SaaSOptics Blog

Why It's Better to Scale Your Financial Operations Without Spreadsheets

[fa icon="calendar'] May 8, 2018 3:57:11 PM / by Clayton Whitfield posted in Spreadsheets, Data Integrity, Financial Operations, SaaSBusiness

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Sometimes in life, making ends meet is the only option. We’ve all faced situations where doing the thing that is “good enough for now” is the only option. Managing the financial operations of your SaaS business shouldn’t be one of those times.

In their early days, most recurring revenue businesses manage financial operations with spreadsheets. Instead of robust finance systems that are expensive, they create homegrown SaaS financial operations by cobbling spreadsheets together with traditional accounting software. And while that may be good enough when a business is in its infancy, it will create a great deal of chaos, overhead and problems down the road. 

Financial Operations that Scale

If you are managing your SaaS finances with spreadsheets, it’s not too late, but it’s important to put a plan in place for reliable financial operations that will serve your business now and in the years to come.

Here’s why.

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SaaS Revenue Recognition Challenges with QuickBooks (And What You Can Do About It)

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 25, 2018 12:21:12 PM / by Clayton Whitfield posted in Financial Operations, QuickBooks, Revenue Recognition

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QuickBooks is an easy decision for a SaaS startup or SMB. However, subscription-based businesses quickly run into challenges. QuickBooks does many things well, but it doesn’t efficiently manage subscription revenue recognition or subscription billing, especially if you have sales-negotiated behavior in your contracts, which is the heart of financial operations for a SaaS business and is required by ASC 606 and GAAP compliance.

That’s why SaaS companies augment QuickBooks with spreadsheets. We’ve seen it all when it comes to revenue recognition spreadsheets they’re complicated and error-prone.

There’s a reason revenue recognition gets complicated with subscription businesses

Subscription-based businesses can’t fully recognize revenue from a contract until they’ve delivered the agreed-upon services. But with varying contract lengths, sometimes bundled services and the occasional non-standard service, SaaS businesses need the flexibility to recognize revenue in a manner consistent with their agreements. In B2B SaaS, this might mean a combination of amortizing revenue over the term or recognizing it based on completing certain contractual milestones.

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How to Prepare for M&A Management Presentations

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 6, 2018 9:29:03 AM / by SaaSOptics

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Originally posted on The SaaS CFO.

Management Presentations in M&A Due Diligence

The banker said to block my calendar for management presentations.  Excuse me, what are management presentations?  And for two weeks?

Yes, and this is only the halfway point.  The real “fun” in due diligence comes after the management presentations.  However, before we get too far, let’s break down what happens at management presentations and how you can prepare your company and leadership team.

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After a Successful 2017, SaaSOptics Closes $5M to Drive Future Growth

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 1, 2018 1:55:48 PM / by SaaSOptics

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Looking back, 2017 was an incredible year for SaaSOptics. We expanded our platform with new features, including multi-currency management, launched a deeper Salesforce integration, forged a partnership with Avalara to simplify tax compliance for our customers and added new talent to our team. It’s exciting to watch, but growth is something we don’t take for granted. We know that with growth, comes the responsibility to continue investing in customer success and developing new products and integrations that simplify financial operations for our customers. 

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Four Key Elements for Successful SaaS Financial Operations

[fa icon="calendar'] Jan 25, 2018 4:36:54 PM / by Tim McCormick

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Originally posted on SaaStr.com.

The importance of subscription renewals in overall business performance today has created opportunities for the CFO role to expand beyond finance to play a bigger part in strategy around customer experience and satisfaction. But, that isnt all thats changed.

With SaaS came real-time data that allows us to make important business decisions with a great deal of accuracy. Audits are easier than ever and we can quickly accurately show potential investors a 360-degree view of business viability. As a result, raising capital is a lot less stressful. And although the benefits of moving to this model are easy to see, understanding the difference between managing the financial operations of a traditional business and recurring revenue model is critical.

Read the full article on SaaStr.com.

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Stop Using Excel, Finance Chiefs Tell Staffs

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 30, 2017 9:01:44 PM / by SaaSOptics

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Originally posted on The Wall Street Journal.

Here at SaaSOptics, we consistently talk about the risk of having spreadsheets at the center of your finance operations. Selfishly, we'd like to think that the Wall Street Journal reads our blog and in turn wrote the reference article. The reality is there is a market shift in available technology for finance teams. Let this quote speak to the importance of ditching your finance operations spreadsheet: “I don’t want financial planning people spending their time importing and exporting and manipulating data, I want them to focus on what is the data telling us,” Mr. Garrett said. He is working on cutting Excel out of this process, he said. Read the full article here.

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Big Companies Don’t Churn. They Quit You.

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 20, 2017 11:41:03 AM / by SaaSOptics

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Originally posted on SaaStr.com.

Here at SaaSOptics, we regularly emphasize the importance of churn. Not only the importance of having processes in place to track it, but also the need to understand why churn is happening and how to address it. One of the benefits of accurately tracking churn is that it provides insight for multiple teams in your organization. Finance teams tend to look at churn as the number of customers lost due to cancellations and the associated total lost revenue. However, the Customer Success team in a business can look churn another way - as a metric to know which high-dollar customers to be proactive with. 

In the referenced article from SaaStr, Jason Lemkin stresses the importance of high-dollar customers and provides some ideas on how your customer success team can take advantage of a key financial metric to increase ARR. Read the full article here.

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SaaS Accounting Tips for Founders

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 12, 2017 2:04:37 PM / by SaaSOptics

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Originally posted on The SaaS CFO.

It's time to get tactical and talk about SaaS accounting. As you grow, it can be difficult to step back and ensure your accounting processes are set up to scale with you and provide the level of data you need to have critical insight into your business. The focus tends to go towards the sales team performance or how your marketing team is driving demand for your product. 

At SaaSOptics, we believe that having efficient financial processes and accurate revenue metrics is as important to your growth as sales and customer growth. In this article from The SaaS CFO, Ben Murray outlines the importance of historical financial data for accurate forecasting and meaningful growth metrics. Read more.

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Don’t Miss the Low-Hanging Fruit—Five Best Practices for SaaS Renewals

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 4, 2017 2:37:03 PM / by Clayton Whitfield

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You’ve worked hard to acquire your customers, but holding onto them through multiple renewal cycles is really the key to subscription business success. Many SaaS businesses rely on auto-renewals to support the business. This is integral to the subscription business model, but it doesn’t mean you can kick back and relax. Common pitfalls related to renewals include:

  • A lack of data or bad data which prevents you from seeing accurate renewal rates.
  • Relying on untrained non-sales staff to handle renewals.
  • Poor processes (based on the above) that result in customer contracts expiring without a sales call.
  • Absence of knowledge about the best way to engage renewing subscribers.
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Beyond Quickbooks - Advanced Forecasting for B2B SaaS

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 24, 2017 7:49:20 PM / by Clayton Whitfield

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When it comes to forecasting for a SaaS business, traditional financial metrics won’t get the job done. The lack of good financial data and metrics remains a big problem for most early stage subscription businesses, and even many established SaaS companies. Chances are, your business relies on outside funding or is subject to board oversight—or both. And the decisions that funders and boards make rely on accurate financial forecasting. A SaaS business that can efficiently and accurately generate, present and consume financial forecasting data makes better decisions for continued success. Don’t let your financials become a liability. Instead, you should be using forecasting data as a strategic tool to drive growth, generate new revenues and increase profitability.

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