For a B2B SaaS or subscription business, finance operations are no longer just a back office function. Finance executives are playing a larger role in their businesses' strategic direction and growth. How do you know if your systems and processes are set up to provide the necessary insight into your growing business?
To help, we created the B2B Finance Operations Assessment. We derive our assessment from the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) which was originally created by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in the 1980s to assess the ability of government contractors to implement software projects.
CMMs typically use a five-level system to define and score process maturity. We use a three-level system covering three main B2B finance functions: Revenue Recognition, Invoicing & Payments, and Subscription Metrics & Analytics. Our three output scores are Basic, Transitional and Optimized.
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is one of the most critical metrics used to evaluate a SaaS company’s financial health and to predict its future success. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the trickiest things to measure. Traditional business metrics fail to capture the key factors that drive SaaS performance. With revenue coming in over an extended period of time, the customer lifetime, it changes the way management, investors and potential acquirers determine whether the SaaS business is financially viable.
Managing subscriptions in a global economy doesn’t have to be scary. But it sure feels that way sometimes. To compound matters, the finance team is frequently the most under-resourced department in a growing SaaS business. When you’re struggling to do more with less—and to maintain accurate revenue recognition—adding to the growing maze of spreadsheets and manual processes that now accompany your general ledger sounds like a nightmare.
Chance are, your early-stage SaaS business has a business-casual dress policy, but your financial metrics still need a buttoned-up Wall Street polish to attract savvy investors or potential acquirers. Much like a bespoke power suit would break the clothing allowance, powerful financial management suites are far too expensive to install and implement just to gain accurate revenue recognition metrics. So, you make do with a haphazard assortment of tools like QuickBooks and SalesForce manually pieced together with Excel spreadsheets and a lot of copying and pasting. Needless to say, this doesn’t achieve the cohesive look you’re going for.
U.S. businesses have been subject to financial reporting regulations for more than 80 years. One of the latest of these, ASC 606, will have particular impact on SaaS businesses. Revenue recognition has never been easy for SaaS companies without the right accounting and subscription management in place, but the new rules could add another layer of complexity to an already troublesome area. The standards will affect private companies starting this December (public companies are already subject). That means the time is now to ensure your revenue recognition is in accordance with current and new guidelines.
The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier awards for the software and information industries, and have been recognizing product excellence for over 30 years. The awards offer 93 categories that are organized by industry focus of education technology and business technology. SaaSOptics was honored as a finalist for the Best Subscription Management Solution category and one of 205 finalists across the 59 business technology categories.
In 2014, two long-time business partners and entrepreneurs noticed an increasingly common challenge facing most small business owners – the lack of good financial data and metrics. So, they founded Driven Insights and today, provide expertise on a fractional basis to growing businesses.
You may be wondering, “what is a fractional CFO?”
As a business grows, the need for buttoned up financial operations and more accurate metrics increases, but a full-time CFO might not be necessary (or in the budget). In this case, many businesses hire a “fractional CFO,” someone who is highly skilled and has deep experience in financial operations, to become part of the management team on a part-time basis.
In this so-called postmodern ERP era, most companies are rejecting the megasuite and vendors have been rushing to meet companies' needs. Indeed, surveying the enterprise technology landscape is akin to the taking a walk down the cereal aisle at your local supermarket -- the array of choices can be both exciting and overwhelming. Luckily, better integration in certain areas is making the process easier.
Tim McCormick, CEO of Atlanta-based SaaSOptics LLC, said most market-leading billing, integrated financial and ERP solutions aren't designed to support the unique needs of SaaS and subscription-based businesses and don't provide the financial metrics and analytics needed to run a growing SaaS business.
"You implement us alongside of QuickBooks when you're small and integrate with Salesforce -- these are literally out-of-the-box connectors," McCormick said. "You put in your credentials of Salesforce, you put in the credentials of QuickBooks and we automatically sync the appropriate data from our system to QuickBooks and back and forth between Salesforce through the advanced API structures that we have available now."
Read the full article here at TechTarget.com.
Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com
Thinking long-term about financial success for your SaaS business means putting the right systems and processes in place early on. You’ll make better decisions based on accurate information and you’ll be able to turn over high quality metrics and show how valuable your business really is.
Demand for SaaS is growing, but selling cloud-based solutions can still present its own set of unique challenges. Many companies that sell SaaS applications can struggle with driving adoption and expanding their reach. Here are three tips for capturing more revenue in today’s fiercely competitive SaaS market.
While we write a great deal about SaaS financial operation metrics (like MRR/ARR, CLV and churn), there are many other important general business and product metrics for SaaS businesses. Metrics like gross profit and burn rate are important for any fast-growing SaaS business.
From the article below: "Ultimately, though, good metrics aren't about raising money from VCs - they're about running the business in a way where founders know how and why certain things are working (or not) … and can address or adjust accordingly."
See the complete post here from A16Z.com.