Job Title: Assistant Controller

Reporting to: Director, Financial Controller

Location: Durham, North Carolina 

About Pairwise:

Pairwise is a mission-driven food+tech company dedicated to building a healthier world through better fruits and vegetables. Founded in 2017 by eminent scientists in the gene editing and biotechnology fields, Pairwise holds licenses from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to base editing and high-fidelity enzymes. We also are tuned in to consumer food trends, and we believe that consumers deserve more variety and innovation in their fresh food choices. Our team is primed to deliver that innovation through one of the best gene-editing platforms in food and agriculture. Pairwise has an exclusive 5-year research collaboration with Bayer to develop products in corn, soybean, wheat, canola, and cotton. Plus, Pairwise is developing new types of leafy greens, berries, and stone fruit, with the first product expected in early 2023. Pairwise is based in the start-up friendly Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina.

About This Role:

Pairwise is changing the way the world eats and making incredible changes in how we drive progress in the produce aisle, and beyond. We’re looking for a motivated Assistant Controller to join the Finance team and be part of the scaling of our accounting function.

Our Assistant Controller will be responsible for key aspects of the day-to-day accounting operations; and will manage the month-end close process, with appropriate focus on accuracy and deadlines. The focus for the individual in this role will be tactical and strategic, including, but not limited to, ensuring necessary accruals are recognized, developing new accounting policies and procedures, seeking opportunities to reduce the financial closing cycle while developing the framework for formal preparation of balance sheet reconciliations. This position is set up to be a growth opportunity, and so we are looking for a candidate that shows leadership potential on top of their finance experience.

Collaboration and teamwork are at the heart of who we are at Pairwise, so the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team is necessary for success. Furthermore, clear communication to internal and external stakeholders is critical in this role. Your contributions will be key to helping Pairwise meet technology and product development goals, as we bring our core passion and mission to fruition.

Essential Functions:

• Manage the month-end close process, including but not limited to:

o Oversee the closing calendar and propose updates;

o Engage with the organization and ensure all accruals are recognized with appropriate support, including consumer product revenue and COGS, as well as SG&A;

o Ensure proper accounting for payroll plus T&E expenses as interfacing from their source systems;

o Manage revenue recognition on a large collaboration agreement, while ensuring related work is properly tracked and reported;

o Ensure equity-based compensation is appropriately recognized each period;

o Open and close all periods in the ledger and subledger.

• Develop appropriate documentation of accounting policies and procedures and conduct related technical accounting research, as needed.

• Provide leadership and assistance to annual and interim audit work.

• Create a framework for preparation and review of balance sheet reconciliations.

• Manage fixed asset accounting including additions, periodic depreciation, and oversight to property tax rolls.

• Work with external tax advisors and provide required support for management of periodic tax obligations.

• Provide input and assistance to cash flow and P&L forecasting/budgeting processes.

• Ability to lead by influence and work autonomously in an ambiguous environment to solve complex business problems.

• Identify opportunities for automation and standardization while managing to all deadlines.

Required Education & Experience:

• Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, or equivalent experience in the function.

• 10 years of combined public and private company accounting experience.

o CPA or CPA candidate, preferred.

• Supporting and/or managing the month-end financial closing process.

• Experience with contract review and researching technical accounting issues.

• NetSuite experience is strongly desired.

• Experience working in AgriTech and/or Agriculture a big plus.

• Broad working knowledge across business functions as well as a skilled collaborator and communicator.

• Willingness to roll up their sleeves and build something from the ground up.

• People Leadership experience, preferred.


• Comprehensive Benefits Plan, including Medical, Dental, Vision, HSA/FSA, 401k, Life Insurance, Short-Term & Long-Term Disability, and more!

• Flexible PTO (use what you need, when you need it), in addition to company holidays

• Casual work environment.

• Mission-driven organization focused on creating healthier fruits and veggies.

• A cutting-edge, driven community looking to lead the industry in innovation and nutrition.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit and use hands to finger, handle or feel, and techniques that require fine motor skills and repetitive motions. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. The employee is regularly required to talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

EEO Statement:

We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Pairwise we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

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