Anticipation Is Key: Q&A with Everlaw’s First Chief Financial Officer, Scott Allen
It’s a new year and time for new talent at Everlaw! Today, we’re thrilled to welcome our first Chief Financial Officer, Scott Allen. Scott has decades of experience helping hyper-growth SaaS companies scale. Airship, Intermedia and Citrix Online are among his recent roles after spending 18 years at ADP.
Scott joins Everlaw just over a year after the company secured a $202 million Series D funding round and more than $2 billion valuation. He shared with us how he’ll help the company scale by connecting the dots between his product and operational experience, his love of SaaS data, and his deep technology experiences at startups and large organizations.
Let’s start with the basics. What are your key responsibilities and goals as Everlaw’s CFO, and which aspects are most exciting to you?
I have a fiduciary responsibility to the company, but more importantly, I see the CFO role as the caretaker of the business model. This means understanding its components and levers to scale the business in the most effective way possible and maximize its value.
I’m excited about the opportunity to influence Everlaw’s direction. A company of this stage of growth is about to hit so many key milestones. It’s in a pliable state, and I can help shape how it grows and scales.
Anticipation is key. That helps me build not just for today but sustainably for tomorrow. We need to lay out a path to scale.”
After many years working at startups, what drew you to Everlaw?
When I look for a new opportunity, I always start with size and scale – finding a company that has a market-proven product and is mature enough to take the next step. I’m also a data junkie, so I enjoy working in a SaaS business model where I have deep expertise. The interesting twist with Everlaw is that it’s my first time working at a vertical SaaS company. This intrigues me because it drives focus by creating a specific solution for a large market and higher overall enterprise value.
I also look for cultural fit. It’s always a leap of faith! I’m excited to join the Everlaw team.
Early in your career, you held product and operational roles. How does that experience inform your work as a CFO today?
In finance, you’re often focused on the results. Moving into product operational roles showed me what it takes to build and sell a product, satisfy customers and create the value that informed the results I’d previously measured and reported on. It made me more empathetic to what goes into those results.
Now, when I work with functional groups like sales, I understand better what they’re doing. That helps me have a healthier and more strategic conversation because I don’t talk only about the results. I can also talk about sales and marketing processes—from cold calls to product development—and ask questions that help me understand their functions’ level of maturity. I can connect the dots between the process and actions to the results.
What lessons from large organizations have you brought to your work at hyper growth SaaS companies?
Anticipation is key. Working at scaled organizations taught me how those companies operate. When I transitioned to hyper growth startups, I could anticipate what it would take to get there. That helps me build not just for today, but sustainably for tomorrow. We need to lay out a path to scale, then work backward to identify milestones we need to hit along the way. Those could include refining the organization model to support the business, creating business systems to automate reporting, and evolving the business model to achieve revenue and profit goals.
How does the finance function help a business scale?
Quantifying customer behavior is foundational to scaling the company. That requires systems that gather, analyze and use customer data. Companies at this stage rarely build a complete view, but it’s important because as they acquire more customers, it becomes harder to understand customers’ behavior without that data.
Corporate legal teams—at both mature and scaling companies—are embracing Everlaw to reduce risks and control costs by bringing work in-house. What are the keys to a successful partnership between finance and legal?
There’s more coordination between these teams than ever before, especially because of new privacy and compliance requirements that require legal teams’ perspectives. Legal teams are becoming more involved in operational and product-related areas as compliance and certifications become more critical to support customers and the jurisdiction that we sell into.
Does the hiring of a CFO portend a soon-to-come financial milestone for the company?
In the last few months, Everlaw has built out a C-Suite – hiring a Chief People Officer and a Chief Revenue Officer, and promoting Shana Simmons to Chief Legal Officer. Bringing on a CFO will help the company mature with strong functional leads and reinforce its commitment to be a thriving, sustainable business in the long term.
As a Bay Area native, what are your insider recommendations for local fun and adventure?
If you hike or bike, Mt. Diablo’s views from one of the largest watersheds in Northern California are tough to beat. The coast line between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz has some great spots, and sailing on the bay gives a unique perspective of the Bay Area. For adventurous types, when the salmon are running, there’s great fishing. I love the Dungeness crab in San Francisco.