into a little bit smaller of an entity. It was still publicly listed at the time, but in the realm of what I had experienced previously, it was, it was quite a bit smaller.

[00:08:01] Umar: You were working for MUFG. I just want to provide this context for accountants who’ve like never worked for crypto companies, but what were like the prerequisites in terms of blockchain knowledge to get that job at the time, if it was even required?

[00:08:16] Jozef: Yeah, like I mean, I have a hard time saying this like as a blanket approach now, because I don’t know how far we’ve come in that short amount of time. But back then, I mean for me, really it was like, you know, it’s probably still true in a lot of scenarios and it’s what I look for when I’m kind of hiring people.

[00:08:32] Jozef: It’s just a general interest, and I think that was what really got me into that position was yes, I had the accounting background. I happened to work in a lot of things that were very applicable to the new role I had. But like I was just really interested in learning more and like I came to a lot of the interviews or whatever it may be, just with a lot of like preexisting knowledge about the company just because I kind of went down that rabbit hole.

[00:08:54] Jozef: So I, and I don’t even know that that’s, that’s specific to blockchain. I think that’s kind of more of a general thing I would, I would say a lot of people should have when they go into an interview, but I think that was just kind of what maybe differentiated me or, or started to kind of get me into those positions initially.

[00:09:10] Umar: So you work at that company Tal for a little bit more than a year, and at the beginning of 2022, you joined Aave, one of the most well-known and recognizable brands in the Defi ecosystem. Could you take us back a bit when you found out about this new opportunity at Aave, how maybe the hiring process looked like and what was for you the key difference in being hired at Aave?

[00:09:34] Jozef: Yeah, I mean, when I found out the position was there, I was pumped because I knew Aave, I found out Aave was hiring. So like for me it was a no-brainer. But I think like the recruitment process was interesting. Not that unique. I mean, I was in the position with another company. I wasn’t necessarily looking, but I had a recruiter approach me about the position at the time.

[00:09:55] Jozef: And yeah, as soon as I found it, I was all in. My prior experience definitely helped play a role in this. And I think that’s maybe why I was chosen to come forward and go through the interview process. But it was more really based off of the accounting work that I did with my prior company and like a little bit of crypto knowledge mixed in there.

[00:10:14] Jozef: I mean, I was focused on building financial infrastructure, from scratch at the time, which is what I had done with Tal and what we were kind of looking to do at Aave, which basically boiled down to implementing ERPs, plugging in a bunch of applications, building the entire tech stack. So the ability to basically do that full integration, and then also I guess have like a general understanding digital assets and, and the flows involved, I think kind of got me into the door, but I wouldn’t say it was specifically that I necessarily knew more than every other applicant when it came to digital assets.

[00:10:46] Jozef: I just had a fair understanding of the industry itself. So yeah and I mean, I’d already kind of in my personal time, interacted a lot with the Aave protocol, so I think like once I met like Stani, I think that kind of helped push that on. And yeah, I just remember meeting Stani as well and it just felt like I was meeting like a total rockstar in the space.

[00:11:05] Jozef: I remember just like very early on, like, there’s a couple people you follow and he happened to be one of them, so it was, it was really cool for me to just kind of experience that and like just dive right in and have that CEO like very early on.

[00:11:18] Umar: Before we continue, we’ll take a quick commercial break from our sponsor.

[00:11:23] Umar: Whenever you use cryptocurrencies in your business, the framework for your bookkeeping is a combination of traditional and crypto native accounting softwares. Like any traditional business, you will need a traditional accounting solution like QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle NetSuite, SAP being used as your main ledger.

[00:11:43] Umar: And a specialized crypto accounting software to be used as a sub-ledger, which would extract, process and feed in transactions from the blockchain into your main ledger. Cryptoworth is an accounting software built for crypto and integrates with a hundred plus blockchains, 50 plus exchanges, and over 700 Defi protocols.

[00:12:04] Umar: It allows you to convert the blockchain transactions from wallets, exchanges, and custodians into your accounting software to facilitate your reporting, audits and tax filings. Moreover, it provides you with a dedicated DeFi and NFT tracking dashboard. Cryptoworth works with web3 industry leaders such as Aave, Axie Infinity, Celo, Moonbeam, Request Finance amongst others. If you’re looking to scale your business using Crypto, you need to start automating your crypto bookkeeping and stop using spreadsheets. Right now, Cryptoworth is offering you access to their platform for free for 30 days. Visit theaccountantquits.com/sponsorships to claim this special offer today.

[00:12:52] Umar: Wow. That is very cool. Now I want to spend a little bit more time. When you first started at Aave. What were the challenges for you coming in this new role? So you started as a financial controller at Aave. What were your first responsibilities that you worked on? You said you built the financial infrastructure, building ERPs, the tech stack, but could you tell us a little bit more of probably those first months, what was like the focus for you building the financial reporting process, streamlining the operations and a little bit more around there.

[00:13:26] Jozef: Yeah, I mean like when I first got in there, I think I was super green. I thought I knew a lot. I had done a little bit of interaction with a lot of smart contracts, but just the level of complexity that we operated on was just a whole new ball game, really.

[00:13:40] Jozef: So I think that initial aspect for me was, a lot of research in figuring out exactly what we were doing, tracking new contract interaction, LP pools, all the, all this kind of fun Defi stuff that I never really had the exposure to. I could do it with my own wallet, but I mean it’s, it’s just not at the same scale.

[00:13:57] Jozef: So that was kind of one of my first personal tasks. I think one of my first tasks was streamlining operations. So as an early focus, I was, I really driven towards the financial reporting process, implementing our ERP, which was NetSuite, and just running from it, running with it from there. So I also needed to find tracking mechanisms that would allow me to begin understanding all the on chain activity.

[00:14:22] Jozef: Like I mentioned, we were interacting with a ton of protocols. So understanding all these function calls and all the flows between all our different wallets, basically from scratch, we didn’t necessarily have anything in place at the time, was probably one of the bigger tasks, and I just started going through different transactions, actually doing it myself and just documenting as I went along to try to really have like a clear path as to all of the action items happening throughout a transaction so that when I kind of go back and look at it, I had a good understanding of what I did, how I could replicate it.

[00:14:54] Jozef: And how I can maybe build some rules based off that. And I think just having like that really thorough understanding and driving it home at the beginning kind of set me up to be able to continue to build on top of that knowledge and then ultimately build out like a tracking process that made sense.

[00:15:09] Jozef: So I think like that early stage. It was just important for me to put in a lot of different research and a lot of different in depth understanding of everything that we were doing in order to kind of set myself up for the next year as I started to build systems. Because the last thing you wanna do is basically try to build a financial streamlining operation, but do it wrong at the beginning and then just carry this through for a year and have to retrospectively adjust.

[00:15:33] Jozef: So I think without diving into anything immediately, I really wanted to understand what we were doing. So I think that was a big part. And then also just kind of executing on the fly, just like the rest of us. But I think that’s kind of the most fun part about it, is there’s literally no playbook. So you just have to try things and break them and they break you, fix them, and you just figure it out from there and you, you ask ’em around and, and you just try your best to understand what’s going on.

[00:15:59] Jozef: Yeah. So I think those were kind of like the bigger initial tasks that I took on.

[00:16:04] Umar: When you say you did a lot of research, do you have any recommended resources you would, I don’t know, use at the time. I mean, when it comes to crypto accounting, there’s not much out there on the internet. There’s not a whole lot of resources.

[00:16:17] Umar: But maybe you would consult with all the other fellow operators from other Defi protocols, or how would you actually go about doing this research? It’s not very straightforward.

[00:16:29] Jozef: It’s not, it’s not at all. And yeah, like I actually don’t even have an answer cuz I, I kind of remember, like, I, I would ask around and like, there’s certain friends that I know are like very, they have very good accounting knowledge, so I would try to like, simplify it and give them an example and try to get some feedback as to how they might record this.

[00:16:47] Jozef: But it’s still like, even at that level, it’s still quite hard to get another opinion on it. So for the most part, you’re kind of just running with it by yourself and you’re just hoping someone out there kind of agrees with what you’re doing. And maybe it makes sense. So I don’t know that there’s any like accounting communities at the time, that would necessarily be like a good resource. So yeah, I think it’s kind of just trying the best you can and, and hopefully once more literature and more documentation comes out, maybe it supports your opinion or maybe it tells you that you’re completely wrong. But until then, you just have like your own knowledge and your own interpretation to go off .

[00:17:24] Umar: Now, you recently joined the team at EtherFi as the VP of Operations and Finance. When you joined, could you share what’s been a bit of your thought process around the areas regarding the finance and operations processes that you felt were the most urgent to tackle, given the experience that you’ve already had at Aave?

[00:17:46] Umar: I’m not sure if during your time at Aave you guys, for example, had an external audit there and the kind of learnings you, you learned from that audit.

[00:17:54] Jozef: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think I. from my prior two positions, Aave included Tal included I think, and kind of where EtherFi position right now, very early stage.

[00:18:04] Jozef: I think it’s like a great opportunity for me to do this again and like I have a lot of things that I did incorrectly the last time. Things I know worked very well, so it’s, it’s kind of exciting to be able to design another like financial system and operations kind of flow from scratch, I think like I probably mentioned, and I’ll continue to harp on, I think like a good tracking tool is the first thing I can do.

[00:18:28] Jozef: Like I can make Gnosis payments on chain. I can interact with all these smart contracts. Like there’s, there’s a lot of things I can do. I can issue invoices. I can pay invoices, but what I can’t do, or what I don’t wanna do anyways, is go to Etherscan and individually follow every transaction that we’re doing on chain.

[00:18:45] Jozef: So I think, like for me, the biggest tool that I put in place right off the bat was some kind of way to track all of our different wallets and track all of our movements between those wallets. I think that’s just kind of like the one tool I just couldn’t necessarily live without. And then everything else almost you can use, I don’t know if it needs to be crypto native.

[00:19:04] Jozef: You can use a lot of regular tooling, especially early on without getting too fancy for it. I think a lot of just general tooling can be used in the initial stages of a company, cuz when you’re an early startup, you don’t have the advantage of just testing out all these new products and, and spending a bunch on different SaaS offerings.

[00:19:22] Umar: So since you mentioning tooling, let’s speak about tooling. In the intro I said you’ve been able to marry the best of both worlds web2 and web3. For the new web3 CFO starting out, what would you say is the foundational tech stack to have for crypto accounting? You already said the tracking tool is the most important to have.

[00:19:40] Umar: And then it’s a combination of what they probably used to in web2.

[00:19:45] Jozef: Yeah. For me, like I still think everything. I don’t wanna recreate the wheel. Like I think a lot of the existing tooling is great. Like I think obviously you need your ERP, you need that to be your fundamental source of truth and you need everything in my opinion anyways, to flow out of that ERP so you can plug in a bunch of different applications. Like all the APIs now are, are so easy to just spin up a AP processing tool. Like basically you can connect all your bank accounts. Like a lot of this is quite simple and it’s quite built out. So I think like a lot of that is already in place and, and I think you can just start to integrate a lot of these programs with one another.

[00:20:21] Jozef: Yeah, and obviously, I mean, you need to set up your Gnosis safes, you need to go through treasury policy. You need to set all that up correctly and, and maybe that one differs from your typical traditional structure of web2, but once you kind of get to that point, I think everything acts in a similar manner.

[00:20:37] Umar: What are for you, I mean, the additional web, two tools with, let’s say a proven track record that you found helpful. I’m speaking about payroll, billing, treasury. If you can use, treasury tools with, more web2 focused.

[00:20:54] Jozef: Yeah. I think there’s like, there’s just a lot of solutions out there now. I think over the last couple years, like SaaS products just took off and a lot of SaaS products offering different services to the financial sector of like internal finance teams.

[00:21:07] Jozef: So like, I mean there’s a million accounts payable processing tools. You have , you have Stampli that you have, the list goes on and on and, and they all do very similar things. Some are great at different aspects. Some don’t integrate with ERP you need. But I think all those toolings are really important to build within your stack.

[00:21:24] Jozef: I still talk to people who are manually entering invoices into their system and like they have high volume of invoices on a monthly basis. So it just shocks me because I think tooling such as that and direct integrations in that fashion allow like a finance professional to do a lot more in their day-to-day.

[00:21:43] Jozef: I think it builds a lot of efficiencies and I think it just frees up time to do more interesting tasks and continuously evolving tasks that finance teams are consistently being asked to do more of.

[00:21:55] Umar: So next I wanna speak about treasury management. As compared to the traditional CFO, not dealing with crypto, the CFO in web3 faces unique challenges and considerations when it comes to managing the treasury function. In your experience, would you have any suggestions for the new CFO starting out there on treasury management? Like how to take their treasury management I would say from good to great. Or any specific suggestions you would have.

[00:22:22] Jozef: Yeah, and I think treasury management might be a little driven by what your funding is and what you’re looking to do. I think that’s like one of the pivotal pieces that you first have to confirm. I think I recently saw an article where it was kind of being said that finance team helped to bolster revenue by yield farming and everything.

[00:22:40] Jozef: And I think that’s good if that’s right for the company and that’s how it’s positioned. But I think I’m, or in a lot of the positions I’ve been in, I usually take a risk off approach. I mean, that’s just kind of maybe the accountant in me talking, and maybe that’s a little bit more of a conservative approach.

[00:22:54] Jozef: But I think company management of these is very important, both in building a very strong treasury policy, so obviously key management. How do you separate your operating safes from your treasury safes? What contracts do you interact with? How do you manage these on a day-to-day basis? And then where do you obviously store your keys in and the, the whole thing?

[00:23:15] Jozef: So I, I think that’s like a big part to nail down. Obviously, off ramping solution is another one that’s really important, whether that’s OTC desks, I mean, again, with the risk off approach, I think. I tend to gear away from any kind of exchange activity. I think everyone’s kind of been scarred by that for the last little bit, and I think there’s a lot of good solutions now coming online or on chain that allow you to even swap much more freely and with much better spreads.

[00:23:43] Jozef: So, I mean, that’s another one. Obviously, bank account redundancy. I think this has been beaten down over and over again. Maybe it’s not looped into the treasury policy for everybody, but I think it’s always important to stress this because I think it’s easy to forget what happened, and I think a lot of companies can, and then all of a sudden you’re back in a situation where you only have one bank account again, and you can’t necessarily even pay any your vendors or your employees.

[00:24:07] Jozef: So I think that redundancy is always very important. So, yeah, and I think there’s other management policies and I think it’s cool now. I mean, we’ve implemented or we’re implementing a new policy where we can actually pay employees in ETH and I think the ability for a company to do that helps with treasury management as well.

[00:24:24] Jozef: And then it also continues to keep assets within the ecosystem and, and aligns your company and employees in similar ways so that everyone is, I guess you can kind of project better as to what on chain assets you need. So, I don’t know that I’m necessarily giving any strategies. I think for me it’s a lot of capital preservation and obviously you can get good yield out there.

[00:24:45] Jozef: I just take the more conservative yield approach and and ensuring I’ve documented and feel comfortable about going and interacting with any kind of investment vehicle if that’s what we choose to do.

[00:24:57] Umar: Before we continue, we’ll take a quick commercial break from our sponsor. Working in web3 can transform your career, be financially rewarding and surround you with a vibrant community. But as you’re very much aware, this space requires rethinking a lot of the old models of how we work. For example, as the leader in a web3 organization, it’s up to you to figure out the most cost effective way to off-ramp the company’s crypto, or what’s the most efficient setup to mass-pay your contractors in crypto.

[00:25:28] Umar: Getting your organization to run on crypto is daunting if you’re alone. That’s why Request Finance, the industrial leader in crypto invoicing, payroll and expenses has curated a community of web3 CFOs to share best practices around web3 financial operations. With CFOs from leading projects like Aave, the Sandbox, Binance, Consensys, and many more, joining this community will allow you to network and fast track getting your organization compliant in crypto.

[00:25:52] Umar: And you know what. I’m also responsible for accepting new members and growing the Web3CFO club. So if you’re a web3, business founder, CEO, CFO, or in charge of financial operations, you can join this exclusive community today by filling up an application form at theaccountantquits.com/web3CFO.

[00:26:17] Umar: Subject to a screening check, you will then start interacting with high profile web3 CFOs, get access to members only benefits like webinars, resources, and invitations to physical meetups. Join the club today and let’s win Web3 financial operations together.

[00:26:39] Umar: Moving on to the differences working as a web2 accountant and web3 accountant. In your experience, what are some of the key differences that you’ve observed in the role as a Financial Controller in the web3 industry as compared to working in TradFi? I mean, you’ve spoken of the enhanced role regarding treasury management. Would there be anything else?

[00:27:03] Jozef: Yeah, I mean, like, maybe I’m biased now cuz I’ve been in the industry for a while, but I, like, I think web3 CFO has to be exceptional at problem solving. Like the amount of issues that you have to deal with in day-to-day, all the challenges that come forward wouldn’t be necessarily even things that I would’ve ever considered to be issues in web2.

[00:27:23] Jozef: Thinking about banking, you have market crashes where you have greater than 20% downturn in a day, which obviously there’s been plenty of legal issues. I mean, general compliance, token payout challenges. I think I’m just scratching the surface with a lot of these, but they’re just consistent fires that need to be put out at all times and you’re continuously in this state of everything seems calm, like what’s gonna happen next, which, I mean, I’m sure it exists in other industries.

[00:27:50] Jozef: I’m just confident that it exists in ours and, and I know like that’s not something I’d experienced before and I think it just like makes you much more resilient as like a finance professional. I mean, you take so many blows. Eventually your attitude towards it all is like just to take on any new like impossible challenge, and you take it on with a different mindset and you just don’t overreact.

[00:28:11] Jozef: So I think like a lot of these things, like you just start to understand how to deal with these kinda more stressful situations and you just get put in them more often. And I think also like within web3 as well, I think CFOs or finance professionals are asked to look at a lot of different sectors, a lot of different departments within the company.

[00:28:32] Jozef: I’d never really interacted so much with legal or HR or whatever it may be, other departments within the company product from a technical aspect. So I think that’s kind of just like a cool challenge that I just didn’t have before.

[00:28:45] Umar: I wanna speak about the emerging opportunities for accountants in web3.

[00:28:49] Umar: There is a shortage of accountants with crypto knowledge to work at web3 startups. Based on what you’ve observed, what are some of the key skills to have or knowledge to have for those accountants to work in web3? From what I understand is having a good understanding of block explorers.

[00:29:08] Jozef: Yeah. I would say that would be one. I think just to have an understanding of like the flow of transactions, how to propose, how to track through. Block Explorer is always like the, it’s always the go-to. I mean, even if you do have a good tracking tool and you can’t figure something out, like I think it’s look at the block explorer and then if you can’t initially figure it out on the first page, you look at console logs and you try to figure out what this function call is because they’re always named something different.

[00:29:32] Jozef: I think that’s probably one of my pet peeves with everyone creating smart contracts is that we have no uniformity between any of them. So all the function calls and all all of the contracts look different. So from an accounting perspective, you can’t rely on necessarily anything over and over again from a recurring basis because each one presents its own different challenges and each one has kind of been built a different way.

[00:29:54] Jozef: So I think like just maybe that’s kind of too advanced to, for this, for this question, but I think just, I guess just to continue to go down that path and try to figure out exactly what’s going on and, and just have an understanding of where to look to try to determine exactly what on chain activity happened, because a lot of the time I find too, you’ll have, someone within your organization do something and then you don’t look at it maybe until a month later.

[00:30:19] Jozef: So you have to like really be good at, at trying to go back and be a bit of an investigator to figure out what happened.

[00:30:25] Umar: Based on your experience, has there been anything that probably you’ve learned besides the accounting and finance knowledge that you had that has proven to be very useful?

[00:30:36] Umar: For example, maybe it could be you learn a bit about coding or some programming languages. Has there been anything that the typical accountant in web2 would not know, but in web3, I mean, you have to learn this.

[00:30:47] Jozef: Yeah, maybe from like a more technical standpoint, when it comes to just operating on chain day to day, I think like organizations, you end up making so many on chain payments, if that’s kind of your business structure.

[00:30:59] Jozef: I think you become almost the professionals or the best suited to be able to handle day-to-day payment volume and like. For me now, I think I might have a better understanding than a lot of other like developers potentially on just like day-to-day making payments, how you interact with Gnosis Safe, like how you flow funds between different entities, different, different safes and everything.

[00:31:21] Jozef: So I think you almost become like kind of an expert there. So I think you kind of get a leg up. And I think that’s, that’s one interesting element that that comes from being in the finance side when you’re just operating day to day in these different contracts and these different forms of payment. And, and that’s kind of fun is the more you do it, the more simplified it gets to you, and the more it makes sense and then the more you realize that paying on chain is world’s easier than trying to do any kind of international payment.

[00:31:48] Umar: Jozef, we are shortly coming to the end of the episode. I wanna ask you something completely unrelated to web3 accounting, and it’s about taking time off. I mean, the web3 industry is extremely fast paced. You’re plugged in 24/7. Working overtime is very, I mean, it is common in web2 as well, but in web3 it always feels like you are learning something new.

[00:32:13] Umar: And like you said before, the industry, they can be like a Black Swan evnt that happens that no one expected it. So I want to ask you, how do you actually take time off? Are you disciplined about taking time off and what would you actually do on your those off days completely unrelated to web3?

[00:32:31] Jozef: Yeah, unfortunately, like I just don’t think I’m a good person to ask right now.

[00:32:35] Jozef: I mean, for me, like I like this window of my life. I’m very driven, passionate about what I’m doing and working on, and the opportunity is there to capture. So I don’t know, like I don’t feel overworked. I just always wanna continue to learn more advance every day because just the chance to do so is there.

[00:32:52] Jozef: Yeah, and I mean, I wake up energized. I know it’s kind of cliche and, and it might not really help listeners, but it’s kind of more the truth for me. I mean, time off is very important and I’m kind of selective doing so, but I know there’s obviously the opportunity cost of taking that time and when I, like, I guess when I do, I do try to stay away from like all the news and everything cuz like it’s constantly coming in, there’s constantly all this pinging of different information coming at you.

[00:33:19] Jozef: So like I’ll maybe read a book or something like that just to like really kind of get my mind in a different state. And like try to stay off Twitter and everything because it’s, it just consumes you after a little while. So I think it’s, I think in those down times, I try to maybe sit on a beach and just tune into something else, some random different podcasts that basically has nothing to do with web3.

[00:33:41] Jozef: So I think maybe that’s kind of my time off or time away from this space.

[00:33:45] Umar: All right. I feel we are very similar there. Yeah. Like social media is just a energy drain. And yeah, that’s exactly what I do as well. Go for a run, listen to a podcast or

[00:33:56] Jozef: I can, yeah, I can feel it in a day. Like if you’re on Twitter for too long in a day and then it’s like kind in the afternoon, you feel absolutely drained and it’s like it’s consistent whenever that happens.

[00:34:05] Jozef: So yeah, it’s time like that where you have to recognize what it’s kind of taking its toll on

[00:34:10] Umar: Joseph, there’s the last question I like to ask my guests on this show, which is, do you have a personal quote or a maxim that you live by?

[00:34:17] Jozef: Yeah. You know what? I think for me it’s more just like enjoy the ride.

[00:34:21] Jozef: Like I, I know it’s, it’s not the most clever thing, it’s, it’s not the most unique, but I just have to remind myself this all the time because I think, like for me, maybe others, you just set so many goals and you just get so driven and focused on achieving them that you truly forget to like, enjoy what you’re learning and the people you’re working with along the way.

[00:34:38] Jozef: And you get to work with like some really awesome people in this industry. So I think like it’s just always kind of having perspective on that and just, just enjoying the path forward.

[00:34:48] Umar: Perfect. Jozef, thanks a lot for coming in today. I find your story really inspiring the way you’ve been able to transition from web2 to web3.

[00:34:57] Umar: I mean, we’ve listened to you during these last 30, 35 minutes. You don’t take much time off, and you are really passionate about this industry, so there’s no surprise to where you are today working as the VP of Operations and Finance at EtherFi. So I hope like people find your story inspiring and that can help like accountants willing to also take that leap of faith to transition into web3.

[00:35:22] Jozef: Awesome. Yeah, I really appreciate it. I really appreciate that. Thank you. Thank you so much. It was great to be on.

[00:35:27] Umar: If people want to reach out to you, I mean, If you’re active on social media, or maybe if they wanna reach out to you on the Web3CFO club. That’s what Mo Yang said the other day, the CFO of Fuel labs on the last episode. So, I mean, if people still wanna reach out to you or let’s say learn more about EtherFi, where should they go?

[00:35:46] Jozef: Yeah, I mean within the web3 community, I’ll check on Slack, I’ll check on Telegram. You can always reach me there.

[00:35:52] Jozef: I think that’s probably one of the better ways to do so. So JozefVogel Telegram would probably be the best way to reach out, but any of the channels, I’m always happy to discuss. And yeah, I love being part of this community and I just love connecting with a lot of the people.

[00:36:04] Umar: Perfect. Well, thanks a lot for coming today, Jozef.

[00:36:07] Jozef: Thank you so much.

[00:36:09] Umar: I would like to thank everyone for listening to this episode. You’ll find all the links of the episode show notes and transcript on the website of the accountant quits@theaccountantquits.com. Please note that this content is for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with professional advices.

[00:36:29] Umar: If you do know anyone who could benefit from the episode and you care about them, please do share the episode with them. All the episodes are available on Spotify, apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts, and by leaving us a review and rating, you will support the channel and all your fellow accountants in order to be notified each time we release a new episode.

[00:36:49] Umar: Do follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn. We hope to have you with us next time. Bye for now.

Share This Episode:
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.